Joe Hanly’s upturned tree, Darn Thorn’s shrine to mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: the best art exhibitions this week

Marianne Slevin uses abandoned bank statements to explore ideas of trust

On and Off the Wall: Marianne Slevin’s bank-statement boats, at the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon

On and Off the Wall: Marianne Slevin’s bank-statement boats, at the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon

 

Darn Thorn: Towards Omega
Backwater Artists Group, Wandesford Quay, Cork; until April 6th; backwaterartists.ie
Darn Thorn creates an irreverent shrine to the utopian ideas of the French palaeontologist and mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Effectively banned by the Catholic Church during his lifetime, de Chardin’s heady metaphysical and evolutionary speculations have found a more favourable hearing with the current and previous popes. He proposed that life is evolving towards a nonmaterial “omega point” of divine consciousness.

Vanessa Donoso López: “I shall change the way things are ordered”
Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin 8; until April 21st; kevinkavanaghgallery.ie
Vanessa Donoso López’s recent work has stemmed from the story of Gilgamesh, who went in search of the secret of eternal life, as originally inscribed on clay tablets in Sumerian. The artist has explored the nature of clay as a signifier of place, communication and community; here she offers imaginative visual interpretations of the Mesopotamian epic.

Marianne Slevin: On and Off the Wall; Eoin O’Connor: Sea + Sky
Courthouse Gallery and Studios, Ennistymon, Co Clare; until April 15th; thecourthousegallery.com
Ideas of trust in improvisational works by Marianne Slevin utilising abandoned bank statements, rubble and a wall drawing of the Vertigo angustior snail (which forestalled Donald Trump’s sea wall at Doonbeg). Eoin O’Connor shows paintings of architectural and natural forms in Co Clare’s mercurial light, and a series of six panoramic photographs. He has transitioned from graffiti artist to plein-air painter.

Suzy O’Mullane: Random Stars from Bog to Kahlo
Origin Gallery, Dublin 2; until April 10th; theorigingallery.com
Vivid, allegorical self-portraits, portraits and scenes in the form of paintings, drawings and video exploring the artist’s personal experiences of “relationships, memory, identity, sexuality, politics and migration”. Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits were a significant inspiration for the self-portrait series Wounded Deer.

Joe Hanly: Tree
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin 2; until May 12th; templebargallery.com
Joe Hanly’s upended tree installation refers to the mythological eternal tree of life, the Ashvattha in Sanskrit, known as the World Ash in Norse mythology. The Ashvattha “has it roots above and its branches below”, which is what Hanley, a founder member of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, is doing with a 10m oak in the central void of the building.

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