It’s been a while since there was much to talk about in the art exhibition line of things which is to be expected as August is always a bit of a quiet month as all the artists in Ireland jet off to top up their tans and egos in the swankiest holiday locations in the world. But with the return of September comes schoolchildren’s tears and a slew of new exhibitions opening. As usual, these range from the good to the slightly better and right down to the dull. Thursday night offers the first show of the new season in Monster Truck with work by Anne Hendrick at 6pm while a new gallery called The Master Thief’s Secret Lair opens at 11 South William Street at 7pm. The gallery launches with ‘The White Stone’, an exhibition of new paintings by Dorje.
Tonight is an uncharacteristically busy Wednesday though (perhaps because everyone is planning on going to the Picnic…) with exhibitions scattered right around the city and further afield. With openings in Broadstone, the Goethe-Institut, the Gallery of Photography, Mark Swords at the Kevin Kavanagh and a nice looking show in the No Grants Gallery there’s an awful lot on offer within walking distance of the grey, depressing centre of this city. However, if you’re feeling more adventurous and are willing to travel north a little (only a little… it’s like a €1.60 bus fare or something) then you have two options for outdoor sculpture shows. You can mark the passing of Barry Flanagan by visiting either the Botanic Garden’s annual ‘Sculpture In Context‘ exhibition and/or you could pop round the corner to Gallery27 for the ‘Avant Garden’ exhibition.
‘Avant Garden: Sculpture Out Of Context‘ began life as a kind of reaction to the neighbour’s annual show but with a line-up of more than 30 exciting young artists participating it has become much more than that. It’s also become much more than a sculpture show with painting, performance, video, photography and all sorts of other mysterious wonders promised. The unique location means that artists will be exhibiting inside a house and in the recently renovated back garden as well as spreading across the River Tolka and in to the park on the opposite side. The night will also feature plenty of live music with Ronan Bergin, Frank Wasser and Nico Fitzgerald all playing some tunes. My own band Zabba were invited to play, but with several of our super-talented members fighting tyranny overseas, we are making do with a Zabba Lite acoustic set. But don’t worry, we have a few fun surprises up our disco-sequined sleeves. The night kicks off at 6pm but continues late into the night (Zabba on about 9pm or so) so feel free to drop in after visiting the Botanic Gardens or any of the shows in town.