The Owenabue Arts Collective (OAC) in Carrigaline have opened the doors of Bridge House to welcome the public to its Christmas exhibition upon the move to Level 3 restrictions.
The group of artists’ new gallery showcases a range of local fine art, craft and design and provides an opportunity to purchase Cork gifts for Christmas as a means to support local.
Over 24 local artists of diverse disciplines are displaying a range of original artwork, with gifts suitable for all pockets, making thoughtful and unique Cork Christmas gifts.
The venue also exhibits a range of craft and design, including jewellery from Crosshaven Designer Roser, unique textured creations from Hilary Nunan and tactile pieces from wood turners, Andrew O Farrell and Joseph Kennedy.
Local knitwear brand Irish Dog Design are also exhibiting Aran jackets for dogs as part of the Cork collection.
Artist and founding member of the Owenabue Arts Collective, Mary Murphy, said that the initiative is a first for Carrigaline.
“Never before have artists within our community had this opportunity to be visible as a group or had a platform to showcase their diverse talents and meet the public in a dedicated space like Bridge House,” she said.
Photographers are also represented in the gallery including member of Carrigaline Photographic Society Dave Keeley's atmospheric work.
Sven Spollen-Behrens of the Small Firms Association (SFA), highlighted the importance of supporting local after what has been an uncertain year for small businesses and those who are self-employed.
“If every adult aimed to spend €50 a week extra with a local business or service provider between now and Christmas, the €1.8 billion boost to the economy will make the outlook for the New Year a lot healthier for everyone,” he said.
Showing his support of the new gallery, singer-songwriter John Spillane also paid a visit this week to the exhibition this week.
Owenabue Arts Collective have plans in place for 2021 to make the Bridge House their long term home gallery, having undergone extensive renovation works in the lead up to its opening.
Further infrastructural work will be undertaken on the building next year to finalise the new gallery and establish the location as a key artistic and cultural destination for Carrigaline.
Silversmith Anastasia Stepnova said that the Owenabue Arts Collective was established in September “as a channel, a voice, a place for those who work in the visual arts, craft and design” with an aim to “enhance, celebrate and showcase the work of local artists to the local, national and international public”.
With the support of the Creative Ireland, the Arts Office at Cork County Council and local councillors, the Christmas exhibition opened on Wednesday, December 2 and opens daily from 10am until 6pm.