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My Portrait of Michael Collins Revealed at Sligo Gaol

Michael Collins Portrait in Sligo Gaol 2018

On Sunday 9th September my portrait of Michael Collins, commissioned by Friends of Sligo Gaol and funded by Creative Ireland was unveiled by his grand niece Mary Clare O’Malley. This was an experience I will treasure for all time. My heartfelt thanks to the Friends of Sligo Gaol for including my work in their wonderful event in commemoration of the 100 years since Michael Collins was imprisoned here in Sligo. The gaol is a historical treasure that must be preserved and the events of this weekend have underlined that for us all.

The making of the portrait was funded by Creative Ireland.

On Saturday 8th September our event made it to the evening news! Here is the link:

RTE News Six One Report by Eileen Magner

‘Gathering’ Curated by Paul McKenna at King House, Boyle

A great night was had at the opening of Gathering, curated by Paul McKenna, at King House as part of the Boyle Arts Festival. A chance to meet with friends old and new. My portrait was very happy to find itself a neighbour to fantastic work by Trina Hobson. I’m so grateful to be a part of this exhibition, it really is one to spend time with…….. go see! It runs as part of the Boyle Arts Festival until August 26th 2018.

The Model Presents Cairde Visual

Cairde Visual at The Model, Sligo is a diverse and varied exhibition of artists’work from across Ireland. It has become one of the highlights of the year for anyone interested in the arts in the North West. Here I am, beaming like a Cheshire cat with my piece, ‘Slow Turning World’ which was selected for the exhibition. 

Liberté, Égalité, Sororité at Hambly & Hambly, Enniskillen

The writings on the wall at Hambly & Hambly, a beautiful gallery set in a Georgian house on the Shore Road of Lough Erne near Enniskellen. I was only too delighted to be invited to take part in this exhibition celebrating women artists, curated by Ciara Hambly and Helen Sharp. Other artists featured include Sarah Foust, Grainne Dowling, Samantha Ellis Fox (whose work is shown in the above image), Diane Henshaw, Susan Mannion and my close friend Lorna Watkins….to name but a few! The exhibition runs until July 27th and visiting is a proper treat in such a fantastic setting and with such a warm welcome from Ciara and her family.

Here are a few of the pieces I have on show…. go see!

‘A Little Quiet’, Oil on Canvas, 25cm x 20cm

Cloud Machine (Photography Dickon Whitehead 2018)

‘The Perfect End to a Glorious Day’, Oil on Canvas, 25cm x 20cm

‘An Irish Airman Forsees His Death’ – A New Exhibition Opening at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo


This exhibition, opening on Yeats Day in Sligo (Wednesday 13th June @ 6pm) is in celebration of the poetry of WB Yeats. Each year the gallery invite a large number of contemporary artists to submit a painting (20cm x 20cm) in response to one of his poems. The diversity of the response never fails to amaze me. We all see, feel and find inspiration in infinite ways. It is my third invitation to take part in the exhibition and opening night is something I look forward to each year with anticipation.

This year the poem selected is: 

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

This was my response:

‘From Air to Earth and Back Again’, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm, 2018

 

The Royal Hibernian Academy’s 188th Exhibition

Twelve and a Half, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm, 2018
Currently on show in the RHA’s 188th Annual Exhibition (Photography Dickon Whitehead, 2018)

My portrait ‘Twelve and a Half’ was selected for the 188th Annual Exhibition at the RHA. I first saw the show on Varnishing Day with fellow friends and artists Lorna Watkins and Kaye Maahs, both of whom have stunning work in the exhibition. Be sure to seek them out when making a visit to the gallery between now and August 11th and spend time browsing the walls and floors and soaking up the diverse range of outstanding work the exhibition offers. I was going to try and list my favourites but there are just too many! You can read  Gemma Tipton’s review featured in The Irish Times by clicking on the link below (I’m delighted and most thankful to be able to say that ‘Twelve and a Half’ gets a mention!):

‘Downstairs, in the space dedicated to portraiture, the challenge is to take it all in without gravitating to recognisable faces, or lurching between the names on the labels; but if this is an art party, it’s really well worth getting to know all the guests. Emma Stroude’s Twelve and a Half is a stand-out, as is Laura Cronin’s Life Study 18, the former a simple, yet arresting image of a young girl, the latter a classic nude. In each you feel that stepping into the canvas and beginning a conversation with the subject is a distinct possibility.’ Gemma Tipton, Irish Times

The Irish Times – RHA Annual, No Wallflowers at this Roudy Art Party

‘Twelve and a Half’ also gets a mention in a review by Cristín Leach. I’m so grateful and thrilled to have my work acknowledged again!

There are some remarkable portraits of children. Catherine Creaney’s beautiful baby in a yellow dress; Klute’s Lara; the young girl in Stephen Murphy’s Peter, Evka and Sara; Emma Stroude’s Twelve and a Half; Miseon Lee’s Sceptic; Cristina Bunello’s Rainbow Painting II; and Laura Cronin’s Another Snow Day.’ Cristín Leach, The Sunday Times Culture supplement.

Follow the link to the full article in The Sunday Times Culture Magazine below: 

The Times : The RHA Annual Show shines a light on some of Ireland’s best and brightest artists

Artist in Residence at Sligo Gaol 2018-2020

Sharp Edges, Sligo Gaol (photograph Emma Stroude 2018)

This year marks the bicentenary of Sligo Gaol, an extraordinary time capsule in the heart of Sligo Town. Having opened in 1818, the gaol closed it’s doors in 1956 and has barely been touched since. It is a fascinating place where layers and layers of history are waiting to be discovered within its graffiti covered walls of thickly peeling paint.

Red and Green, Blue and Yellow, Sligo Gaol (Photograph Emma Stroude 2018)

This year also marks the centenary of the imprisonment of Michael Collins at the gaol. He wrote detailed diary entries describing his time there, now held by the national archive.

I feel very lucky to have been given the title of Artist in Residence at the gaol for 2018-2020 by Friends of Sligo Gaol, a dynamic group of volunteers who are striving to conserve the gaol and promote greater understanding and public awareness of it’s history and heritage. Their ultimate goal is to see the gaol opened to the public as a heritage site.

During my residency I plan to make work in relation to Michael Collins and also some of the female political prisoners relevant to Sligo, Bridie O’Mullane and Linda Kearns. In tandem with this I intend to explore and research the physical building. The gaol provides  a wealth of visual inspiration and I have been given an opportunity to record elements of this including the current atmosphere that may be hard to retain once opened to the public in the future.

Counting, Sligo Gaol (Photograph Emma Stroude 2018)

This is just the beginning! I can’t help but be very excited by the prospect of this project. I’ll keep you all up to date with blog posts along the way. 

Sligo County Council has designated the year 2018 as ‘The Year of Sligo Gaol’. Friends of Sligo Gaol are hosting events this September to commemorate the bicentenary of the gaol’s opening and the centenary of Michael Collins’ imprisonment. Find out more on their website  www.sligogaol.ie

Still Time to Visit Christmas Miscellany at Hamilton Gallery, Sligo

Hamilton Gallery in Sligo invited a selection of artists to contribute to their exhibition ‘Christmas Miscellany’ which opened in the early weeks of December 2017. I painted the six pieces shown below especially with the exhibition in mind. Themes of day-dreaming and escape run though the work, those moments when we find ourselves staring into space, lost in thought, given permission by the uncluttered vastness of what we are looking at to allow ourselves moments of quiet clarity in comparison to the frantic business of the world below.

Dreamer, Oil on Canvas, 40cm x 30cm (Photohraphy Dickon Whitehead)

Electric Blue, Oil onCanvas, 30cm x 40cm (Photography Dickon Whitehead)

Secrets On The Wire, Oil on Canvas, 40cm x 30cm (Photography Dickon Whitehead)

Thinking About The Little Things, Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 40cm (Photography Dickon Whitehead)

Strange Fiction, Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 40cm (Photography Dickon Whitehead)

The Quiet Edge, Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 40cm (Photography Dickon Whitehead)

The other artists showing in the exhibition are Yoko Akino, Jean Bardon, Petra Berntsson, Jonathan Cassidy, Joe Dunne, Catherine Fanning, Michael Flaherty, Conor Gallagher, Annie Harrison, Stephen Lawlor, Kate MacDonagh, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, James Mc Creary, Trudie Mooney, Niall Naessens, Lars Lyberg, Seamus O’Byrne, Ruth O’Donnell, Sorca O’Farrell, Cormac O’Leary, Patrick Pye, Vincent Sheridan and Heidi Wickham. It’s an exhibition that is really worth spending some time with. Follow this link to see the entire works on line – Christmas Miscellany at Hamilton Gallery

The exhibition runs until January 27th 2018….. there’s still time to go along and enjoy!

New Work at Galerie Terbeek

Since May 2017, my work has been represented for the first time in mainland Europe by Galerie Terbeek, based in the Netherlands. They have a fantastic website that is well worth taking the time to explore. You can follow the link here to see my work available at the gallery – Emma Stroude at Galerie Terbeek

My latest work to arrive at the gallery is pictured below…..

From Sand To Glass, Oil on Canvas, 50cm x 60cm , Photography Dickon Whitehead

Towards Infinite Tomorrows, Oil on Canvas, 50cm x 60cm, Photography Dickon Whitehead

A Place Apart, Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 30cm, Photography Dickon Whitehead

Land of the Iron Horse, Oil on Canvas, 30cm x 30cm, Photography Dickon Whitehead

Royal Ulster Academy of Arts 136th Annual Exhibition

My portrait ‘Eleven’ was happy to be on the wall in Belfast at the opening of the Royal Ulster Academy’s 136th Annual Exhibition amidst work from many exceptional artists.

Eleven, Oil on Canvas, 20cm x 20cm, 2017 will be shown at the Royal Ulster academy, Belfast in October
Photography Dickon Whitehead 2017

I was delighted to learn that my piece sold on the first night! I’m looking forward to getting to Belfast to see the exhibition in a couple of weeks time. If (like me) you live far away all the work can be viewed on the Royal Ulster Academy website.