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Artist Birgitta Saflund celebrates 80 years with solo exhibition at the Blue House Gallery, Schull
The Blue House Gallery in Schull continues its season with two exhibitions by painters Birgitta Saflund and Tom Weld, whose shows run from 12 – 24 · May, with the opening at 6pm on Friday 12 May. They will be joined by sculptors Fiona Coffey from Wicklow and Carrigaline based Mick Wilkins.
The Gallery is delighted that an exhibition of work by Swedish born artist Birgitta Saflund will mark the 80th birthday of this remarkable painter whose mastery of watercolour is displayed in beautiful new free-form bird studies. Viewing these paintings, inspired by a wide range of species, from visitors to her bird table in Ballydehob via the exotic to the endangered, one has a sense of meeting a personality; or maybe it is something of the artist whose long, rich and varied life can be glimpsed in the fierce gaze of an eagle or the bright intelligent glance of a longtailed tit that feels so alive it might fly off the paper.
Tom Weld’s ‘maps’ explore concepts including climate change, the refugee crisis and segregation. Whilst these are large pieces on paper on which Tom creates a surface that can be read as satellite photograph of the Earth, they are also paintings that take the expected functions and nature of maps as just a starting point. In this work the beauty of our Earth is juxtaposed with what we are doing to it, what we have done to it, and what we might yet do.
Sculptor Mick Wilkins works in Kilkenny limestone, finding it a material of immense versatility. He explores its qualities through carving, cutting, laminating, sandblasting, polishing and drawing, often combining it with other materials such as bronze, corten steel and stainless steel to beautiful effect.
Wicklow based sculptor Fiona often works directly in the field, using the earth in her hands as a sketchbook. She creates forms in local clay mixed with horse or cow dung, using techniques that go back to the Bronze age. · The pieces resonate with the landscape, moveable yet sturdy, ancient and alive, celebrating the imperfections of these old processes and giving voice to the material itself.·
Later in the month, from 24 May – 14 June, will be an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, ceramics, photographs and textiles by invited artists on the theme of ‘Islands’. To coincide with the Fastnet Film Festival there will also be an ‘Art Haus’, from Friday 26 – Sunday 28 May; the Friday evening opening will screen the 1934 drama documentary Man of Aran, directed by Robert J. Flaherty, a re-creation of culture on the edges of modern society. Aran island artist Cyril Ó Flaithearta will introduce the film and talk about life on the island, as well as his ongoing creative exploration of the abandoned islands around the Irish coast, in which he records his impressions of these extraordinary places.