Visual Arts

the arts column: February 5th


In this week’s edition of the arts column we’ve details of the latest Basic Space talk in The Hugh Lane, open calls for an anthology on direct provision, a summer residency in Dundalk as well as three shows that are due to open in Sligo and Cork.

As always, if you have an event, talk, exhibition, or would like to recommend one please get in touch via aidan[at]

Screenshot 2019-02-04 at 20.23.31

Exhibition | The Keeper @ The Model, Sligo

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the start of The Niland Collection by Nora Niland, The Model in Sligo is opening a new exhibition celebrating it and other art collections. The show, titled The Keeper; To have and to hold, is curated by Emer McGarry and features over 120 works by 70 national and international artists. The theme of the exhibition is collecting and why we are drawn to certain threads of thought. As well as the works themselves, a series of events will be run alongside the exhibition, beginning with Marie-Louise Blaney discussing the work of Mary Swaynzy on February 12th at 11:30am. The Keeper continues until April 14t and more details, including a full list of artists featured, can be found online here.


Talk| Basic Space @ The Hugh Lane

This Friday Basic Space continue their Basic Talks series in The Hugh Lane with Maïa Nunes. Nunes is an emerging artist of Irish-Trinidadian descent currently based in Dublin. After graduating from NCAD’s BFA in Textile Art and Artefact last year, Nunes was awarded the Thomas Dammann Memorial Trust Award and the Fellowship of Creative Dissent at Yerba Buena Centre of the Arts (San Fransisco). The artist is currently developing a body of interdisciplinary performance work that explores ambiguity as the site of transformative potential, ritual as healing for the afro-diaspora, and song as liberation practice. The talk is from 1pm until 2pm and with places limited to 50, attendees are encouraged to arrive early to avoid disappointment. More details can be found online here.


Opportunity| Residency @ An Táin Arts Centre, Dundalk

Dundalk’s An Táin Arts Centre have announced details of their summer residency programme. Open to recent graduates and emerging artists who are looking to establish a collaborative practice, the residency aims to encourage and assist in researching and engaging their practice within a community setting. The residency lasts for three months during July through September, and the successful applicant will be awarded a studio space, administrative support, as well as a living stipend of €1,500, a materials budget of €500 and the opportunity to use An Táin’s main space.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 28th February 2019, with full details available online here.


Exhibition | Mary-Ruth Walsh/Brian O’Doherty @ Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh

Two new shows are opening next Thursday in the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh. The first is a new body of work by Mary-Ruth Walsh titled A Silent Space in the Turning World, which sees Walsh present a reinterpretation of architecture and landscape, whilst also responding to the work of Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland. O’Doherty’s work is the topic of the second exhibition, bringing to a close a series of shows as part of the gallery’s One Here Now: the Brian O’Doherty / Patrick Ireland Project. O’Doherty took part in a residency in the space in the mid-90s, creating a series of murals on the gallery walls. They remained hidden and dormant for several years, forgotten under, ironically, the white gallery walls, until restoration began in 2018.

Both exhibitions open at 6:45pm on Thursday 14th February and is preceded by a talk by Yvonne Scott, Associate Professor of History Of Art in Trinity College, Dublin at 6pm. More details are available online here.

Image: A Silent Space in The Turning World, watercolour and pigment on paper, Mary-Ruth Walsh, 2018.


Open Call| Correspondences Anthology

Poet Jessica Traynor and actor Stephen Rea have announced details of a once-off anthology designed to raise awareness of and call for the end of direct provision – a system described as ‘a severe violation of human rights’ by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. Traynor and Rea are looking for applications from artists and writers working in the genres of prose, visual arts, journalism, essay, poetry and photography, and who have experienced, or are experiencing direct provision in Ireland.

Those interested are encouraged to send an expression of interest to, including the following:

a. For writers, a 500 word extract or up to three poems
b. For visual artists or photographers, up to five images
c. A biog detailing your experience to date
d. An expression of whether you would like to offer mentorship to an aspiring artist, or to receive mentorship from a more established artist.

More details, including a full list of artists featured, is available online here.


If you have an event, talk, exhibition, or would like to recommend one please get in touch via aidan[at]

is the Arts Editor for The Thin Air. He's also a coffee fiend, architecture enthusiast and general messer.