Colourful Spirits Exhibition: An Innovative and Exciting Response to the Written Word

Response 2014Colourful Spirits is a vibrant, active, artist-led group based in North Kerry.  The group started up in 2009 as a result of feeling somewhat isolated as individual artists living in rural areas. They now visit each other’s studios every month on a rotating basis, updating each other on their individual projects and supporting each other as needed. They will launch Response – an innovative and exciting new exhibition of visual responses to the work of writers attending Listowel Writers’ Week 2014, on Friday 30th May at the Seanchaí Centre. Artists include: Viveca Amato, Liam Brennan, Marie Brennan, Rebecaa Carroll, Jim Dunne, Adrian Everson, Lisa Fingleton, Mary Finucane and  Dave Morrison.

Colourful Spirits inviteThe exhibition will be launched on Friday 30th May at 6.00pm at the Seanchaí Centre by poet, novelist and dancer, Tishani Doshi.

Listed below are details of the artists’ work for the Response exhibition, along with a selected number of images sent in by the artists. All of the artists’ work will be on display at the exhibition.

Name: Viveca Amato

Title: Happy Fat Chickens

Medium: Mixed Media (Acrylic paint, painted baking paper, newspaper, wallpaper, magazines, glue on wood.)

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: €250

Book Title: The Spinning Heart

Author: Donal Ryan

Happy Fat Chickens
Happy Fat Chickens

“I have the fattest, happiest chickens in Ireland.” He fed them with caterpillars he picked off the cabbages.

 

Artist Name: Liam Brennan

Title: Aren’t you lucky to have a job

Medium:  Acrylic on board

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: N.F.S.

Book Title: The Spinning Heart

Author: Donal Ryan

“Aren’t you lucky to have a job. That is the stick that is being used to beat us all now, like you can’t say one word about anything now or you have the shit thrown at you. George sacked the cleaner, then he started looking at me! The bastard.”

Artist Name: Lisa Fingleton

Title: Life wasn’t meant to turn out like this

Medium: Watercolour on Fabriano

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: €230

Book Title: The Berlin Wall Cafe

Author: Paul Durcan

Miss Havisham c Lisa Fingleton
Life wasn’t meant to turn out like this

I have always loved the poem “The Man who Thought he was Miss Havisham”. For me it captured the devastation of living life in a body that feels alien, in a society that is hostile to difference.

“But when I discover that my husband

Thought of himself as Miss Havisham

Well old son, I could not wear it all!

I blew a gasket, tripped the trip switch!

I simply could not bear to watch him

Moping there in front of the ape faced TV

In his wedding dress”

 

Artist Name: Marie Brennan

Title: God made truth with many doors to welcome every believer who knocks on them

Medium: Oil on board

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: TBC

Book Title: The Pleasure Seekers

Author: Tishani Doshi

Three images kept coming in front of me as I read this book 1. The house with the orange and black gates 2. The song ‘I’m in love with the girl who lives in the house with the white washed gables’ 3. The towers of silence. I incorporated elements of each of these into my painting.

 

Artist Name: Rebecca Carroll

Title: Keyhole to Another World

Medium: Mixed media on board & cotton

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: €330

Quote: From a documentary on John Moriarty

Author: John Moriarty

Keyhole to Another World[1]
Keyhole to Another World
John was a beautiful Kerry philosopher and poet. His writing is inspirational.

“A fern is like a keyhole into another world”.  I did not read these words from a book but

rather I heard John utter these words on a TV documentary,

As he lay in the long grass looking at a fern close-by, the thought just occurred to him!

These words have stayed with me ever since.

 

Artist Name: Rebecca Carroll

Title: Starry Night in El Paso

Medium: Oil on board

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: €230

Book Title: The Balled of Mo & G

Author: Billy Keane

This is a dark book, so I looked for the light in it, I found light in Billy’s wit.

Starry Night in El Paso
Starry Night in El Paso

I symbolised three of the main characters by these three lines: 1. “No lumber Jacks in El Paso, unless he was a cactus lumber jack.” Dermo is the prickly cactus. 2. Dermo hit Mo so hard she literally saw “Stars like cartoons”. Mo is depicted here as stars. 3. When G’s ear is bitten off by a crazed dog, the junior doctor said “Come with me Van Gogh”. G is the sunflower.

 

Artist Name: James Dunne

Title: Seeking to walk Beautifully on the Earth

Medium: Oil on Board

Size: 20” x 20”

Price: €250

From a Series of Talks: Seeking to walk beautifully on the Earth

Author: John Moriarty

P1110232[2]
Seeking to walk Beautifully on the Earth
I enjoy listening to John Moriarty whilst I paint. I love his wise words and calm delivery. ‘Anne’ is a farmer’s wife, who walks along our lane every day and often wears a scarf on her head and trainers on her feet. She walks in every kind of weather and puts us all to shame. She says she walks because it is her ‘thinking time’. Another simple, beautiful soul: Another great philosopher.

 

Artist Name: James Dunne

Title: Dad

Medium: Pen and Ink on Paper

Size: 20” x 20”

Price: €290

Book: The Essential Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Author: Gabriel Fitzmaurice

P1110235[2]
Dad
A father and Grandfather myself I was inspired by the poetry of a fellow father and grandfather who was himself inspired by his own father. I have tried to portray the poet as the words tumble around in his head before he commits them to the written word.

 

Artist Name: David Morrison

Title: Sinful Actions

Medium: Digital Art & mixed media  (Photographic Print)

Size: 20” x 20”

Price: €150

Book: Sins and CEOs

Author: Richard A. Moran

Sinful Actions
Sinful Actions

“Sinful actions may have drastic implications for everyone around them.”

These words alone inspired my image. Richard Moran writes with a humorous streak and yet shows that just a little common sense is all that’s needed. He illustrates this in his blogs for example “3 Ways to separate the Urgent from the Critical.”

 

Artist Name: David Morrison

Title of piece: Slowness & Timelessness

Medium used:  Digital Art & Mixed Media  (Photographic Print)

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: €200

Book: Countries of the Body  ( Another Man’s Woman )

Author of Book: Tshani Doshi

2 Slowness & Timelessness[1]
Slowness & Timelessness
I was inspired by Tishani Doshi’s Ted talk on Slowness and her own inspirations from dance  and her Teacher Chandralekha. I was also inspired by the poems from Countries of the Body especially Another Man’s Woman and also the way that she creates with such a free spirit.

 

Artist Name: Adrian Everson

Title: Return to the Island

Medium: Oil on Board

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: €220

Book Title: Little Beauty

Author: Alison Jameson

The image haunted me:  Holding her son, Laura looks out over the familiar landscape.

Seduced, deserted, pregnant, her ‘escape’ to the mainland failed, she returned to her

island for the birth and faces a life with vicious tongued neighbours and her dreary,

vacillating, lighthouse keeper lover.

This is courage!

 

Artist Name: Adrian Everson

Title: The Salt Heath

Medium: Oil on Board

Size: 20″ x 20″

Price: €220

Book Title: Gift of Stones

Author: Jim Crace

Words make pictures and this was too strong to resist!

A boy, maimed, rejected as useless by his village, discovers the place that will propel him into manhood. Ironically, the very tool that maimed him, making him worthless to the villagers, will soon destroy the villagers themselves.

 

Artist Name: Mary Finucane

Title: Starlings

Medium: Acrylic on Board

Size: 20” x 20”

Price: €250

Book: The Black Snow

Author: Paul Lynch

“A skim of starlings in the sky above Carnarvan seemed to mirror the rising wreath of drift smoke. The murmuration swung in unison like minds entwined, weaved the sky with giant breathing until the dusk pulsed like a lung. The group inverted and swirled, caught the light and bent it, swung again into a strip of infinite looping…”

Paul Lynch has a wonderful gift for creating imagery in his writing. The beauty of nature in this image of birds swirling and almost mirroring the smoke from a fire which caused such devastation contrasts hope with despair.

 

Artist Name: Mary Finucane

Title: Burning Memories

Medium: Acrylic on Board

Size: 20” x 20”

Price: €250

Book: Red Sky in Morning

Author: Paul Lynch

“Ash skittered the surface of fizzing embers and he raked it and kindled it with moss which popped and sizzled till flame lapped hungrily.”

This image of a man facing eviction hopelessly stoking the fire as though looking for answers evoked feelings of empathy, I thought about the thousands of Irish who today still struggle to keep a roof over their heads. The song Dan O’ Hara came to mind with each brush stroke as I created this painting.