THE GATHERING, a major exhibition by the artist Rosie McGurran, celebrating her work over the last decade, opens at the Galway Arts Centre next week.
A native of Belfast, McGurran has been living in Roundstone, Connemara, for several years. Roundstone’s idyllic scenery has been influential in the development of McGurran’s work and her paintings are inspired both by the area’s fishing and its landscape.
As well as rolling, picturesque, landscapes, ocean views, and pastoral settings in McGurran’s works, another key feature is the invented characters, often ethereal female inhabitants who add to the surrealism of McGurran’s local scenes.
The Gathering will feature many works with the above characteristics, but it is also a retrospective exhibition. From her early works, to her dreamlike representations of Inishlacken, viewers will be able to see the continuing development of McGurran’s distinctive, magic realist, style from 2000 to 2010.
The artist’s most recent pieces are also represented here; portraits which have been inspired by old photographs. A sense of distance and melancholy is wonderfully portrayed in these works, amplifying our sense of physical and chronological separation from McGurran’s subjects.
To celebrate the exhibition, McGurran has produced an original unframed intaglio print (edition of 50 ) which will be sold at the Galway Arts Centre for €150 each. A catalogue with an essay by Dr Denise Ferran will also be available.
Originally from Belfast, McGurran received a BA in fine art from the University of Ulster in 2000. She has subsequently won many prestigious awards while developing her practice both in Ireland and internationally.
Since 2001, McGurran has curated and exhibited at the annual Inishlacken Project in Roundstone, an island-based initiative which invites artists to produce work on the now uninhabited Inishlacken Island.
The Gathering opens on Friday January 28 at 6pm and all are welcome. The exhibition runs until March 5. See www.galwayartscentre.ie