Group Exhibition "Going Within: A Response To Covid" 

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We are delighted to launch our first hybrid exhibition in the Visitor Centre of Castlecomer Discovery Park, located just beside Kilkenny's Creative Hub - Castlecomer Craft Yard. 

If you are planning to visit the exhibition, please remember to bring a mask and to respect social distancing.

The Visitor Centre is open 7 days a week, from 9 am till 4 pm. The exhibition is free of charge.

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Graham Carew

'Blossoms', Acrylic on Canvas, €750

Graham Carew is an Irish painter and mixed media artist. He works in acrylics and watercolour but also uses permanent markers, household paint, and aerosols to cover his surfaces with imagery and text, which run from rant to mythology to poetry to personal stories. He has shown his work and performed Irish poetry at home, in the UK, in the US, and in the Middle East.

 

Being passionate about bringing art to people and about finding studio and showing space for artists, he spends the rest of his time working on projects that make these connections.  

 

He can be reached at grahamcarew@gmail.com.

 

Website | Instagram | Facebook 

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Ann Marie Love

"Tranquility", Acrylic Markers on Leatherette, €450

I’m Ann Marie Love, a Kilkenny born artist, I hold a BA in Art and Society from Waterford IT and a FETAC certificate in Interior Design from Carlow IT. I am a qualified Yoga instructor, I completed my training with Vikasa on the beautiful Island of Koi Samui, Thailand in 2018.

I’ve had the privilege of working as a tattoo artist in Auckland, New Zealand for over two years. It’s here where I began my journey of appreciation and love for nature. I currently own a tattoo shop at 4 Friar Street in Cashel, Co. Tipperary.

My art is inspired by the extraordinary patterns found throughout nature, movies and animation.

My intention is to offer you the opportunity to go deeper into your body, mind and soul and your driver. Creating mandala art, combined with my love for yoga and meditation are my daily remedies for anxiety and depression. I would love to offer you the opportunity to feel the benefits of mandalas through meditation or by teaching you how to create your own unique mandala design.

I wish for you to explore parts of your inner-self that you’ve never been to before, to let questions, thoughts and feelings rise up from deep within you so that they can be heard and felt without judgement or reply. To just be!

I would love for you to let the creativity you were blessed with come out to play, to let all of the stories in your head all the worries, all the negativity that society has imposed upon us to melt away by going to a higher place where you can feel true peace and endless love.

 

Website | Instagram | Facebook 

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Eugene Conway

"Still Life", Oil on Linen, €2,800

Eugene Conway is one of Ireland’s leading realist landscape painters. Conway was born in 1965 in Dublin but moved to Co. Kilkenny as a child. Growing up in the countryside, he developed a great love and appreciation for the beauty of nature around him which informs his work.

In Conway’s paintings, the landscape of County Kilkenny is brought to the centre stage. These are quiet scenes; he does not dwell on the bucolic or the picturesque. The way that he uses colour relates directly to the weather, the seasons, and the passage of time. His subjects – bridges, barns and byways – are the unsung heroes of the Irish countryside. “A lot of the time they go unnoticed: old sheds, old walls, a wet ditch after the summer rain, or maybe the way that the light is hitting something, bringing out a lovely pattern in it. But the light is at a certain point. If you come back an hour later, everything has changed.” he says. His paintings do not suggest great drama, merely the unfolding of ordinary rural life. His paintings reflect the layers of history left by habitation and farming.

Conway studied at the National College of Art & Design, NCAD, Dublin. Since 1998 he has exhibited regularly at the RHA and was awarded the Fergus O’Ryan Memorial Award in 2001; the ESB Keating Award, the Silver Medal for an outstanding art work in 2008; and the Abdul and Katharine Bulbulia Art in Health Award in 2010. His work is in the collections of the Haverty Trust; the OPW; the ESB; and the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin.

 

Artist's studio is located in Castlecomer Craft Yard. 

 

Website - Gormleys Fine Art 

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Dominika Stoppa

"2020", Acrylic on Canvas, €700

Dominika Stoppa is a Polish-born Artist and Educator focusing on the therapeutic aspect of art. Coming from a family with a multigenerational tradition of artists and craft makers, she received a Fine Arts Degree in 2008 (Art School in Gdynia, Poland). Dominika specialises in portraiture and symbolic botanical art. Her favourite mediums include watercolour, acrylic and linocut printing. In 2020, Dominika launched a series of adult colouring books designed to enhance wellbeing. Her signature workshop Creative Mandala (mandala.ie) is delivered online on-demand and live. Dominika designs tailored creative workshops for groups, organisations and corporations. Her Gallery & Studio is based in Castlecomer Craft Yard in Co. Kilkenny. She's the Founder & Owner of Studio Eleven Creativity and Wellbeing Centre, as well as voluntarily managing Kilkenny's Creative Hub - Castlecomer Craft Yard.

The acrylic self-portrait "2020" by Dominika Stoppa is a multi-layered artwork. Layers of paint, bumps and scratches below the skin symbolise invisible scars and challenges that we all have to deal with to grow and move forward. Stripes on the blouse refer to lockdowns, restrictions and at times feeling limited. Symbols in the background are taken from Dominika's signature workshop Creative Mandala (mandala.ie) and tell the story of personal wins and struggles in 2020,for example, the fish in the centre represents the entrepreneurial spirit and being awarded Businesswoman of the Year 2020, the book represents self-publishing a series of adult colouring books, the letter refers to a transformational event and written communication in her private life.

 

Portrait Commissions | Instagram | Facebook 

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Niamh Curry

"Self-Portrait in 2020", Oil on Canvas, €750

My name is Niamh Curry. I am a portrait and mural artist. I am originally from Clonmel but now live in a little village called Clogh just outside Castlecomer. I work from my studio (ColourHive) which is based in the Castlecomer Estate Yard.

Art has always been a big part of my life. I grew up surrounded by art; my Father was an art teacher and an avid landscape painter. I learned a lot as a child from watching my Father sketching portraits and painting landscapes.

I am a mural artist and I also like to practice linocut printmaking. My main passion is portraiture and figurative painting. I love the idea of trying to capture a person's story and personality in a painting.

The media I use are mainly oil paints and charcoal. I like to use traditional techniques with my own modern style.

In future works I hope to focus more on figurative painting, using my own experiences of growing up in Ireland.

This is my first ever self portrait. I decided to paint a self portrait because I was beginning a new chapter in my life. My kids are older now so Christmas last year I decided to take the leap and move my art career from part-time hobby to the next level, become a full-time working artist. I picked a hell of a year to start. Just when I opened my doors, like so many, I had to close them again. All my plans for the new studio had to be put on hold and I had to rethink how I was going to work through this pandemic.

As bad as this whole pandemic is, It wasn’t all bad. I had to push myself outside of my comfort zone, which can be scary but rewarding at the same time.
In this self portrait I try to fuse my love of abstract art with my love of traditional portrait painting techniques, which is something I’ve been thinking about trying for a while. The background is a piece of the mural I painted in my studio when I first moved in last January. My studio is my happy place, it has kept me sane throughout this whole Covid crisis so I wanted to incorporate it into the painting

The overall theme of the painting is attempting to capture all of the mixed emotions I have felt throughout this very strange and chaotic year that is 2020.

 

Portrait Commissions | Instagram | Facebook 

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Elwira Bernaciak

"Revival", Acrylic on Canvas, €510

Born and raised in Poland, she has been living in Ireland since 2005.

Since 2015, she registered art activity as an Art Tutor in Carlow for adults.

Since 2018 is registered as Visual Artist working for the good of art and culture in Ireland. Elwira creates works of art using acrylic paints and mixed media. Favourite accessories for art decoration- golden leaves, stones, strings, dried plants and glue. Her works are rich in colour and texture. She is inspired by life, surrounding nature and people. In constant search and discovery of art that fills souls and emotions.

She loves to combine abstract art with the real aspect.

Her art has been shown at many individual and group exhibitions in Ireland (Limerick, Dublin, Wexford, Carlow, etc.) and other countries - Italy, France, England and USA. She often takes participation in joint projects with other artists. As an independent artist, she has made a fast-paced career and is still working on new projects.

Painting perfectly refers to today's situation of isolation and seclusion, longing with loved ones and fighting for health. We want to be born again pure and faithful to nature, healthy and live in harmony with nature and ourselves. I took a photo of the flowers that I once received. After a while I found this photo did inspire me to this painting. Sometimes a small gift can brighten the dark moments of your life. The figure of a woman emerging from a sunflower flower is a symbol of struggle and strength (a woman as a revival). Torn out flakes - it's a fight for a new revival of yourself. Yellow is the color of friendship and warmth that gives hope for a better tomorrow.

 

Website | Instagram | Facebook 

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Kate Campbell

"Ted Talks", Acrylic on Paper, €450

Kate Campbell has been obsessed with books and words for as long as she can remember. A degree in French, followed by a job in a library and an M. Phil in Textual and Visual Studies only served to make this worse. She started painting and drawing in her twenties and now, having found an etching press in a skip, combines stories and images wherever possible.

Having grown up in Belfast, she lives in Carlow (and chaos) with her long-suffering husband, 3 children, 2 dogs, 2 cats and a lot of books.

Ted Talks, but YOU will not hear the same story as your best friend, your neighbour or even members of your own family. So, go within, sit with Ted for a while, and let him tell you his story. Then, if you like, share it with us.

 

Instagram | Facebook

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Clare Caron

"Reflecting", Fired Eartenware Clay, €250 for set of two. Displayed in Clare's Studio in Castlecomer Craft Yard.

Clare has been creating art since she was a small child. She has worked with the medium of clay since 2010 and graduated with a Diploma in Ceramic Arts in 2013. Also holding degrees in Anthropology, Art History and Earth Science, and having lived in Australia and New Zealand for a time, she brings all elements into her work.

 

Clare now has her studio in the Kilkenny creative hub of Castlecomer Craft Yard, nestled within this vibrant arts collective. Not letting a global pandemic slow her down, Clare is loving her new environment and is happily focused on hand-making ceramic pieces and giftware that is inspired by our environment, culture and the nature around us, with the intention of bringing joy and uplifting the soul.

 

Clare & family are settled deep within the Irish countryside, along with an accompaniment of dogs, hens, donkeys and ultimate overlord, the cat.

 

Website | Instagram | Facebook

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Dani Bergman

"Organised Confusion", Stainless Silver, €285

Displayed in Dani's Studio in Castlecomer Craft Yard.

Dani Bergman is an American-born Jeweller, proud to be an Irish citizen for the last 13 years. He designs and creates artistic jewellery using gold, silver, precious and non-presious stones. He is inspired by nature and organic shapes. Dani won several awards for his creations.

His Studio and Shop "Artists by Night Jewellery" is located in Castlecomer Craft Yard, Co. Kilkenny.

 

Instagram | Facebook

Video and Photos: Vedra Media

Instagram: @vedramedia

Contact: vedramediavm@gmail.com