MORE than 20 Cork artists received a boost recently when they learned that samples of their work will be added to the National Collection
Arts Minister Catherine Martin announced that 422 artworks by 70 Irish artists from all 32 counties will be added to the National Collection thanks to a €1million fund provided to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Crawford Art Gallery.
Cork artists Marie Brett and Leanne McDonagh have had their work acquired by IMMA, while a further 19 Cork artists have had their work acquired by the Crawford Art Gallery.
A selection of the artworks will be exhibited at Crawford Art Gallery from July 24 to September 5 and the works will appear in other collection shows from the summer on.
The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has been working with the National Cultural Institutions through the pandemic to develop meaningful ways to support artists across the country at this challenging time.
In October, Minister Martin committed €1m from her department to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery to fund the purchase of artworks by artists living and/or working in Ireland. The investment enabled the two institutions charged with collecting contemporary art to work collaboratively to support artists by buying existing artworks, bringing much- needed financial resources to the sector.
The body of 422 artworks was selected via a rigorous process by both institutions.
Spanning from 1972 to 2021, the works consist of paintings, photographic work, drawings, sculpture, installations, moving image, sound work, film, digital work, embroidery and performance.
This is a significant boost to both collections, strengthening and enhancing the breadth of style of work, making them truly representative of contemporary Irish practice and available for the public to enjoy for generations to come.
Cork artist Tom Climent said the acquisition of his work by the Crawford for the National Collection “has been a great boost for me, even more so with galleries closed and opportunities to exhibit reduced. Having a painting on public display means it lives on and hopefully reaches so many more people.”
The Crawford acquired a total of 225 works — 100 paintings, 58 photographs, 14 prints, 28 drawings, 8 sculptures, 4 installations, 1 soundwork, 5 digital films, 1 art quilt, and 6 embroideries
Its director Mary McCarthy said: “The new acquisitions are a real boost in confidence in the gallery. The additional significant funding acknowledged the difficulties artists faced during the pandemic in reaching audiences and finding platforms for sales of their work.”
The 21 Cork artists selected are:
1 Sara Baume
Sara is a West Cork-based artist and writer, who studied fine art. Her selected are, So sick and tired is a textwork originally created for Midsummer Moments, a socially-distanced reimagining of the Cork Midsummer Festival.
Baume was asked to craft a line of text in response to living in lockdown and had been fascinated by the rapid changes to the language of advertising and daily life since the outbreak of Covid-19. Made in collaboration with the National Sculpture Factory, her work was initially displayed on the building’s red-brick exterior in the summer of 2020 and was Baume’s first piece of public art.
2 Stephen Brandes
Born in Wolverhampton, Stephen has lived in Cork since 1993. He joins the National Collection with two additions to Crawford Art Gallery, Todnauberg Puppet Set and Chat Show, made during the first months of lockdown in 2020.
He explained: “Unable to travel, I subscribed to an alternative movie library and watched a film each night as a substitute. Concurrently, I began painting again with no particular aim, other than to make funny, sad and ambiguous objects, built from misappropriated images and moments pulled from these films.”
3 Angela Burchill
Angela, a prolific portrait artist from Bandon, works primarily with pastel pencils on paper and treated wood. Her portraits are bold and highly-worked, showing an instinctive approach to pattern. They capture details of her friend’s personalities with warmth.
4 Tom Climent
Based in Cork city, Tom is a painter whose work over the last 25 years has varied from paintings of figurative, urban and landscape subjects. Referencing landscape, various types of structures and natural phenomena, Climent’s Eden — oil, plaster and sand on canvas — now joins the National Collection at the Crawford Art Gallery.
5 Yvonne Condon
A dynamic artist from Midleton who is non-verbal and partially sighted, Yvonne creates bold, uncompromising images, working at great speed. She participates in Crawford Supported Studio and is a long-term member of Glasheen Artists Studio Programme.
6 Stephen Doyle
A Cork-based artist and graduate of Crawford College of Art and Design in 2017, Doyle’s work references queer identity and culture through painting and installation.
His selected piece highlights the millions of ‘Tongqui/Tongfu’, currently living in China. The coined name refers to homosexuals married to opposite sex partners because of an obligation to lineage or simply to avoid suspicion of being homosexual or for any number of personal or political reasons. It questions identity, both cultural and sexual.
7 Debbie Godsell
Debbie graduated with a Masters in Fine Art Research in 2002 from C.C.A.D. Since then she has been working full-time as an artist and an art educator, specialising in printmaking.
Her selected work, Stack, reflects the complex transitioning from traditional rural Ireland to a country that belongs in a contemporary global world. The repurposed artist prints are fashioned in the iconic style of Bord na Móna peat briquettes.
8 Fiona Kelly
Fiona graduated with distinction from the Crawford College of Art & Design in 2016. The materials in her works are also her subject matter. Her depictions of deteriorating ruins, cast-off objects and eroding edifices being slowly absorbed back into the landscape are made through those residual elements.
9 & 10 Anne Kiely & Mary Palmer
Anne, a textile artist based in Cork, digitally combines her hand screen printed images, etchings, and manipulated photographic images to produce layered designs that echo characteristics of the handmade. Products include fabrics, wallpaper and light shades.
Mary formed Marimu Designs in 2006 as a spin-off from a successful textile arts supply business. She has been involved in the quilting scene in Cork for over 25 years.
Their joint work, made for the Crawford exhibition Earth, Wind & Fire in 2019, is called Who Will Tell the Bees? and can be seen as a continuation of the history of textiles within the Cork School of Art context.
11 Roseanne Lynch
Roseanne is a Cork-based visual artist with an international photography practice looking at modernist architecture and the medium of photography itself.
12 Evgeniya Martirosyan
Evgeniya graduated from Crawford College of Art and Design in 2016. Working primarily in the mediums of sculpture and installation, she is interested in exploring the concepts of time, matter, chaos and transformation.
13 Danny McCarthy
Danny has pioneered both performance art and sound art in Ireland and continues to be a leading exponent exhibiting and performing both in Ireland and abroad. He was a founding director of Cork’s Triskel Arts Centre and the National Sculpture Factory and a former director of Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh.
14 Rosaleen Moore
Rosaleen paints places that she knows from her memories, places she passes every day and those that she imagines visiting in the future.
15 Peter Nash
Alongside his studio practice, Peter works on varied community art and education projects and as gallery technician in Lewis Glucksman Gallery, UCC. His practice includes drawing, printmaking and sculpture. The work embraces a deliberately hand-made aesthetic, and draws on influences including fairy tales, reference books and museum exhibits.
16 Ailbhe Ní Bhriain
Known for her use of film, computer generated imagery and photography, Ailbhe’s work has been exhibited widely and increasingly involved collaboration with musicians and composers, with screenings and installations incorporating recorded sound, live performance and improvisation.
Her immersive film is set in three locations, each of which has been transformed into a site of dream-like strangeness. It begins within the interior of the British Museum, moves to the site of a temporary accommodation centre reminiscent of those used to house asylum seekers in Ireland, and ends in an empty limestone quarry. Linking the three seemingly disconnected sites is an exploration of inscription, loss and imperial legacy.
17 Íde Ni Shúilleabháin
Íde is a member of Crawford Supported Studio and was recently awarded an Arts & Disability Ireland Connect Training Award.
18. Nuala O’Donovan
Cork-born artist Nuala’s intricate ceramic sculptures are inspired by nature, in particular the irregularities that manifest themselves in everything from shells to flowers. She works mainly in porcelain clay.
19 Sarah O’Flaherty
Sarah was awarded the Royal Hibernian Academy Conor Fallon Sculpture Award in 2012. She teaches at the LIT Limerick School of Art & Design.
20 Tom O’Sullivan
Tom is a Crawford Supported Studio participating artist who works mainly in acrylic paint and combines natural scenery with imaginary landscapes. He was recently awarded an Arts & Disability Connect Mentoring Grant allowing him to work alongside artist Tom Climent.
21 Michael Quane
Born in 1962 and living in Coachford, Michael has exhibited throughout Ireland, UK, Western Europe, and the US, and he is a member of Aosdána and was elected a full Member of the RHA in 2004. The fusion of science and art is a central element in Quade’s work.