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Aisling goes viral after pandemic

Aisling Drennan found a new audience for, and engagement with, her work online after the pandemic struck THIS time last year Clare artist Aisling Drennan was facing into an uncertain future with all of her scheduled exhibitions were cancelled due to Covid-19. However, the Lisdoonvarna born, London-based abstract painter has managed to turn this setback into an opportunity and is now showcasing her works all over the world and expanding into new markets. Recalling when her shows were cancelled last year she says, “I just felt that everything had fallen apart and I didn’t know how to pick the pieces up and mend them back together. “I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that – a pure sense of loss of control. Of course, countless people also felt the same in the face of uncertainty.” However, it wasn’t long before she decided to take positive action. “There are times when you have to stand back from a situation and assess …

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Ennis’ O’Rourke brings ‘Lockdown 2020’ to artistic life

FROM witnessing first hand the devastating forest fires of Australia to experiencing Ennis’ – and the rest of the country’s – Covid-19 lock-down, local artist David O’Rourke has had an eventful year. Some of the experiences of this year has been documented in David’s latest artistic body of work which will be launched in an exhibition titled ‘Lock-down 2020’ later this month. Due to Covid-19 instead of a gallery setting the Ennis artist’s paintings will be showcased in various venues throughout the town. Eight paintings created this year combining images from Australia and Ireland including the lock-down in Ennis, will be shown in various shops to allow for social distancing. The exhibition, supported by Clare County Council, will also be displayed online, with a companion video piece to be release as part of Culture Night. David tells us that the “only positive thing about Covid is the fact it has afforded me time to dedicate to my work.” He said …

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Ennis Artist Shortlisted For Global Award

ENNIS artist Tomás O’Maoldomhnaigh has been shortlisted for a global art award. He is in the running to be named as the Wildlife Artist of the year 2020 for his painting ‘Rush Hour Okavango’. In 2018 Tomás was lucky enough to explore Southern Africa, namely some of the national parks of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia with a quick visit to Johannesburg South Africa. In 2019 Tomás held a solo art exhibition in Limerick celebrating the nature and landscape of these marvellous wild places. The shortlisted painting was featured in this exhibition titled ‘Under African Skies’. “Africa possesses beauty like no other land. There is a range of habitats and geographic locations from the swamps of the Okavango to the Namib desert,” he explains. The painting depicts early one morning in the Okavango delta. “We travelled in the dark by dugout canoe to a riverbank. We could hear the screeching of the monkeys as they descended from the safety their roost …

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Depicting Clare Moments

Newmarket-on-Fergus based artist Philip Brennan to unveil 23rd solo exhibition NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS based artist, Philip Brennan, will unveil his 23rd solo exhibition in Ennis on Wednesday September 11 after taking a six year break from exhibiting. The exhibition, entitled Clare Moments, feature 43 paintings which in the main comprise of watercolours, with a few mixed medium pieces. Philip who is based in Stonehall, has always had a fascination with landscapes and wildlife, and it is no surprise that these feature heavily in his latest works, but there are still a handful which capture people, although as he says “not nearly enough”. Clare Moments is to be officially launched by Seosamh O Conchubhair at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis at 8pm on Wednesday next, with a preview at 6pm, and it will be on display until the following evening at 8pm. Philip will then follow this with a three week exhibition of the same paintings at Culturlann Sweeney in Kilkee in …

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Ennis artist presents rare works in documentary

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has been given unprecedented access to the State’s art collection housed in Leinster House for a landmark one-hour documentary, which will debut on Monday. For the first time in broadcasting history, the collection will be showcased in House of Art. Having been given unprecedented access, Royal Hibernian Academy president, Mick O’Dea, discovers the stories, the artists and the people behind this unique collection, revealing a rich tapestry of our socio-political history. The documentary, produced by Red Shoe Productions, will be launched with a premiere screening in The Little Museum of Dublin, where Mick and director Maggie Breathnach will do a question and answer session.The documentary will then debut on Oireachtas TV on Monday at 8pm. There are over 300 pieces of priceless art housed in Leinster House. With the foundation of the State in 1922, successive governments were keen to create a pantheon of heroes aimed at affirming national self-image. With over 18,000 pieces in the …

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Ennis artist paints President’s portrait

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has completed an official portrait of President Michael D Higgins, which will hang in Leinster House throughout his time in office, before being moved to Áras an Uachtaráin after his departure from office. “The annual Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) exhibition will be opening on May 22 and I’m going to show the newly completed official portrait of President Higgins,” said Mick. While he has recently exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy and will have another painting in London’s Royal Academy over the summer, he said this is the most important one for him. “For a portrait painter, it is a big honour. I’m humbled to have been asked to do it.” In relation to where the official portrait will be on show, he explained. “It will hang in the Áras, along with the previous Presidential portraits, once he leaves office. I’ll be showing it in the RHA, which I’m currently president of, and when that exhibition …

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Back to Buckingham

NORTH Clare artist, Michael Hanrahan has been invited again to Buckingham Palace to deliver his painting, entitled The Horse-Drawn Carriage At Windsor. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth gave Michael permission to paint various scenes from the historic visit of Irish President, Michael D Higgins to the United Kingdom last April. She also said she wished to see the work on completion. She has now written to the artist, accepting Michael’s gift of this painting. The painting depicts the Australian State carriage as it made its way to Windsor Castle, carrying the Queen and President Higgins. Michael will deliver the painting to Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm on Monday, October 6. This is the artist’s second visit to the palace, having presented a further painting, entitled The Queen at the Garden of Remembrance. This painting followed Queen Elizabeth’s historic visit to Ireland in 2011. Michael was the only artist accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs to capture this visit on canvas. The …

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O’Dea on the mend

ENNIS born internationally-renowned artist Mick O’Dea has described his recent accident, which left him with serious injuries, as a “very close call.” The award-winning artist was brought to the Mater Hospital for surgery after an accident on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in January. He said he was “very lucky” to have escaped with his life. Mr O’Dea is now recovering at his home in Dublin, having spent a week in hospital, where he spent a number of days in intensive care. “I just have to take it easy now for a couple more weeks and try and heal,” he told The Clare Champion. He said the impact “shattered” his spleen, which had to be surgically removed. He praised the surgical team and all at the Mater Hospital saying “they saved me”. The accident occurred on January 17 when Mr O’Dea was cycling on O’Connell Street. He recalled, “I was cycling along O’Connell Street and somebody walked out in front of me …

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