New visual art programme launched at Roscommon Arts Centre

This season Roscommon Arts Centre welcomes work from local, Roscommon-based artists and will feature a total of five different exhibitions from September through to December. All exhibitions are open to the public during box office hours and all are welcome.

Roscommon Arts Centre’s autumn/winter visual art programme gets underway this week with the opening of Frances McGonigle’s The Ten Directions on Friday September 18 and running until Thursday October 1.

As part of Culture Night, an opening reception will be held on Friday September 25 from 5.30pm to 7pm, during which time members of the public are invited to drop in, view the work and meet the artist. Frances McGonigle is a 2005 graduate of Crawford College of Art, Cork. In the same year she received the inaugural Derek Hill Memorial Award for Landscape Painting. She subsequently undertook an MPhil in Art History at University College Cork, researching the heirarchy of animal depictions in art up to the present day. This research has influenced concepts underpinning her visual work. These concepts include ideas of anthropomorphism, empathy with animals, the ways animals have inspired humans and the mystery of animal perception. These concepts link into a wider ongoing network of practice-led research, highlighted by recent symposia, such as Tate Britain’s Close Encounters of the Animal and The Animal Gaze project headed by Cass Contemporary Arts. The importance of the working visual artist’s contribution to these debates on animal theory and praxis in today’s art also informs Frances’s visual work. Mostly though, it is inspired by the sheer beauty and mystery of the animal, and in this case, avian world – something beyond words and concepts.

About the exhibition

The Ten Directions title of this exhibition refers to a Buddhist metaphor for the enlightened state, in which one can see all the viewpoints, the whole vista. In some writings to do with this idea, a bird is the creature who can effortlessly see in all these directions – something the human has to learn to do. In verse and song, the bird is so often likened to a soul and admired for its transcendent nature – a nature confered by flight, of course, but also by the bird’s hardiness, its journeys and freedom, and its mystery and singing. Also its beauty. These works are inspired by all these bird qualities and also by the appreciation in verse of the wonder of birds.

Following a showing of Frances McGonigle’s work, an exhibition of a collection of works by local artists entitled ‘Longitude and Latitude’ runs in The Gallery, Roscommon Arts Centre from Wednesday 7th October. Featuring local artists including Linda Hunt, Fiona Moore, Billy Spain, Cathy Reynolds, Rita Oates, Ian Marks, Lorna Brennan, Anne Rigney, and Thomas Raftery this exhibition will run until Thursday October 22 and again all are welcome.

More information on these and other upcoming exhibitions including work by Vida Pain and Margo McNulty are available at www.roscommonartscentre.ie For more information please contact Roscommon Arts Centre (090 ) 6625824.

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