Anneliese Gregg Exhibition opening

Anneliese Gregg reflects the characters she paints, full of colour, vibrancy and emotion. She has lived a life of adventure many of us can only dream of; having lived in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery for 8 years, has taught art in Brixton prison, lived in Scotland then went to build an olive farmhouse in Catalonia with her family and more recently earned a living barking trees in the Forest of Dean, all while raising a family !

Upon returning home to her native Derry she took up painting full time and having exhibited her work at various venues throughout the city Anneliese Gregg returns to the Warehouse Gallery with her latest collection.

Her work varies in character from sombre to spectacular painting her subjects such as Charlie, Drummer and Fazzed. In each case the subject of Gregg’s paintings tug you emotionally one way and another, from one extreme to another. What this work has in common; whether the subject be famous or obscure, alive or dead, rich or poor, is gather up all the experiences that Anneliese Gregg has had, in all the places she’s lived and the lives she’s touched and placed them on the page or canvas in the form of colour.

This is an exhibition that leads the viewer on a journey of colour that leaves you intrigued and exillarated, exasperated and excited. This an exhibition full of colour and character befitting of it’s creater and is not to be missed. The Anneliese Gregg collection is on display at the Warehouse Gallery, Derry until 6th July.

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Opening of The Underdogs Exhibition

The latest exhibition of local artist Brian Farrell opened in the Gasyard Centre on the Lecky Road in Derry last Saturday night. Farrell, whose work is heavily influenced by the likes of Kevin Bacon and Egon Schiele has developed a distinct style of his own.

With titles such as Fighter, Underdog Fear, Angst, Attitude, Nerve, Whisper and Sock, Brian knows not just what it’s like to struggle as an artist but is also emphasises with those who are struggling with life.

His work is heavily influenced by events of today such as the war in Syria or the migrant crisis; only instead of a TV camera or a newspaper he uses a canvas and paints to show his reaction to the world around him.

All the horror and the anguish and the desperation of it all comes bouncing back at the onlooker in each face that looks back at you. At play are not just the horrors we look at every day on the news but also the hurt and despair that we all face in our own lives. With the financial crisis and unemployment and poverty around us so commonly today, are there any of us looking at this work who can’t find a piece of ourselves in this work.

Painting primarily with oils and pastels in predominantly reds and whites and black and grey there’s a prevailing sense of danger and anger that people are faced with in the world today. There’s a sense that Farrell gets it; that he sees the world around him and throws it up there for all to see.

Also in this work however is the enduring hope that things will get better, that all is not lost in the world. There are pieces included in the collection that are a bit more playful, drawn from themes like science fiction.

This is a collection which is both startlingly and stark, yet unique and beautiful. In short it’s humanity on a canvas.

Underdogs by Brian Farrell is on display at the Gasworks Centre in Derry until September 8th. Thanks to Brian Farrell for permission to photograph his work

Opening of ‘Jewel of Mind’ exhibition at Playhouse

Mark Luukas has been painting for over twenty years. Although born in Chester England in 1979 Derry has been Mark’s home nearly all of his life. He has been painting for twenty years, finding it relaxing and a great way of reflecting the world around him. Mark sold his first work at the age of 18.
After graduating Mark has gone on to have five acclaimed exhibitions north and south of the border in various styles including still life, figurative, abstraction and semi abstraction. However for the past four years Mark has based his work on memory and invention and has entitled this exhibition jewels of mind
. Mark’s vivid imagination has allowed him to paint a great range of subjects, nearly all of which are drawn from memories and experiences throughout his life. The colour palette which he uses as well as the subject matters involved allow Luukas to create works of great vibrancy and imagination.

The Jewels of Mind exhibition is on in the Playhouse’s main gallery until 23rd August

Colin Davidson – Silent Testimony

It’s hard to picture for those who did not live through it what the troubles were like, the shootings, the bombings, the lost of a loved one. In Silent Testimony by Colin Davidson comes a different way of telling the story. Not a dramatic blockbuster film, or a thought-provoking play or a touristic re-telling of the story to entertain those with a morbid fascination with troubles sites.

These are the images of the people who have suffered as good as first hand. For although they might not have been the direct victims themselves they’re as good as. They’re as good as because they’re the ones left behind, the ones left wondering why it happened; why my loved one? Why me? What Davidson manages to do is capture on canvas with paints and a palet knife the suffering of a generation. The texture of the flesh in Colin Davidson’s portraits. These are people who have lived and who have suffered. The palet knife traces its way through the canvas, leaving it’s mark on the subject; just as the event associated with each person has left its mark on their lives. The eyes of each subject stare back at you with all the hurt, all the pain and all the humanity that their back story has left in their lives.

Silent Testimony is a very apt name for this exhibition because although each portrait comes with a back story for visitors to read, it’s the portraits that do the talking.

If you want to know what the troubles were about, go to this exhibition and read the stories on the faces of people who lived through it.

Silent Testimony is bring shown at the Nerve Visual Gallery, Ebrington, Derry until September and admission is free

In search of the lost moment

The year 1968 was a year of revolution. From Philadelphia, to Paris to Prague people were on the march demanding their rights; no more were people willing to experience discrimination. The Lost Moment is an exhibition of photos from a number of flashpoints throughout the world. The exhibition starts with an immensely sized photo of Martin Luther King’s March to Selma Alabama in March 1965; one of the most decisive moments in the American civil rights movement. The photo’s symbolism is as immense as it’s stature and is the beginning of a well thought out exhibition. The collection of photographs, taken by some of the leading photojournalist’s of the 1960’s include photographs from not only the United States but also flashpoint areas throughout Europe including Paris during the student protests there, as well as Prague and Warsaw during protests against soviet control; protests which were so ruthlessly put down, and London, which has seen protests against several issues throughout the world. The photos in this exhibition are so atmospheric that they transport you in time and place. You can feel the tension, taste the air, drenched in smoke and fear. Juxtapo alongside these photos of far off places are ones which are more familiar to local audiences. From October 1968 with the start of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland to the attempted march from Belfast to Derry, The Lost Moment presents parallels between what was happening locally with what was happening in international cities throughout the world.

For some, these photographs and posters will bring back memories, for others they are bring to life what has only been previously heard anecdotally. The fact that the exhibition is being housed in a building which once housed the soldiers who were brought on to the streets where many of these same protests took place is an irony which surely cannot be lost on the audience. The Lost Moment, or at least part thereof will be on display during the Earigal Arts Festival in the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny Co. Donegal before moving on towards the end of the year to the photography gallery in Temple Bar, Dublin for the last few months of the year.

Rembrandt exhibition at the Ulster Museum

One of the most iconic pieces of European art has recently finished a stint on display at the Ulster Museum. Rembrandt at the age of 63; while being one of his most celebrated portraits, was also one of his last. I had seen this collection before in the national gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh and can honestly say that the painting has lost none of its aura in the intervening years.

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The painting was on loan at the Ulster Museum from the National Gallery in London as part of the National Gallery Masterpiece tour which is going around a number of galleries and museums around the UK.

Among other portraits on display at this exhibition were portraits of other artists from the 17th century who were influenced by Rembrandt. These included Solomon Van Rysdael, Jan Symonsz Pynas, Jan van der Heyden and Nicolaes Maes.

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