When nature is commodified: this week’s visual arts highlights

Work by Louise Butler, Padraic Barrett, Orla O’Byrne, Sheila Naughton, Miriam O’Connor

Louise Butler, Deception Island, Signal Arts Centre

Louise Butler, Deception Island, Signal Arts Centre

 

DECEPTION ISLAND, LOUISE BUTLER

Signal Arts Centre, 1 Albert Avenue, Bray, until February 2nd, signalartscentre.ie

Louise Butler suggests a certain ambivalence in her evocations of spectacular natural settings. On the one hand, they are awe-inspiring, but on the other they are always seen from within a commodified, exploitative framework of tourism and marketing. Her perspective is unusual: she is director and curator of Norway’s most remote gallery, Galleri Kronborg, located atop a mountain.

TOMORROW IS SUNDAY, MIRIAM O’CONNOR AND HOW THE LAND LIES GROUP EXHIBITION

Sirius Arts Centre, The Old Yacht Club, Cobh, Co Cork, until April 18th and May 5th respectively, siriusartscentre.ie

In Tomorrow is Sunday, Miriam O’Connor uses photography to explore her return home to the family farm following the death of her brother in 2013. Her approach changed over time. And that is reflected in the work on view. How the Land Lies features five artists, Catriona Leahy (also in Pastures at the Library Project in Dublin), Luci Eldridge, Andrew Youngson, Wieteke Heldens and Rachel Bacon offering differing, quizzical approaches to landscape.

THIS PLACE, AMANDA COOGAN AND TONYA McMULLAN

Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, until March 4th, millenniumcourt.org

An exhibition arising from two three-month artists’ residencies at Millennium Court. As part of a wider engagement programme, Amanda Coogan and Tonya McMullan worked with older adults in and around the town, with the aim of making work based on themes that emerged in their memories and recollections of life in the locality. The results look not only to the past but also consider the present and speculate on future developments.

CONFLUENCE, STUDENT OF THE YEAR SHOW, PADRAIC BARRETT AND ORLA O’BYRNE

Lavit Gallery, Wandesford Quay, Clarke’ Bridge, Cork, until February 15th, lavitgallery.com

Two-person show featuring the two CIT Crawford students of the year. Padraic Barrett’s multidisciplinary and performance work explores masculinity and the patriarchy through the medium of the male body caught “between reflection and transformation”. Orla O’Byrne’s sculptural work stems from an engagement with the Canova casts in the Crawford Art Gallery.

ELEGY, SHEILA NAUGHTON; RURAL SHAME, LORRAINE CLEAR

Custom House Studios Gallery, The Quay, Westport, Co Mayo, until February 16th, customhousestudios.ie

Sheila Naughton quotes Padraig Pearse on transience, “this beauty that will pass”. She sees, in our growing awareness of potential climate catastrophe, an ever-more acute intimation of the temporary nature of life. Lorraine Cleary addresses “untold stories hidden within the domestic sphere”, pointedly re-fashioning everyday objects so that they will reveal insights into what is unstated.

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