New Irish Painting

New Irish Painting

an introduction by Robert Armstrong, Head of Painting, NCAD

Making art is full of new beginnings. Every day, every work, every false start, every Eureka moment, every doubt and hesitation, every mistake . . . every new beginning (again!) until finally the work is shown and then starts the beginning of another process involving the audience.

The recent resurgence in popularity of painting is welcome, though it can’t be long before painting again will be diagnosed with terminal illness. Rude good health has encouraged a burgeoning of exciting new painting practice. Diversity is in - even within individual practice. No one ideology is driving painting practice. No one style is dominant. Anything goes! Perhaps now more than ever. Painting is moving out of the galleries, off the walls, into computer animation software – travelling wherever it may to interrogate its history and to satisfy the hopes and challenges set by the young artists who choose to work with and extend the potential of the medium. This is simultaneously a liberation and a challenge.

These students of the National College of Art & Design Painting Department are at the beginning of their careers, and they are up for the challenge. Their work is full of the excitement and optimism that would be expected. They welcome this opportunity to exhibit their work, and NCAD is happy to support them with this exhibition in the Context Galleries in Derry. We acknowledge in particular the enthusiasm of Marianne O’Kane in curating this exhibition.

'New Irish Painting'

Forthcoming at Context Galleries in December 2005, is an important exhibition, entitled 'New Irish Painting' by twenty-five final year BA Fine Art Painting students from the National College of Art and Design. This is an innovative one off exhibition curated by Marianne O'Kane, Curator of Cavanacor Gallery and a member of the Context Board of Directors.

This is the largest group survey exhibition of painting at the Context Galleries to date. The Context Galleries are renowned for platforming the practise of young graduates and emerging artists and yet this exhibition also illustrates the importance of the art institution itself, in that all students are in their final months of art education. There is a tendency for Fine Art graduates to focus on conceptual and lens based practise after completing their training and while this is valid and noteworthy, 'New Irish Painting' focuses solely on painting and profiles the best work of the students in this discipline. The exhibition will feature one representative work by each participant. The students are from throughout Ireland, north and south. There is a vibrant and diverse range of painting full of experimental fervour and creative passion.

The Curator has identified a unique dynamic in the art college, where collaborative workshops and discussion naturally occur between the students. It is being curated through a series of college and studio visits, accompanied by discussions with the participating group. NCAD have commended the venture as the first of its kind and a unique North/South collaboration. A publication, funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the National College of Art and Design will accompany the exhibition. This catalogue contains a feature essay by Marianne O'Kane, Curator and a Foreword by Robert Armstrong Head of Painting at the National College of Art and Design.

The participating students are: Maire O'Mahony, Oisin Byrne, Louise Butler, Lucy Sheridan, Matthew O'Kane, Carol Anne McGowan, Priscila Fernades, Kim McGlynn, Sarah O'Neill, Emer G. McKeever, Anne Hendrick, Rachel Egan, Jane Hughes, Emma Roche, David O'Kane, Aoife Miskella, Amy Sheridan, Tempy Osborne, Fiona Chambers, Liam Ryan, Mark Simpson, Maria Hildrick, Sophie Loughnan, Samantha Clarke and Olive Ambroise. 'New Irish Painting' provides a unique opportunity to view the work of up and coming names in the Irish art world and purchase their work.

10 December 2005 – 21 January 2006

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