The best art exhibitions this week

Sam Keogh awakes from a long sleep in space while Brian Maguire depicts the devastation in Aleppo

Kapton Cadaverine – Sam Keogh
Kerlin Gallery, Anne's Lane, South Anne St, Dublin Until March 10

The premise of Sam Keogh’s sculptural installation and performance (Saturday February 10th, 3pm) is that an astronaut groggily awakens from cryogenic sleep on a dilapidated starship. Both astronaut and starship are distinctly grungy and the worse for wear. The interior is covered with slime and tacked clumsily together. What’s going on? Fragments of a narrative emerge in the astronaut’s dazed monologue – replayed throughout the show.

A Calf Remembered – Katie Watchorn
Wexford Arts Centre, Cornmarket, Wexford. Until February 24
Raised on a dairy farm in Co Carlow, Katie Watchorn brings rare insight and understanding to the reality of farming life – and all life and death are there on the farm. Eschewing stereotypes, she reaches deep into the complexities involved, including the persistence of traditional practices and instincts, however overlooked and unacknowledged, and the extreme but nuanced relationship with animals, which is, perplexingly, both harsh and sincerely tender. At the centre of it all is the dairy cow: 'the hot brewery of gland cud and udder'.

War Changes its Address: The Aleppo Paintings – Brian Maguire
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin Until May 6
Brian Maguire's previous series of paintings was a response to the refugee crisis. Last year he set out to visit one of the sources of that crisis, finding his way to Aleppo in Syria. The paintings offer an account of the artist's stunned reaction to the ruined city, blasted and scarred by a ferocious and utterly ruthless offensive.


Mary McIntyre The Fenderesky Gallery, 31 North Street, Belfast Until February 16

Mary McIntyre’s photographs are painterly, not in that she tries to emulate painterly effects, but because her work has consistently suggested an interest in the visual tradition in Western art, most obviously the concepts of the picturesque and the sublime in landscape painting, and how images are constructed and interpreted. Landscape is central to her photographs. Even her views of interiors are forms of landscape. The mists, fogs and darkness that recur remind us that there is a lot we simply cannot see.

Memorialising the Sacred
An installation by Anthony Kelly, Seán McCrum, Paddy Sammon and David Stalling. Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Sq, Dublin Until March 30

An installation consisting of black and white photographs, objects, and composed sound, centred on the churches and wayside shrines of the villages of Loutró and Anópoli in Sfakiá, Chaniá Prefecture, south-west Crete. Anthony Kelly, Seán McCrum, Paddy Sammon and David Stalling aim to reflect on the way these sites form a network of “active memorializing”, enhancing the local inhabitants’ sense of place and identity, and suggesting we look at Ireland in a similar spirit.


Graphic Studio Gallery, Through the arch, off Cope St, Temple Bar, Dublin Until Jan 28

Relief prints have been around for over 600 years. From the Latin relevo, meaning to raise, a relief print is actually made by cutting away parts of a flat surface, typically a wooden block, leaving a raised plateau, which can itself be incised with patterned markings. Apply ink to the plateau surface with a roller, overlay with paper, add pressure and, hey presto, you’ve made a print. Of course, multiple layers of colour and endless skill can go into making one print. Works by Alice Maher, Jenny Lane, Louise Leonard, Maser, Michael Lyons, Gerard Cox and Mary Plunkett demonstrate the possibilities.