Keep Ormston House Open August 2018

Support Ormston House by signing this petition. We are losing valuable visual arts space in Ireland at an alarming rate, with over 50% of visual arts studio space closed in Dublin alone over the last four years. The contribution Ormston House has made to both the visual arts in Limerick and nationally, is incalculable, but if its stats you need, visit

Ormston House Limerick

And they are not alone….

Engage Studios in Galway city also losing their building after many years of providing valuable studio space to visual artists in Galway, including a successful artist led exhibition programme.

Details below:

Making Space for Dublin Artists – Nathan O’Donnell, Apollo Magazine – June 2016



Courtesy of the artist Gerard Byrne 2015

Image: Courtesy of the artist Gerard Byrne 2015 © Gerard Byrne


Over recent years, as the Irish property market has recovered, complexes of artists’ studios have closed all over Ireland, though the concentration of property interests in Dublin has seen the capital particularly affected. Recent accounts suggest that as much as 50 per cent of studio space may have been lost, either to redevelopment or rent hikes; these range from the homegrown warehouse spaces, which sprang up during the recession, to longstanding professional studio hubs providing space for Ireland’s most established visual artists.


It has been framed as a familiar, maybe inevitable process: artists provide both maintenance and cachet for vacant or unsaleable space during hard times, only to be ejected when prospects improve. This can induce a degree of fatalism, as if the interests of property speculators were insuperable – which is, in fact, how they are often treated in this country. Yet this need not be the case. On the contrary, this pattern should indicate a serious (and rectifiable) failure on the part of policy-makers to support a sector often enlisted for political grandstanding – about Irish ‘achievements’ – abroad.

Such infrastructural failings are longstanding, but there are specific reasons why the current crisis marks an escalation of the problem. The recent ‘recovery’ of the property market in Ireland – in fact, a very different market to its predecessors – has seen the arrival of vulture funds and the widespread hoarding of property by developers. This has led to a grotesquely skewed, profiteer-driven free-for-all, with massive increases in evictions and homelessness. The National Management Asset Agency (NAMA) , the ‘bad bank’ established by the state in 2009 to effectively underwrite the then-failing property market, has been accused of contributing to this overall housing crisis, to which the studio shortage is naturally connected. In the face of such systemic dysfunction, protest has been made to feel somewhat futile.


Last days at Broadstone Studios, July 2015

Last days at Broadstone Studios, July 2015 © Louis Haugh


In recent months, however, objecting voices have begun to be heard, prompted in particular by the closure of Broadstone Studios, one of the longest-established complexes in the city. Broadstone had been home to many of Ireland’s most prominent artists, among them Gerard Byrne – Ireland’s representative at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007 – who has written of the damaging effects of recent closures upon the ecology of the Irish art world.

Byrne is one of a number of artists and activists – among them Broadstone’s founder, Jacinta Lynch and Helen Carey of of Fire Station Studios – who, in July 2015 formed the Creative Spaces Collective (CSC) to campaign for better support of studio and production space. Earlier this month, councillors met for a final review of the draft Dublin City Development Plan, 2017–22. Ahead of this, the CSC petitioned for a number of amendments, including guaranteed studio provision in new developments, consultation with artists, and recognition of Culture and Heritage as a zoning objective (meaning a commitment to a minimum percentage provision). Two city councillors, Rebecca Moynihan (Labour) and Claire Byrne (Green), have been particularly supportive of the campaign, tabling a motion to increase studio supply and include art spaces in the Council’s mixed-use scheme; this was passed on 31 May 2016.

This is a positive step, strengthening the position of the arts in the planning process and decreasing the sector’s traditional, problematic reliance on ‘goodwill’. The CSC has been part of a wider groundswell of protest in recent weeks, following the downgrading of departmental representation for the arts, discussed recently by Robert O’Byrne. In the government’s defence, the Minister in charge, Heather Humphreys, has pointed to (questionable) increases in funding levels (which nevertheless remain among the lowest in Europe). Without a properly functioning ecosystem to enable support, representation, and career development, professional realities for artists in Ireland will continue to give the lie to officially propagated representations abroad of a ‘thriving’ Irish arts scene.


Nathan O’Donnell

Apollo Magazine, June 2016



Dublin has an artistic crisis on its hands. Now is the time to act, by Gerard Byrne, Irish Times – 27 May, 2016















Around this time every year Dublin’s art schools open their doors. Their degree exhibitions announce the arrival of graduating artists into broader society. The regularity of this occasion shouldn’t dull us to its significance. Each year I watch awkward suburban dads, rural mums, and inner-city grannies wander, by times proud or deeply challenged, among the cryptic and provocative art shows of their children and their class-mates.

The sincerity, the communality, the open-mindedness on display on all sides is a rare moment. But just as this moment of communion announces the graduates’ arrival, it also signals their imminent dispersal. Invariably many will soon migrate, which is no tragedy. But for all our sakes Dublin also needs to be a viable option for some to stay, and in the long run, to return to.
Last year, after 15 years of continuously precarious tenancies, and a traumatic eviction, suddenly I had no studio in Dublin after the closure of Broadstone Studios. Thirty other established artists, several of whom had represented Ireland at Venice biennales for example, also lost their working spaces.

The significant historic building where we were tenants later received planning permission for conversion to luxury apartments, trebling its value. It is currently on the market. A vibrant property market has its merits, but when a good deal brings to a close 30-plus indigenous artistic and artisanal businesses, it begs serious questions about what sort of sustainability our policy-makers are cultivating in Dublin. In an economy of miraculous value increases, property hoarding and overseas vulture funds, is Dublin still a sustainable option for already committed local artists and artisans, let alone being attractive to the forthcoming crops of art school graduates?

Our loss was one of several signals of what has turned into a crisis for artists’ studios over the last year. Close to 50% of Dublin’s organised artists’ studio spaces have disappeared since then, crushed in the very particular and extreme dynamics of the current commercial property market in the city. This is a market in which national and local government agencies remain major influencers, and where artists like others with small turnovers but significant space needs, are highly vulnerable. Being almost uniquely autonomous, artists can just up and leave, and start again elsewhere, and that’s exactly what many are doing, in Berlin, Brussels, or Leitrim – basically wherever they can continue to practice. More established artists like myself, with deeper roots here, are left working for solutions.

Either way Dublin is again renewing a chronic pattern of hemorrhaging its artists. Many of Irelands most important artists – Dorothy Cross, Alice Maher, or James Coleman – have born the brunt of the Dublin property market, lost their studios, and subsequently moved out. Very few established artists remain here. And right now the sense is that, just as my own generation are attempting to consolidate firm working arrangements in the city, we are being forced out too.
Dublin is the poorer for this pattern, perennially cast as the place left behind, less dynamic, less enlightened, and more provincial than it should be. Paradoxically, even as the city left behind, it still has a tenuous claim to be a great city of the arts.

Ulysses speaks to Joyce’s own life experience as an artist in the city, notwithstanding the obvious fact that Joyce too was forced to leave. That profound reflection upon the lived experience of Dublin, is largely why, rather beautifully, every Dubliner feels ownership in the carving out of that great work. Such is the significance of art made for us, and among us. We all own a part of it no matter who pays for it. Art is after all an act of sharing, and it enacts a generosity incomprehensible to “the market”. This is intuitively grasped by the earnest parents wandering slightly overwhelmed, hands clasped behind their backs, through the degree shows of Thomas Street and Grangegorman.

In contrast, when I travel to do exhibitions in the museums of Gothenburg, or Graz, or St Gallen, for example, the gracious welcome I receive, speaks of enlightened cities where artists are enthusiastically received precisely because they are scarce. Like the mythic town of Hamlyn bereft of children because of a debt not settled, few artists live there. In those museums I sense the idea that art emerges only from wooden shipping crates, fully formed, and reflective only of life elsewhere.

A year ago, when the studio building was lost, I was stunned to see the fatalism and glaring deficit of policy and action around the place of artists to this wild city. Working together with colleagues under the name of Creative Spaces Collective, we’ve earnestly addressed this with local and national government. As Dublin City councillors negotiate the final details of the Dublin City Development plan next week, newly graduating artists and others not so young, are looking for clear signals of intent that DCC recognises its critical role in sustainably developing a city artists and artisans can work in, a city where diversity is sustainable.
Gerard Byrne is an artist, currently based in Dublin. He is professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, Copenhagen

Irish Times, Thursday 26 May, 2016

Further information available at:


Damien Flood: Infinite Plane – Grey Noise, Dubai UAE, 25 May – 31 July 2015





















Damien Flood

Infinite Plane


Grey Noise

Unit 24, Alserkal Avenue,

Street 8, Al Quoz 1, Exit 43 – SZR,

Dubai, UAE.


May 25 – July 31, 2015,



Hunch, Sleeper, Red Flag – the titles Damien Flood selects for his paintings tell and obfuscate, tease and test. From word to paint, paint to word, any hint of object or subject is scattered to the four winds by Flood’s shorthand signature of stenographic strokes and squeegee trails of paint. Confronted with these verbal and visual ‘Big Bangs’ our eyeballs become castaways amidst a burgeoning unreality, where boundlessness resides within restrictiveness.


Guy, Lovers, Corset, from Flood’s verbal leg-ups we find purchase on the painted stuff that make up the artist’s very own cosmology. Deliberate squiggles drawn with the tip of a loaded paintbrush give definition, perform perspective leaps, and knit the marvellous matter of Flood’s nebulous universe together. We may be underwater, in a dream, or wandering across the cornea of something other? Whatever the lens, these freshly discovered new geographies challenge the capacity of the mind’s eye to construct a safe vantage point from which to begin looking, anew.


Constatin Brâncuși once stated “I ground matter to find the continuous line”. One of Flood’s most recent paintings titled Award, a painting that is Brâncușian in its curvilinear profile and golden resplendence, also demonstrates a similar marriage between matter and line. But form is only half of the story here. From the kinked rainbow in Frame to the doubly kinked telescope in Astronomer, an ambitious metaphysics of vision is taking place within and without the work. In the end Damien Flood’s paintings teeter on the very edges of … edges.

Text by James Merrigan


For his first solo exhibition at Grey Noise, Flood undertook a two-week research trip to Dubai and the surrounding areas of Sharjah and the cost of Oman. This trip formed a starting point for the paintings in ‘Infinite Plane’. Flood documented his time through drawing, photography and text, in particular examining the juxtaposition of the newly built landscape with the enveloping historical areas. The paintings tow a line between abstract and figurative, at points becoming artefacts of his journey or records of witnessed events. The work offers the viewer a mood and feeling of the landscape while delving into the psychology of being a spectator in a new land.


This exhibition was made possible by the kind support of the Arts Council of Ireland, Elizabeth Fitzpatrick Travel Award and Culture Ireland.


About the Artist

b. 1979, Dublin, Ireland / Lives and works in Dublin, Ireland


Damien Flood’s work is grounded in early writings on philosophy, theology, alchemy and the natural sciences and explores the mutability of ‘reality’ and language.


Group exhibitions include: N G O R O N G O R O, Berlin Art Weekend, Lehderstr. 34, Berlin (2015); Promise of Palm Trees, Breese Little, London (2015); Renew, Green On Red Gallery, Dublin (2014); Island: New Art From Ireland, Galleria Civica di Modena, Italy (2013); Flood/NiBhriain/Vari, DOMOBAAL, London (2013); Cafe Paridiso (Least common denominator, or Rustenschacher), M1, Germany (2013); Making Familiar, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2012); Crystalline, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Co. Armagh (2012); Last, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2012).


Solo exhibitions include: Interior Sun, Green On Red Gallery, Dublin (2014); Theatre of the World, Ormston House, Limerick (2012); Upland, Mermaid Arts Centre (2011); History of the Visitation, Green On Red Gallery, Dublin (2011) and Counter Earth, Green On Red Gallery, Dublin (2010). Flood was selected for the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize in 2008 and 2010 and has had 3 books published: Afterworlds in 2013; Spectral Gallery in 2011 and Selected Works in 2010.


Damien Flood is represented by Green On Red Gallery, Dublin.


Damien Flood will also be participating in Berlin Artist Weekend, 30 April – 3 May 2015 and Galway Arts Centre – Product Recall, 30 May – 4 July 2015



For further information:


Sofie Loscher: Light Falls – Green on Red Gallery Dublin, 14 May – 11 June 2015














Light Falls

Scott Lyall|Liadin Cooke|Sofie Loscher|Bridget Riley|Mark Joyce|Marcia Hafif

Green on Red Gallery,

Park Lane, Spencer Dock,

Dublin 1


May 14th – June 11th 2015

Light Falls, an exhibition of paintings and sculpture by an international array of artists including Scott Lyall, Liadin Cooke, Sofie Loscher, Bridget Riley, Mark Joyce and Marcia Hafif.


The works, which hail from different geographical contexts, express a shared attentiveness to the physical properties and enigmatic effects of light. Paint, plastic and paper become media of absorption, reflection and refraction, alluding to each artist’s indebtedness to this invisible energy.


The collection of works explore the poetic, scientific, synthetic and spiritual sensibilities of light. Light falls on and through various media presenting the viewer with works that have an autonomous life and ‘light’ of their own.


For Further information:



Gabhann Dunne: Magenta Honey, The Lab Foley St, Dublin, 30 April – 13 June 2015


















Gabhann Dunne

Magenta Honey

Dublin City Council

Arts Office

The Lab

Foley Street

Dublin 1


30 April – 13 June 2015


Preview 30th April 6-8pm


Informing Gabhann Dunne’s practice is a widespread of literature, social commentators and ecologists such as John Gray, Mark Rowlands and Emma Marris. Painting is not used analytically but to interrogate how different forms or techniques can be used with each other to create tension, power and the sacred. Imagery leaks from the canvas onto walls and floors, anchoring the work in the space of its showing, a loop of flowers, a small pillow to break the fall of a painted animal. While the subject of the work may seem overly dark and nihilistic there is humour here, compassion, apology and a desire to protect. Magenta Honey is the result of Dunne’s Residency on Bull Island, which has been designated since 1981 by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. It is the only Biosphere Reserve entirely in a capital city in the world.

This exhibition is accompanied by a specially commissioned text by Nathan Hugh O’Donnell, writer and editor of Paper Visual Arts Journal.


The LAB Gallery supports emerging art practices and focuses on fresh ways to develop engaged audiences for the visual arts. Visit The LAB Gallery to see our current exhibitions or take part in our special events, talks and workshops.

Admission to The LAB Gallery is free Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturdays 10am to 5pm


Further information available at:



David Fagan: Special closing event excursion – He saw the world and was left wanting, Siamsa Tíre Gallery Tralee, Sat. 2 May









Saturday 2 May 2025

Departing Dublin 9.15am

Celebrating David Fagan’s solo show at Siamsa Tíre, there’s going to be an excursion. Join the artist and curator, Emer Lynch, for this special closing event on Saturday 2 May, taking in sights and sounds from Dublin city to Limerick to Tralee and back again, with various events and offerings happening en-route.


Event timeline, Sat 2 May

09:15 Meet at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, 42 Wellington Quay, Dublin city

09:30 Bus departs Dublin


12:00 Arrive at Ormston House, Limerick

Pick-up point for Limerick travellers to Tralee

Director Mary Conlon will give a short tour of the exhibtion Leave Now By Any Practical Means by Dawn West

12:45 Depart Ormston House


14:30 Arrive in Tralee

Drop-off points will be offered at various places around Tralee. Bring a jumper/ sun cream if you fancy a walk along Tralee’s coast or canal, or swimwear to visit The Aqua Dome (prices here).

16:30 Meet artist David Fagan and curator Emer Lynch at the gallery, Siamsa Tire

18:00 Bus departs from Tralee


19:45 Drop-off at Limerick city

21:30 Arrive back to Dublin city centre


For more details about the exhibition,visit:

Booking in advance is essential. We regret that bus tickets are non-refundable.

Made possible with the generous support of Siamsa Tíre.


David Fagan: He saw the world and was left wanting – Siamsa Tíre Gallery, Tralee, Co. Kerry 4 April – 2 May, 2015










David Fagan

He saw the world and was left wanting


Siamsa Tíre Theatre,

Town Park, Tralee,

Co Kerry,


4 April – 2 May, 2015


A solo exhibition by Dublin based artist David Fagan, ‘He saw the world and was left wanting’ features a selection of audio-visual pieces that explore viewer engagement with both place and time.


The works exist internationally and in potential multiplicity through their handling of live web cameras and television broadcasting. Through these systems, visitors are invited to encounter parts of the earth remote to them.


However, despite the aspirations involved in transmitting a moment or object, what watching from afar more often than not reveals is the enormity of our disconnection – both geographical and personal.


Curated by Emer Lynch


The Galleries are open daily from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday.  Admission is free.




Isabel Nolan: Bent Knees are a Give – Kerlin Gallery Dublin, 1 April – 16 May 2015

Image: Isabel Nolan, Hungry and Thirsty. Sorry and Angry. A flag for John Donne. (detail), 2015, cotton and powder coated mild steel flag pole, dimensions variable, courtesy of the artist and Kerlin Gallery Dublin
























Isabel Nolan

Bent Knees are a Give


Kerlin Gallery

Anne’s Lane

South Anne Street

Dublin 2



1 April – 16 May 2015

Preview 31 March 2015, 6 – 8pm



In this body of work, Isabel Nolan explores the anxieties implicit in the quest for power. Drawing upon eclectic research, Nolan’s practice incorporates sculpture, photography, painting and text-based work.


A central motif in the exhibition is the funerary sculpture of the poet and cleric John Donne (1572-1631). Based on a study made in the final weeks of Donne’s life,where he staged his own resurrection, he appears to be joyfully accepting of his imminent death. Donne’s unperturbed countenance is  perhaps belied by the gentle bends in his knees which interrupt the otherwise inviolate, erect statue.


The gentle bends in Donne’s knees are echoed and amplified in a series of violently bent flag poles flanking the gallery space. Their banners hang unceremoniously in various states of distress and dishevelment. Nearby, a golden yellow lion offers its paw, punctured by a bronze thorn, awaiting assistance from some surrogate St. Jerome.


Bends reveal doubt, signal distress, admit failure – it is the bend that offers us a way into thinking about and against systems that rely on perfection.Pinpointing the weak points in these traditional motifs of power and imperial strength, Nolan exposes the ultimate ineffectuality of concrete objects in the face of time. Donne’s attempt to assert his future existence serves rather to crystallise the transience of his existence, ultimately revealing his vulnerability.


Isabel Nolan’s recent solo shows include Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014); Sean Kelly Gallery, New York ( 2014 ); Musée d’art moderne de Saint Etienne, France (2012); the Return Gallery, Goethe Institute, Dublin (2012); and The Model, Sligo (2011). Other solo shows include Goethe Institute (2003); Project Arts Centre (2005); Gallery 2, Douglas Hyde Gallery, (2008) all in Dublin; Artspace, New Zealand (2008); In the Studio, as part of Glasgow International (2006). She represented Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale in a group exhibition, ‘Ireland at Venice 2005’. Nolan recently showed in The Black Moon, curated by Sinziana Ravini in Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013). Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Mercer Union, Toronto in 2015, and CAG, Vancouver in 2016.


Sofie Loscher, Niamh O’Doherty: Intelligent Machinery – Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin, 3 April – 31 May, 2015















Intelligent Machinery

Sofie Loscher | Jonathan Mayhew | Niamh O’Doherty

Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin


Exhibition Dates: April 3rd–May 31st


Preview: Thursday, April 2nd (6.30-8.30pm).


The exhibition will be opened by an introduction to the works by Curator Hilary Murray and finish with a DJ set by Keep Schtum.


“A polarity is presently developing between the finite, unique work of high art, that is, painting or sculpture, and conceptions that can loosely be termed unobjects, these being either environments or artifacts that resist prevailing critical analysis. This includes works by some primary sculptors (though some may reject the charge of creating environments), some gallery kinetic and luminous art, some outdoor works, happenings, and mixed media presentations. Looming below the surface of this dichotomy is a sense of radical evolution that seems to run counter to the waning revolution of abstract and nonobjective art. The evolution embraces a series of absolutely logical and incremental changes.” (1)


The exhibition ‘Intelligent Machinery’ explores ideas that inform artificial intelligence, pattern recognition (in neural networks), complex networks, coding, and how these factors have been used in seminal moments in our history. The classical grid of Art History has given way to the ‘system’, and modern forms of invention have to deal with a norm composed of complex inputs often concerned with redaction, obfuscation and reflection. Art that is made up of unitary incremental actions, reflects an innate logicism that is greater than the individual; each unit and each work, creating a full mechanism for that place and time of exhibition. “To understand art as software is to understand it in terms of codes and information rather than in material or medium-specific terms (2)”. A contemporary art-tech revolution now sees works created that play on this lack of transparency in collective agenda, ascribing a new form of mechanical perception within the confusion of digital avatars.


Sofie Loscher (b. 1987) lives and works in Dublin. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from NCAD and a BA in Visual Arts Practice from IADT. Recent exhibitions include Neutral: Tulca Festival of Visual Arts, Galway (2014); EVA International, Limerick (2014) and Periodical Review #4, Pallas Projects/Studios, Dublin (2014).


Jonathan Mayhew (b. 1981) is currently based in Paris. He holds an MFA and BA in Painting from NCAD. Recent exhibitions include Elefants, The Joinery, Dublin (2014); Housing a Pig, Flood, Dublin (2013) and (((O))), Clonlea Studios, Dublin (2013).


Niamh O’Doherty (b. 1988) is a visual artist based in Dublin. O’Doherty graduated from Fine art at Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2010 and an MA in Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD in 2013. She was recently awarded a grant from She was selected to exhibited at Kilruddery House, Co. Wicklow (2013) and a had a solo exhibition at Broadstone Studios (2014) and has previously shown in London at the Wayward Gallery (2010) and at Slade School of Art (2011).


1. Jack Burnham (1968) Systems Esthetics.

2. Francis Halsall, (2008) ‘Systems Aesthetics and the system as media’ taken from Francis Halsall, Systems of Art, (Peter Lang, 2008).


This exhibition is curated by Dr. Hilary Murray, Director of ArtBox for Farmleigh Gallery. This exhibition is part of the ArtBox Projects initiative.



For further information: