OVER THE past two weeks anyone strolling through Galway’s Latin Quarter may have noticed the windows of a number of the area’s shops graced by artworks from members of the Space Invaders gallery.
Tonight those artworks will be auctioned at the Dáil Bar, with the event commencing at 9.30pm.
Space Invaders is an artist-run non-commercial gallery space and set up in conjunction with the Galway City Council and the artist in residence programme.
Launched in September 2010, the initiative is an imaginative response to all of the empty spaces currently in Galway city. Under the initiative, empty units around Galway are used to promote the arts by converting them into spaces for exhibition, performance, and workshops.
The commercial units used by Space Invaders are usually units which are available for lease for a long period of time and will remain for lease while being used by the group.
The owner of the property retains total control and can ask the artists to leave with a week’s notice, and is exempt from commercial rates while it is being used by the group.
Public liability is covered by the Galway City Council Arts Office and insurance of the art on display is covered by the artist. The Space Invaders gallery is currentlylocated in the Cornstore.
The present initiative has seen artists from Space Invaders exhibit their work in familiar Latin Quarter businesses like O’Maille’s, Dillon’s, Cobwebs, Judy Greene’s and Charlie Byrne’s.
Twelve premises in all came on board for the project, with one artist exhibiting in each venue. The exhibiting artists include Margaret Nolan, Dolores Lyne, Reg Gordon, Jim Kavanagh and Paul Maye.
“The original idea was that we all did a piece based around the Latin Quarter, that Space Invaders the gallery would invade all the space in the Latin Quarter,” explains Margaret Nolan over an afternoon coffee.
“We had a meeting with the Latin Quarter committee and they said ‘yes’ straight away. The artists all thought it was a great idea as well. There’s been a very positive reaction from the street, from people passing by. I think it brightens up the streets as well.”
Several of the pieces have already attracted keen interest from passers-by so tonight’s auction, which will be conducted by Peter Regas, promises to be a lively affair. A percentage of the proceeds will go to Ability West, which provides services and support to children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout Galway city and county.
Space Invaders’ Margaret Nolan also has a solo exhibition currently running in Anton’s Café to mark her 25 years of living in Galway. The exhibition continues throughout August.