10th Christmas Show


If aiming to tap into the Christmas market implies a selection of art works made on the basis of saleability, then the Vangard's current exhibition illustrates how elastic this notion can become. Four well-established artists have been brought together to form a neat, high quality show which concedes little to seasonal marketing policy - but is also selling well.

Painters dominate the selection, and by virtue of the prominence of display and the eye-catching nature of his work, John Shinnors's paintings are an immediate draw. A series of four images based on the Icarus theme is, in effect, a shimmering, glowing symphony of golden light in four movements.

Each painting relates to its neighbour in terms of linking motifs of wing, sun and field - all melting beautifully into one another.

Felim Egan's larger paintings are less complicated in terms of their structure, as small geometric shapes float over an indistinct background. This should not be taken, however, as an implication that Egan's work lacks impact, as even though his abstraction is relatively formless, the discrete nature of the imagery, the harmonious colour relationships and the subtle textures are all perfectly realised.

Barrie Cooke's contributions are split between some very expressive watercolour nudes (where detail is replaced by economical painterly flourishes) and landscape-based imagery. It is ironic that the largest of Cooke's paintings is concerned with the effects of water pollution, as it is hanging behind Conor Fallon's bronze sculpture, Big Trout. Certainly the noble concern of pollution on our waterways is given further gravity by Fallon's elegant modelling and poetic patination.

Runs until Saturday