I could have stayed longer in Galway but I had some work to do in Naas on the Wednesday so on Tuesday I took the train to Dublin followed by the bus to Naas. But I decided to break the journey and call into the IMMA to have a look at their Coastlines exhibition.
Drawing on the paradox implicit in the word ‘coastline’ – for never has a coast followed a linear course – the title of this exhibition throws a line around a 12 month programme of changing displays of artworks and archival material that will explore our sense of place, perception, representation and memory.
The exhibition occupies the majority of the gallery space in the East Wing of the main building. Exhibits include works by a diverse range of international artists including Bridget Riley, Richard Long and Dorothy Cross. I have to say I found the connection with “coastlines” somewhat tenuous in some cases, particularly in the first few rooms. But it was an excellent exhibition with a good selection of art. So here’s a selection of favourites.
The very first room had Op Art works by artists including Bridget Riley on show and also this untitled 3D work by Alexandra Wejchert
In the next room, a work by Patrick Heron Emerald with Reds and Cerulean (1972)
Frequency (2004-5) by Anita Groener
Moon and Hill (1972), one of several works by Gerda Froemel, a sculptor I discovered during a previous visit to the IMMA in 2015 when they had an exhibition devoted to her
Kilkenny Limestone Circle – unmistakeably by Richard Long
Land Fall II (2005) a dramatic, stormy sea by Donald Teskey, an Irish artist from County Limerick who specialises in seascapes of the west of Ireland
By the same artist, a series of sketches from 2004.
Munla Soghlualste (1972), another sculpture by Gerda Froemel
Ebb Tide, Lissadell (undated) by T P Flanagan
Lake and Blue Mountains of Connemara (c1935) by Paul Henry
The last two rooms in the exhibition really stood out. The Paul Henry painting was displayed in a room where the floor was covered with a large scale map of the Arran Islands (which are in Galway Bay, not far from where I’d just been staying and are also somewhere I want to visit)
It was difficult to portray in a photo as was the main work displayed in the final room – Tabernacle by Dorothy Cross. It’s a multimedia featuring a structure constructed from an upturned curach (a type of boat used in the west of Ireland, particularly Galway, the Arran Islands and Connemara) a wooden shed together with a video of the sea shot from inside a cave near the artist’s home.
I thought it was an impressive work, evoking the atmosphere of the west coast of Ireland.
The exhibition runs until the end of September and I expect I’ll be back to take another look when I’m over in Ireland later in the year.