Solas Art Gallery in Ballinamore will be bringing in the spring with two new exhibitions; “Forgotten Homes and Hinterlands” by Orlagh Murphy and “Residuum” by Joan Murray.
These two artists come from a wide distance apart, Orlagh from Belturbet and Joan from Gortahork, Co. Donegal. It says a lot for the commitment of these two artists to travel such a distance to show their work, one hopes that they will get the traditional Leitrim welcome on their opening night, and of course from further afield as well.
Orlagh Murphy is originally from Dublin where she obtained her Honours Degree in Visual Communications Design at DIT. She lived in Italy for 4 years and then travelled throughout Europe, Japan and America utilising her skills in design and decorative art work. A few years ago she decided to concentrate solely on her career as a visual artist. Her work is primarily concerned with the landscape around us and how we perceive ourselves through the landscape and our associations with the past; evoking feelings of nostalgia in those traces of past lives in the exterior of abandoned structures, which are themselves fading back into the landscape around them. Orlagh will have about 15 paintings, ranging from old buildings; amazingly old fashioned landscapes even a group of deserted caravans and “chip” trailer, (something the Council would remove) all painted in beautifully subdued colours yet with a vibrancy and inner light.
Joan Murray is from London where she got her BA Hons in Humanities with Art History and then qualified in Retail Design. This took her to various parts of England until she came to Ireland 20 years ago, and she now resides in Co. Donegal where she has been managing the framing department of an art gallery and following her love of photography. Joan’s photographs are not straightforward landscapes, portraits etc but concentrate on the small details, making them the focal point. Recently she has begun exploring the possibilities of land art, again on a small scale, such as introducing manmade objects into a natural environment. At the moment Joan has an ongoing project of recording old boats, intrigued by the visual effects produced by the weather on metal and wood. As you will see from her work, she likes to enhance and add extra textures using other media, building up layers of colour, either by introducing to the subject or enhancing the photograph afterwards. Each image is a story in itself, the delicate tracery of a butterfly on gravel; old ivy gripping a wall, a rusty hook on a stone wall, the colours natural and the subject begging the question, “what was that used for ?”
The exhibitions will be opened by Louis McLoughlin at 7.30 on Friday 12th April at the Solas Gallery. Louis is an established artist and also Chairperson of the Ballinamore Community Arts Group. These exhibitions run until 4th May, opening times 10-6, Mon-Sat; Solas Gallery is above the Four Seasons Garden Centre in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim. For all enquiries contact Gail or Ben 071 9644210, visit our website www. solasart.ie or become a friend on Facebook.