A moment before lockdown

Backwater Artists Network Exhibition 2020

Anna Barden, Cara Brophy, Andrew Carroll, Gillian Cussen, Ita Freeney, Oonagh Hurley, Éadaoin Glynn, Stephen Hobbs, Susanne Leutenegger, Rose McGowan, Constance McKenna, Paul McKenna, Natasha Pike, Eamonn B. Shanahan, Fran Woolf

Curated by Brian Mac Domhnaill, Backwater Artists Group

Studio 12 exhibition/project space, Backwater Artists Group, Cork

The exhibition will be open by appointment only this Thursday (03 Dec) and Friday (04 Dec), 10am-5pm and next week Tuesday-Friday (08 – 11 Dec), 10am-5pm. Please email admin@backwaterartists.ie or call 021 4961002.

30 October – 11 December. ONLINE

‘A moment before lockdown’ is the inaugural exhibition of the Backwater Artists Network. The exhibition was installed and documented on 22 October, 2020 in the hours preceding the second national lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Backwater Artists Network (BAN) is an initiative by Backwater Artists Group that offers a shared city centre focal point and opportunities to connect for professional artists working in isolation from studios in their own homes or in single privately rented studios. Launched in 2019 the Network currently has a membership of 20 artists. The COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed many programmed BAN events and gatherings. However fortnightly Zoom meetings facilitated by Backwater are ongoing with one member giving an artist talk to the group on each occasion. The meetings are providing much needed connectivity for our members during this difficult time.

Artworks by fifteen of BAN’s members are featured in the exhibition. Images and details of each artwork and the artists are presented below and via Backwater’s social media channels during the course of the exhibition. Installation views of the exhibition in the form of video and photographic documentation are also being shared during the run of the exhibition.

All the artworks are for sale. All sales enquiries by email to projects@backwaterartists.ie (POA = Price on asking).

For more information about BAN and how to join visit the Backwater website at https://backwaterartists.ie/join-us/backwater-artist-network/ or by emailing projects@backwaterartists.ie

Artworks & Artists:

Anna BardenThe Happy Beginning (from the Yellow Cup Story), 2020, oil on paper, 30.5 x 23 cm, €600. “This is a story; one I do not know, and cannot make up. But the rules of all stories are that there is a beginning, middle and end. This is the beginning.” Read more about the artist. Instagram @barden_anna. www.annabarden.ie

Andrew CarrollStand Series No. 1, 2020, Oil on canvas, 40 x 34 cm, €380. “The initial prime mover behind this piece was the attempt to explore the undulating relationship between representation, and the compositional elements necessitated by working within the format of a tundo, ie. on a circular canvas.” Read more about the artist. Instagram: @andrew_carroll_art

Cara Brophy, Catwalk comes Home, 2020, Acrylic, charcoal & pencil on wood, 50 x 50 cm, €275. “…Within my work the language of geometric abstraction emerges from the layout and design of domestic spaces. Shapes and structures float through the fluid nature of the paint….” Read more about the artist.

Gillian Cussen, Curlew and oystercatchers on Beale strand, 2020, Oil pastel and homemade charcoal on paper, 50 x 80 cm, €150. “This drawing was done blind while sitting on the strand. I used some charred wood as charcoal.” Read more about the artist. www.gilliancussenart.com

Ita Freeney, Far Shore 1, Oil on linen on panel, 23 x 30.5 cm, €900. “An atmosphere, a quietness, and a minimal aesthetic have always been characteristics of my paintings…..The paintings are about this contrast between air and solid ground, the natural and urban, the lyrical and hard edged,. They are also just as importantly about the atmosphere and the explorations of tone, form, a reduced palette and divisions of the picture surface. “ Read more about the artist. Instagram: @itafreeney
Facebook: @itafreeneyartist. www.itafreeney.com

Éadaoin Glynn, When I was three, 2019, Oil and cold wax on canvas, 70 x 100 cm, €1650, SOLD.The Passage, Oil, cold wax, mixed media on canvas, 76.2 x 102 cm, €1650.

“I am interested in our emotional response and connection with place. We carry our memories of place and land within us. I am influenced by Irish mythology, poetry and the significance of place, land and sea…..” Read more about the artist. Instagram: @eadaoinglynn. www.eadaoinglynn.com

Oonagh HurleyMatch, 2017, Acrylic on Linen, diptych, 35 x 25cm (35 x 50cm combined), POA; Safety Measures, 2020, Acrylic on Linen, 50 x 40 cm, POA. “I gather images that evoke the notion of memory for me. They are often of mundane incidental moments from my own personal photographs, media images and stills from my fathers’ old Super 8mm films. The chance elements that result from the pouring and layering of paint often prompt the composition and lead to an assemblage of open-ended scenes – much like the anatomy of memory”. Read more about the artist. Instagram: @oonaghhurley_art. https://oonaghhurleyartist.wixsite.com/mysite

Rose McGowan, Solitude I, 2020, Oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm, €840. “My work is a diary of collected moments and recorded emotions. I have always enjoyed painting the sky as a reset and also as a path to reach abstraction. This series painted during lockdown is a reflection on both isolation and a separation from the limitless of nature.” Read more about the artist. Instagram: @rosemcgowanart. www.rosemcgowanart.com

Constance McKennaFoirm Dorcha (atmaisféar loath/(meirgeach), 2020, Donegal wool and rope, 28.5 in height x 37cm in diameter, €210; Uair Ghoirm, 2020, Donegal and Kerry wool with rope, 50cm in circumference x 32 cm in height, €180; Foirm Ghorm (snáithe reen), 2020, Donegal wool and rope, 22cm in height x 12 cm in diameter, €160. “My medium of working combines drawing and textiles including basket coiled forms, which offer aesthetic and functional value. The key theme within my work is the Irish landscape – an exploration of the fragility of Irish native woodland and other aspects of nature and habitat.” Read more about the artist.

Paul McKennaEnergy generation, 2020, Acrylic on panel, 50 x 60 cm, €500. “A view of the ESB power station on the docks of Cork city. ESB’s slogan is ‘Energy for generations’ The title of this piece ‘Energy generation’ points to the obvious function of the building but may also allude to us as a generation reliant on electric power. At the centre of this piece is the idea of the continuous flowing line being a form of energy generation that continues out into the construction of the abstracted industrial landscape and into the natural world depicted by the trees in the foreground. The river is subtly represented by a limited number of marks that record the reflection of the power station.” Read more about the artist. Instagram: @paul_mc_kenna. Facebook: @Paul Mc Kenna Artist. paulmckennaartist.com

Stephen Hobbs, Orange Cross, 2020, Tape on found board, 43 x 34 cm, €500. “With limited access to materials and studio space during lockdown, I have been developing a series of tape on board drawings, that extend my interests in geometric and architectonic form. The resultant compositions draw on the limitations and characteristics of the surface area available and the dynamics of the varying widths and types of dayglow and low light reflective adhesive tape, currently at my disposal.” Read more about the artistwww.stephenhobbs.net / http://thetrinitysession.com / https://davidkrutprojects.com/

Susanne Leutenegger, as much part of nature as a shell, 2015, Acrylic, oil and oil pastel on paper, 21.5 x 22 cm, €300. “The drawing and painting is blocking out most of an underlying print on paper which is just leaving a sense of texture. This texture, together with the choice of colours and mark making reminds me of a sea shell. The shape has a centre core which is wrapped and protected but has a tentacle sprouting…As an artist in my studio, I start to put myself daily into a state of mind of inner knowing. The process is organic, my painting begins with watery surfaces from which life forms emerge and are given structure by bending, twisting and turning lines.” Read more about the artistwww.susanneleutenegger.com

Natasha PikeTo a God Unknown II, 2019, Cement, pigment, acrylic, wooden shelf with steel bar, 18cm by 14cm by 18cm approx, POA; The Hoard,2019, Cement, Portland cement, acrylic and wood paint, dimensions variable, POA. “Lucretius states in his prose Of the Nature of Things that all matter is perpetually raining down. I believe this force of substance is requiring a moment of our attention. The work is driven by an exploration of matter, played out here in the dynamic between the painted surface and made object.” Read more about the artist. Instagram: @natashapikeart. Facebook: @natashapikeart. www.natashapike.comwww.natashapikeart.blogspot.ie

Eamonn B. Shanahan, Insurgence, 2019, Oil on canvas, 120 x 100 cm, POA. “Each painting evokes an atmospheric space; structures, or lack thereof, that resonate an internal, emotional archetype. Interacting shapes and towering plinths form the scale of the environment which is interrupted with brush strokes and plaster rendering that define the emotional pace giving a live theatricality that aims to resonante with the viewer’s life journey.” Read more about the artist. Instagram: @eamonnbshanahan. Facebook: @eamonnbshanahanart. www.eamonnshanahan.com

Fran WoolfDappled Feathers, Original photogram, 50 x 40 cm (64 x 53 cm framed), €275. “I am primarily a photographer, painter and printmaker….I make or adapt tools and materials to enhance authenticity….I create photograms in the darkroom without a camera. These methods allow for a creative interplay with the tools which I really value, a partnership with a degree of serendipity – and a lot of trial and error.” Read more about the artist.