New Irish Painting, artists / catalogue cover

New Irish painting
Originally uploaded by contextgalleries.

Matthew O'Kane, in New Irish Painting

Matthew O'Kane
Originally uploaded by contextgalleries.

Olive Ambrose, in New Irish Painting

Olive Ambrose
Originally uploaded by contextgalleries.

Tempy Osborne, in New Irish Painting

Tempy Osborne
Originally uploaded by contextgalleries.

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

Portrait of Ali, Colin Peck

portraits of ali

portraits of ali
colin peck

Context Galleries presents an exhibition of new photographs by Colin Peck, the internationally known documentary filmmaker based in Prehen House, Derry.

The photographs, collectively known as Portraits of Ali are an intense series of experimental portraits using long exposure and medium format photography.

Colin Peck has worked as documentary filmmaker throughout Europe and Asia, with his works broadcast by most major networks including ARTE, BBC, ARD, ABC, NHK, RTL.

Exhibition previews Saturday 26th November at 8pm.
Exhibition continues until December 3rd.

background image, John Matthews, Tonight Lets Get Lost


Context Galleries presents a specially programmed event as a parallel to the Foyle Film Festival 2005:


In March 2005, filmmaker Tracy Cullen approached Context Galleries with a concept for an exhibition which would open up to young people both the medium and the practice of art using video. With the generous support of The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland Use Your Imagination Award, we have been able to present this as a key commitment to our Outreach process and to supporting emerging artists.

In this unique exhibition and access project, a team of young people from a rich multiplicity of backgrounds have collectively selected, programmed and designed a Context Galleries exhibition, on the theme of peace-building, of art works on video. These videos were responses to our calls to artists to submit works on that theme. As part of the team’s process of exploring the idea of peace-building and the medium of video, they have also made their own video on that theme, with filmmaker Tracy Cullen.

The videographers are:

Andrew Boyle
Rosanne Dowling
Erin McDevitt
Conor Norris
Simona Spinola

The artists from Ireland, Finland, Scotland and USA that they have selected are:

Bronwen Casson
Jacqueline Galvin
Stephen Gunning
Elina Hartzell
John Matthews
Ailie Rutherford
Lee Welch

Exhibition opens at 8pm, Wednesday 16 November
Exhibition continues until December 3

work in The Moving Image by Catherine Chaumont

The Moving Image… Magic boxes and story films...Boscaí Draíochta agus Scannáin Seanchais

Context Galleries presents specially programmed events in parallel with the Foyle Film Festival 2005:

The Moving Image… Magic boxes and story films
Boscaí Draíochta agus Scannáin Seanchais

A collaboration between Jan Caspers and artists from three different countries, Catherine Chaumont of Québec, Canada, Ian Joyce of Donegal, Ireland and Julia Oschatz of Germany, ‘The Moving Image’ combines traditional printmaking with the moving images of early story film reels thus drawing an interesting parallel to the contemporary Foyle Film Festival which takes place at the same time.

Each artist presents three print cycles. The prints will eventually be mounted on conveyor belts and operated as continuous loops in mechanical screen cases. Thus only one set of three images will remain visible at any time, resulting in ever changing aspects of the landscapes, stories and abstract representations that form the subject of the cycles.

Born in Germany, Jan Caspers has worked in the medium of story and shadow films for a number of years. In the summer of 2003 he brought together three visual artists as part of an Údaras na Gaeltachta project entitled ‘Boscaí Draíochta – Scannáin Seanchais’. This project aimed to complement the work of schoolchildren who had made story films of their own with the work of artists with different visual vocabularies.

Catherine Chaumont is from Québec and works as a printmaker and piano teacher in Montréal. Her main interest is in the combination of visual art with language and music.

Ian Joyce is from Ireland and works as a printmaker and audiovisual artist in Donegal. He runs Cló Ceardlann na gCnoc, a printmaking workshop and artists’ resource centre in Bunbeg in the Donegal Gaeltacht.

Julia Oschatz is from Germany and works as a painter and visual artist in Frankfurt. She has exhibited widely in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Iceland and New York.

Preview Wednesday November 16th. Runs until December 3rd 2005.


Piece exhibition of Craft, Applied Art and Design loosely based on the theme of "peace".

Thirteen artists were selected by a prestigious selection panel to exhibit a very diverse range of work. From ceramics, jewellery, glass, textiles and mixed media, this new exhibition organised by Craftmark is a unique opportunity to view work inspired by the artists' very personal interpretation of the theme.

The exhibition was opened by Her Worship the mayor, Councillor Lynn Fleming.

Tuesday 15th November 2005 until Tuesday 22nd November.

Presented at the Context Galleries by Craftmark in association with the Economic Development Section, Derry City Council.

For more information see:

background image: Ruth Rogers, Rush Hour Bomb, 2005

Damaged Collateral

Damaged Collateral:
Inner City Gothic
And the Suburban Sublime

George Bolster – Denzil Browne – Amanda Dunsmore
Fiona Larkin – James Lumsden – Sean Lynch
Theresa Nanigian – Ruth Rogers

Bird Flu, Binge Drinking, Anti – Social Behaviour, Suicide Bombers and Global Warming. Fear is Man’s best friend. Paranoia is on first name terms. ‘Damaged Collateral: Inner City Gothic and the Suburban Sublime’ the new exhibition at Context Galleries sheds light on our various demons. From the playful to the downright sinister Damaged Collateral explores the fear that haunts modern living and the failure of political and philosophical utopias. Theresa Nanigian explores the constantly shifting zone between stagnation and anarchy and spontaneous adaptability while George Bolster documents the insidious and sometimes blatant marketing of violence to children through toys and games. Ruth Rogers takes innocuous images from newspaper colour supplements and subverts them into carrying highly-charged messages using only the intervention of correction fluid and the newspaper's own main headline. Sean Lynch details crowd barriers, stacked for potential use at urban gatherings such as July 12 in Belfast, Columbus day in New York and St Patrick’s Day in Dublin. The visuality around these objects presents the clear agendas that we, as urban dwellers, must deal with. Amanda Dunsmore documents abandoned building complexes in Weimar, in Eastern Germany, constructed by the Nazis and appropriated by the Soviets, their decaying rooms holding more than remnants of ideologies. James Lumsden’s work is from into two distinct yet related series; Fascination aims to reflect the power of propaganda to manipulate, seduce and coerce - where fictions can be seen to become truths through constant repetition. In the paintings Revelation and Disclosure an illusion of light is highlighted as a fabrication by the exposure within the picture plane of the underlying material support. If the illusory light is seen as a metaphor for an unattainable utopian perfection, the revelation of the material reality beneath the painting acts as a reminder to question, to look beneath the surface of what is perceived. Fiona Larkin also questions the media she uses, this time photography in a series of three works which use elements of collage to disrupt the perfect surface of the photographs. Denzil Browne uses pin-hole camera techniques in a series of night time images, the long exposure time depopulating the works creating eerie atmospheric nightscapes filled with tension and the probability of trouble.


Sean Lynch: Social Sculpture 1, 2 & 3 (2005)

Fiona Larkin: The Kindness of Strangers (2005)

George Bolster: Conditioned: Follow – Off to School – Distraction – Text – Playground (2003 A0 Lazerjet Print)

Ruth Rogers

Denzil Browne

Amanda Dunsmore: ‘Peripherie' 5 minute loop with separate CD audio
(1997 – 2004)

James Lumsden: Revelation; Fascination (Polyptych)

Theresa Nanigian Threshold (2004)

27th October – 12th November 2005
War of the WorldsA recreation of the infamous Orson Welles radio broadcast
By the Orbit Theatre Company