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Visual Arts Exhibitions to be Savoured at the Clifden Arts Festival

By August 21, 2017No Comments

The 40th Clifden Arts Festival will take place from the 14th-24th September 2017 and will showcase Ireland’s diverse and artistic culture through compelling events which promise to enchant and educate people of all ages. Highlights of the visual arts programme include exhibitions from internationally renowned Mick O’Dea, the current President of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), a spectacular collection from Imelda Healy and breath-taking pencil work from the acclaimed Norbert Stolze.

The festival’s Visual Arts Manager, John Durning, has stated that: “This year’s visual art programme features exhibitions to be savoured. The programme is highly educational and aims to enhance visitor’s understanding of visual arts.” The central exhibition this year will feature incredible recent works by internationally renowned artist Mick O’Dea who was first elected as a member of the RHA in 1996. An exhibition to delight young and old, O’Dea is one of Ireland’s best known artists and a master of all subject matters from portraits, landscapes, nudes and the historic, all executed with profound insight and visual grace. Other highlights will include a superb group exhibition entitled “Aspects of Connemara” which includes works by the legendary Michael Cullen RHA, Richard Ward, Dennis Mamalis, Bernie Dignam, Reingard Gahan, Kate Noonan, Trish Findlater and Kieran Tobin.

Aaron Holton, a native of Cork, who studied fine art at the Crawford College of Art and Design will also be present at the Clifden Arts Festival. He has now settled in Connemara and explores animal life of the surrounding countryside, using oil pastel and watercolours. Originally from County Louth, Mary Donnelly has been living and working as a landscape painter in Connemara over the last 20 years. Her work celebrates the beauty of rural Ireland in a manner that goes beyond a painted exploration of what can be seen by the naked eye; rather she recreates the landscape as an individual spirit of place.

Another crowd pleaser will be Norbert Stolze’s “Pencilmassacre” exhibition. He was born in Wolfsburg, Germany in 1950 and has studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. As a visual artist in Hannover, holding periodical exhibitions and workshops in Germany and Ireland, he has been working with pencil almost exclusively for a number of years. This will be the 3rd Exhibition of “Pencilmassacre” at the Clifden Arts Festival. An exhibition executed spectacularly with a single instrument composed of graphite encased in a wood casing, he manages to capture a mood that colour portraits don’t always achieve. His monochrome style and high level of detail leaves no strand to the imagination and creates a bold artistic stamp which will delight visitors of all ages.

Distinguished, Dublin-based artist Imelda Healy will also feature at the festival. She holds a B.F.A. with honors from the National College of Art and Design. After graduating she was a founder member of Brunswick Mills Studio in Dublin, where she participated in many group shows.  Her inspirational work is represented in many private and public collections in Ireland and abroad.  An accomplished painter of portraits, Paul McGuinness commissioned her to paint Gerry Lyne, the Keeper of Manuscripts at the National Library, where the portrait is now displayed.

Imelda has lived in Eze, France and California, where the intense light of the meridian has influenced the saturated colours of her palette. Her style is contemporary figurative. Her paintings often have a feeling of uncertainty, and her romantic landscapes capture the fragile beauty of a specific moment in time that also reflects a curious timelessness, like a snapshot of eternity.

The visual art dimension will also include the ever popular Clifden Arts Trail which will illuminate the picturesque town of Clifden into an art gallery, and host a variety of group and solo exhibitions resulting in a breath-taking array of colourful and creative displays. Mr. Durning has said that the arts trail will act as a “Visual arts mystery tour which will add to the innovativeness and spontaneity of the programme”. The Arts Trail will feature many professional artists however, the festival will also support many local and amateur artists living or influenced by Clifden, giving them well-deserved recognition and an opportunity to express themselves in a local environment.

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About Clifden Arts Festival

The longest running community arts festival in Ireland, Clifden Community Arts Week, now in its 40th year will take place from September 13th – 24th and yet again promises to have something to excite everyone in this year’s programme. Audiences can expect a very high quality artistic programme with a superb literary, musical and visual art content which again will have the community arts of Clifden and the surrounding hinterland as a central focus with creative writing, music, theatre, graphic design and film workshops and performances taking place in the local schools for the duration of the festival.

2023 Festival Programme