Painting and etching exhibitions at Westport Custom House Studios

Custom House Studios at Westport Quay are pleased to host an exhibition of printmaking entitled Lifelines by Benita Stoney, as well as an exhibition of paintings entitled “Vernacular” By Aidan Crotty, every day until October 21st 2018.

Commenting on her exhibition, Artist Benita Stoney stated: "These prints have all been made in the Custom House print studio. They run alongside my practice as a portrait painter. Printmaking was supposed to be a light relief from the intensity of portrait painting, but of course it didn’t turn out like that; printmaking makes its own demands.

"The etchings were drawn from life (with the possible exception of the rhinoceros ). Life drawing, in which I explore how the body exists in space, is an essential part of my practice. Close observation, the union of eye and hand, and the sudden loss of ego in the mark-making, all feed into what it means to be a representational painter.

"To make the etchings I go to a life drawing session with a smooth copper plate ready prepared with a protective ground, and with the model in front of me, I scratch through the ground with a sharp tool and I draw what I see. Later the plate goes into the acid bath in the Custom House studio and where the copper is exposed, the acid bites a line.

"The black prints are mezzotints. These are different from the etchings in content; they are more about the interior life than exterior appearances. They also differ in technique. In a mezzotint the entire surface of the copper is rough, which will take lots of ink and print dark, velvety, and dense. I burnish where I want it paler. This is just a beginning."

The paintings exhibition by Aidan Crotty, who lives and works in west Sligo where he focuses primarily on observational painting, includes paintings and studies of landscape and still life. It’s an exploration of his locale and the subjects he encounters within it, worked from a fixed position in the landscape or in a studio context, for which he uses various tools to measure and register form. This method is the basis for the artist's interest in recording the everyday as it exists.

Painting from life allows Crotty to respond with the immediacy of that direct experience. At present, his paintings are inquiries into the unremarkable and the overlooked. Crotty has exhibited extensively across Ireland and his work is held in both private and public collections.

Admission Free. Exhibitions run every day until October 21st 2018. For further information call 098 28735

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