Human Chain: Dutch contemporary drawing at Ballina Arts Centre

Pictured at the opening of Human Chain: Contemporary Dutch Drawing at the Ballina Arts Centre recently were (l-r): Ray Collins (chairperson, Ballina Arts Centre), Hanneke Francken (artist), Jacobien de Rooj (artist), Arno Kramer (artist and curator of the exhibition), Tjibbe Hooghiemstra (artist), Sean Walsh (director, Ballina Arts Centre,) and Gaynor Seville (acting arts officer, Mayo County Council) who officially opened the exhibition. Kneeling were: Caren van Herwaarden (artist) and Anita Groener (artist). Human Chain runs until October 25. Photo: Paul Fox.

Pictured at the opening of Human Chain: Contemporary Dutch Drawing at the Ballina Arts Centre recently were (l-r): Ray Collins (chairperson, Ballina Arts Centre), Hanneke Francken (artist), Jacobien de Rooj (artist), Arno Kramer (artist and curator of the exhibition), Tjibbe Hooghiemstra (artist), Sean Walsh (director, Ballina Arts Centre,) and Gaynor Seville (acting arts officer, Mayo County Council) who officially opened the exhibition. Kneeling were: Caren van Herwaarden (artist) and Anita Groener (artist). Human Chain runs until October 25. Photo: Paul Fox.

Ballina Arts Centre showcased some of the best in contemporary drawing from the Netherlands with Human Chain, an exhibition featuring the work of seven Dutch artists. The exhibition, which features a wide variety of styles of drawing, was selected by Arno Kramer (who is also one of the artists in the exhibition ) and will run at the venue until the end of October.

The exhibition opened at the start of September, but its roots go back over 10 years. The connection between all of the artists in the exhibition is that they all have stayed at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ballycastle.

In 1996, Dutch artist Tjibbe Hooghiemstra was invited for a residency in the foundation. Six other Dutch artists followed him to Ballycastle since then. Arno Kramer was one of the artists who fell in love with the Mayo landscape and has been a regular visitor ever since his first visit to Ireland in 1995. In 2004 he was invited for a residency in BAF Ballycastle and has returned there frequently.

Kramer has had a good number of solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums in Ireland, and one of his key interests is bringing artists together to show the range and quality of contemporary drawing. He invited Hanneke Francken, Caren van Herwaarden, Anita Groener, Tjibbe Hooghiemstra, Erik Mattijssen, and Jacobien de Rooij to participate. Some of the works have been made in Ballinglen Arts Foundation, some in their studios in the Netherlands.

Sean Walsh, director of Ballina Arts Centre, said of the exhibition: “We are really delighted to have this exhibition in Ballina. This show has been in development for four years, between myself and Arno. To have artists of this calibre showing together in one exhibition is an achievement we are very proud of. It really shows how accessible drawing is.”

Human Chain was officially opened by Gaynor Seville (acting arts officer, Mayo County Council ) last month and the opening also included the launch of Arno’s first book of poems published in Ireland. Morningrustle, published by Salmon Poetry, is a substantial book, with many of the poems having been written in and about Ireland. Morningrustle is available to buy at the exhibition. Human Chain runs until October 28. Admission free. For more information see ballinaartscentre.com

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