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November highlights in art

Great opportunity to see representative selections of work from most Irish galleries at the VUE National Contemporary Art Fair at the RHA Gallagher Gallery

Bare Root, Michael Canning, Something to do with Exile, 2011-14, acrylic, oil & wax on linen, 120 x 183cm


VUE National Contemporary Art Fair
RHA Gallagher Gallery, Ely Place, Dublin November 3-5
This is a brilliant opportunity to see representative selections of work from most galleries of contemporary art in Ireland, all under one roof. Participants included Kevin Kavanagh, the Taylor, the Hillsboro, the Kerlin, Green on Red, Catherine Hammond, the Molesworth, the Cross, Olivier Cornet, Gormleys, Oonagh Young, Solomon Fine Art, the Peppercanister, Art Box, Claremorris, Eight, Blackchurch Print Studio, Stoney Road, SO Fine Art Editions, and Gibbons & Nicholas. Irresistible. 

Perceived Irishness
Multi-media installation by Yaqoub Jemil BouAynaya. Gallery of Photography, Meeting House Sq, Temple Bar, Dublin
There’s a useful overlap between sociology and photography. The latter can be not just an aid to research but a valuable form of research: witness Camilo J Vergara’s excellent, groundbreaking work American Ruins. Yaqoub Jemil BouAynaya’s research for his PhD in sociology at Trinity College Dublin was the basis for his exhibition Perceived Irishness. Engaging with a broad cross-section of people from rural community groups through to displaced people, he explores how Irishness is perceived, delving into questions of identity, ethnicity,  citizenship and “otherness”. 

No Fixed Abode
The Copper House Gallery, St Kevin’s Cottages, Synge St, Dublin Until December 22
Acting on the “Don’t just sit there, do something” principle, the Copper House have appealed to a broad range of artists, illustrators and photographers to donate works for a fund-raising show from which the proceeds will go towards ameliorating the homelessness crisis. It’s done in association with the Peter McVerry Trust and runs right through to Christmas. Feel free to drop in, remembering that artworks make great, memorable gifts for any occasion. 

Bare Root
Group exhibition. County Buildings, Carricklawn, Wexford. Until December 1
Wexford’s County Buildings have featured an ambitious programme of art exhibitions in the recent past, and the current show, Bare Root, curated by the Arts Centre’s Catherine Bowe, is a good example. It brings together a great range of artists: Frank Abruzzese, Michael Canning, Els Dietvorst, Michael Fortune, Janet Mullarney, Rosie O’Gorman, Helen Robbins, Blaise Smith, Brigitta Varadi, Michael Wann and Katie Watchorn? What they share, says Bowe, is an urge to explore “rural and farmyard environments, and the points where nature and the man-made intersect”. From the botanically precise wildflowers in Canning’s pastoral landscapes to the tough yet tender evocation of farmyard reality in Watchorn’s sculptural installation. 

80 Moving Still
Survey show of the work of ceramic artist David Seeger. Uillinn, West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, Co Cork October 4-December 12
A pioneering ceramic artist, originally from Bradford (and having taught ceramics in Leeds and at other places in the UK), David Seeger settled in West Cork in 1990 and developed a bond with the region. This survey show celebrates his 80th birthday. His long-term interest in Jungian psychology, philosophy and theoretical physics feed into the elegantly flowing forms typical of his ceramic work, which also delight in colour and a range of distinctive glazes.