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Exhibitions showcase emerging and established artists



Date Published: {J}

Galway is the place to be this weekend for visual arts, with a host of new exhibitions opening in the city and county.

The work of 11 emerging artists will go on show this Saturday, August 28 and run until September 12 in Gallery 126 at Queen Street in Galway City Centre.

The show, Mainland, is the result of an open call to emerging artists by 126, the voluntarily led artist-run gallery that specialises in promoting challenging and experimental works.

The 11 artists’ work in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, video and photography. All of them created work based on the word Mainland and the responses were varied – critical, personal and humorous. These artists have commented on a term which is loaded with meaning, given Ireland’s history and its relationship with the UK and Europe. The artists also take a more ambiguous and international approach to the idea of place and life on the fringe. Mainland will run until September 12.

Lorg Enterprise Unit in 8 Ballybane Enterprise Centre, Ballybane is the venue for Place, a solo exhibition by Galway based artist Fiona Hession that will open this Friday at 7pm.

Fiona’s work so far has focused on the various faces of ‘home’ in modern society and what ‘home’ means on a personal level. She uses sculpture, print and textiles in her work. Fiona graduated with a first class honours degree in Fine Art Sculpture from GMIT and was awarded The RDS Printmaking Award 2010.

This is Fiona’s first solo exhibition and will be officially opened by Aideen Barry on Friday at 7pm. It will run until September 10.

Galway University Hospital is hosting a joint exhibition by artists John Lee and Triona Mac Giolla Rí which will be officially opened this Friday at 6.00pm by Dr Dom Colbert.

Triona, who is from Galway, now lives in Furbo. She holds an Honours Degree in Fine Art Painting from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (2009) and is a member of Artspace Studios. In this exhibition Triona explores the theme of waiting, using collage and oil paint on traditional gesso on board. The paintings explore ideas on whether waiting is a time to be endured or a time to be enjoyed. In the last year Triona has exhibited widely across Ireland and Europe.

Clare-based John Lee specialises in figurative work, something which he attributes to his medical background. He studied classical figurative drawing and classical animation in Dublin in the 90s and worked for a number of years as a professional artist in the film industry in Ireland and Europe.

Oughterard is the venue for an exhibition of recent works by painter Richard Ward that will open this Saturday, August 28 at the Oughterard Tourist office in the town’s main street.

Richard Ward is best known for his wild life paintings around Connemara where he has lived for many years. His work can be found in many places – from natural history books to galleries and in private collection. He has exhibited in one-man shows all over the world, and was invited to show at the prestigious venue of the Explorers’ Club in New York.

Some of his commissioned work includes wild life postage stamps for An Post and a wildlife calendar for Bank of Ireland. His Oughterard show will run for two weeks.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.


For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup



Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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