at Origin Gallery 1st – 18th October 2016
From the article written by Nicola Gordon Bowe for the Irish Arts Review:
“In 2014, four women – Kathryna Cuschieri, Vivienne Bogan, Jane Seymour and Nicola Henley – living and working in East Clare, each at the peak of their varied and successful careers as professional artists, showed their work at a multidipsciplinary exhibition, ‘Elemental Dialogue’ at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, Co Clare.
Having collaborated on various applied arts and educational projects over the previous seven years, they recognized that such was their rapport and understanding of each other’s work, and their mutual preoccupation with ‘the huge skies, the rugged terrain and the sea’s energy’ through which they continue explore their own deeper spiritual dimensions, they decided to form a group which could provide original contemporary artworks for interiors.
They called it ‘Croí‘ from the Irish meaning ‘Heart’ because that is what they reckoned they brought to their work collectively and individually, with their ongoing commitment to ‘exploring the dynamics of the four elements – earth, air, fire, and water’ through expertly crafted yet emotionally instilled pieces.”
The art of textile…Nicola Henley
Nicola Henley studied Fine Art Textiles at Goldsmith’s College, London in 1984 then worked in Bristol until moving to Ireland in 1991. She has exhibited and lectured widely in The UK, Ireland, Scotland, the USA, Australia, Japan and Spain and worked on many private and corporate commissions since 1985.
Her work is represented in many public collections including The British Crafts Council, Cunard Cruise Line, Embroiders Guild UK, British Rail, Kyoto Museum of Modern Art, Gallery Pousse, Tokyo, Microsoft Ireland, XL Group HQ Dublin and numerous private collections. She was awarded first prize for excellence in her category at The RDS National Crafts Awards in Dublin and The Michael Smith O’Brien Perpetual Challenge Cup 2015.
Nicola’s large-scale textiles are made by dyeing, painting, and screen-printing on cotton calico and then texturing the surface by adding Japanese hand made paper, silk and muslin using machine and hand stitch. Drawing inspiration from bird flight, aerial views, coastal landscapes and the natural environment, she changes scale from large areas of print and painting (using dyes and pigments) to intimate stitching, which helps to convey the contrast of near detail with vast open space of sky, landscape or seascape.
The magic of glass…Kathryna Cuschieri
Kathryna Cuschieri was born in Malta and moved to England in 1976 and then to Ireland in 1993. She is a ‘glass adventurer’ and rejects the common perception of glass as fragile and see-through. She uses the flexible potential and properties of hot glass to explore the emotions that carry the inner world of visions, dream images and fairy tale.
She envisions her work as an alchemical process that brings the ordinarily hidden into the light. Several layers of glass are fused together into one flat piece to hold a story’s image. The fused piece is then kiln-heated and becomes near molten and adopts the shape of the cast.
Kathryna’s vessels are influenced by modern day stories and her kayak journeys through the Irish landscape. Much of her work has inclusions of organic material, gold, silver, copper, aluminium leaf, bronze or steel wire and mica.
Ceramic becomes her canvas…Jane Seymour
Born in 1954 Jane Seymour grew up in the countryside surrounded by the marshlands of Suffolk and the valleys and mountains of Wales. Her mother Sally Seymour was an artist and potter, her father John Seymour was a travel writer and author of self-sufficiency books among many others. Jane’s childhood was unconventional but she was always encouraged to paint and draw. As a young mother she jointly ran a small craft studio in Wales with her partner, where she painted on silk and wood before turning to ceramics.
In 1994 Jane moved to Co. Clare, Ireland, where she built a house and a ceramic studio. She is inspired by the rugged landscapes and wild nature of the west of Ireland, and much of her spare time is spent observing and sketching her surroundings; the shape of sea washed rocks, the behaviour of crows, and her interest in the human figure, which she sometimes merges into mythical. Her ceramics are all hand built. She makes coil-built vessels, which are burnished with pebbles and smoke-fired in wood shavings and seaweed, which colour the surface with abstract smoke patterns. Other ceramics are large slab-built bowls and forms with inscribed drawings and decorative patterns with layers of oxides rubbed in.
Paint and print…Vivienne Bogan
Developing in the area of tension between figurative and abstract art, Vivienne Bogan‘s work is subject to continual change.
In producing her paintings, drawings and prints she consciously avoids elaborate or perfectionist techniques and traditional methods, in favor of working with immediate implements and found materials. Her visual dialogue invites the viewer to share her insights into her native place, people and life experience.
”I see what I do as a personal journey of self exploration and discovery, the vehicle that assists me to glean a deeper insight and understanding of ‘me’, a spiritual and physical being and of the world and my place in it.”
A native of Limerick, she has for many years exhibited her work in solo and group shows. Her work features in a number of major collections, including, Council of Europe, Brussels; Musee de Beaux Arts, Quimper: Arts Council of Ireland; National Portrait Collection & Revenue Commissioners, Dublin Castle.
The show was opened by DUNCAN STEWART, Architect, Environmentalist and TV Presenter.
‘Croí’ will continue until October 18th, 2016. FREE ADMISSION