Standing in the same space as a work of art can be such a powerfully moving experience and when the gallery doors closed across the country for the first time I knew I would miss it but I never imagined just how much. Thankfully we know now that the doors will open once more and we will all flood back in to the galleries and museums to stand mesmerised again by the pieces that just wont let us pass them by without stopping to question. Until then online exhibitions are keeping us all going and, with that in mind, I have my own small online exhibition in conjunction with Hambly & Hambly of Enniskillen coming up and viewable from December 7th on the Imagine Facebook Page. Until real life shows are possible again I hope you enjoy this virtual one.
‘CURIOUS’ @ THE KILDARE GALLERY 2019
I’m really looking forward to the opening of Curious this Saturday October 5th at The Kildare Gallery, Carton House, Maynooth. I would love to welcome you there!
‘Emma Stroude’s new body of work ‘Curious’ explores the spectacle of coloured smoke and powder clouds and the diversity of their use for celebration, entertainment, protest, alert or a call for help. The inhabitants of each painting choose to ignore, react, record, engage with or even act as the instigators of these clouds of colour and the situations they create. Our human involvement and response to this spectacle is the curious question.
The work is loaded with layers of suggestion and possibility which may be interpreted differently by each individual viewer depending on personal history and the influence of the collective consciousness being created amongst us from our exposure to the world via the media.’
‘Colour Run – Stragglers’ and ‘Colour Run – The Crowd’ marked the beginning of a new body of work under development in 2019.
The two paintings were well received. ‘Colour Run – Stragglers’ was selected for the 189th Royal Hibernian Annual Exhibition and ‘Colour Run – The Crowd’ was selected for Cairde Visual at The Model, Sligo where it won the Cosgroves Delicatessen Award. Both works will enter private collections following the close of each exhibition.
Following their success I find myself chasing new leads and teasing out new threads of ideas that emerged from the making of these paintings. I am now working towards a solo exhibition at The Kildare Gallery in Carton House, Maynooth in September 2019.
Hamilton Gallery in Sligo invited 90 women artists to respond to a Leland Bardwell poem in celebration of her life and legacy.
St. Brigid’s Day 1989 – Leland Bardwell
The women’s calls
go up across the lake.
On this still day their voices
whip the air – staccato notes
behind the reed-hushed margin.
Winter is writing out its past
before its time
while they trail the shore
anxious to garner reeds
for Brigid’s Cross, bending
in all their different flesh-shapes
like shoppers to admire a bud,
an early primrose, a robin
shrilly calling to its mate.
Although I gather rushes
like these strolling women
I’m made conscious
of the decades that divide us
and that I should be celebrating
Brigid in her strength
of fruitfulness and learning.
I can only offer her the satchel of these years,
I too, will make a cross, for luck and irony.
Amongst the witches coven I will raise my glass
so my children’s children’s children
will gather rushes for her turning.
This was my response:
‘Follow’ centres on the notion of womanhood and the sisterhood women share regardless of nationality, culture or creed. Brigid is found in many cultures. For me she signifies intelligence, courage, determination, nature and creativity. My choice of model for the portrait embodies all these qualities communicating them to us via her gaze. She is old enough to be a mother but young enough to be a daughter subtly suggesting the passing on of these strengths through the generations.
The exhibition began in London at The 12 Star Gallery in Europe House for Brigid’s Day and subsequently travelled to Sligo and Dublin in Ireland. It’s next destination is The Irish Embassy in Berlin, Germany where it will form a focal part of their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and remain on display until April 26th 2019.
Follow the link to see the rest of the work in the exhibition:
St. Brigid’s Day Exhibition 90 women artists’ response to the work of Leland Bardwell
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:
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.
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.
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!
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:
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
‘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: