Signal Arts Centre
30 Years of Making
Monday 29th March to Sunday April 24th
Signal Arts Centre is celebrating over 30 years in existence with an exhibition in both Signal and Mermaid Arts Centres. The exhibition, entitled “Signal Arts Centre – 30 Years of Making” will open on Monday 29th March and will run until 24th April. Although the work will be hung in both galleries, the exhibition will be made available to view online due to the current restrictions.
First opened in June 1990 by a group of recently graduated artists, Signal is now entering its 31st year. It was set up to provide an opportunity for other emerging artists to exhibit their work and to be a place of welcome and production for the many communities of Bray and North Wicklow. Their aim was to establish an artist run centre that would be a permanent part of the arts and local infrastructure.
Since then, Signal has gone on to provide over 600 artists with a chance to exhibit their first solo show, to work with a number of resource centres, schools and communities of interest; to buy its own building and to run a community employment programme specifically for those wishing to develop a career in the arts. It’s been some journey and it has been a privilege seeing many of those young artists become nationally recognised.
The exhibition will show works by 30 artists selected from the 600 artists who have previously exhibited in Signal.
Eleanor Phillips, Director of Signal Arts Centre, said: “In 2021 the Board of Signal is taking time to reflect on work done, plan for the future and develop the centre in order to provide better facilities and opportunities for artists and art makers/lovers.
Part of that reflection is celebrating the work done and to do so with friends and fellow arts professionals. We are delighted to be honouring these achievements with the fantastic support of Mermaid Arts Centre in this group show”.
Speaking about the exhibition, Julie Kelleher, Director of Mermaid Arts Centre, said: “Mermaid and Signal Arts Centres have had a long and fruitful association. Mermaid is so pleased to partner with Signal to mark this very special anniversary and celebrate the achievements of the artists involved, and of Signal itself over the last three decades. In a time when there is enormous uncertainty for artists and the organisations that support them, it is a joyful and hopeful thing to be able to present this work, albeit online by necessity, as a reminder of the enduring positivity that art can bring to the lives of so many. We look forward to welcoming visitors through our virtual doors to enjoy this wonderful exhibition.”
Signal Arts Centre is looking forward to building new partnerships and refreshing old ones on their journey through the next 30 years and seeing their big dream: a purpose built visual arts centre, come to fruition.
Exhibiting Artists at Signal Arts Centre
Emer O'Boyle - Whorlasmz.com
In 2006 Signal Arts Centre gave me my first break as an artist. I was just out of College. While I was mulling over what work I would submit to this exhibition, my daughter Orla was building her website, to showcase her work exploring the body, eroticism, gender and lesbianism from her perspective as a black and queer artist. I thought it would be fitting to pass on the act of confidence Signal Arts Centre showed in me, to Orla AKA Keni. I’m proud to introduce her here by naming my own version of the ubiquitous and inadequate thumbs up emoji, www.whorlasmz.com.
Thank you Eleanor Philips and Signal Arts Centre.
Miriam Sweeney - Subversion
Subversion stems from a practice that is underpinned with the exploration and longing for otherness: the mediation of an apparent reality and illusion. It was driven by the need to articulate a journey form one level of reality to another – the unknown. A dark horse, a leap of faith………
Anne Curran - Edges of Our Time
“Edge of our Time “ is a series of paintings created in 2020 as a response to
They stand right beside each other, each one rooted in fragility ,made with repeated
acts of burning. The shapes are chosen to represent our world, our state of flux, the
use of puncturing the images to create disappearance, distortion.
I worked with these paintings in a very slow and meditative way, incorporating unconventional mark making to the collaged pieces. My chosen materials are encaustic paint made from beeswax and asian papers.
Cartography and the image of the circle become distorted, and the slowness of the work becomes its soul.
Mary Duffy - And the Sea Don't Pay No Mind
This painting was created for an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Ireland, commemorating the sinking of the RMS Leinster. In the closing days of the First World War, the ship was sunk off the Kish Lighthouse by a torpedo on October 10 with the loss of 529 lives. One hundred years later, in the summer of 2018, I learnt to sail in the same harbour that The Leinster embarked from on its doomed voyage.
The hours I spent on the water contemplating the loss of life and the tragedy in the closing days of the war, while learning to negotiate the wind and the waves in the harbour, led me to create this painting
Sarah Iremonger - Submerged Horizons Skellig Michael, Star Wars and Water Camouflages 2017
This work is based on a variety of original and found online images including Skellig Michael, Star Wars and water camouflage, the images have been layered to create a fragmented confusion of abstract shapes, and painted in the style of camouflage.
This work investigates the identity of place, in this case of a spiritual historical site, and how this identity has been co-opted or displaced for mass media and corporate gain. Their style references early 20th century abstract art with a digital twist. By placing the agency of subject matter and personal artistic signature and expression in the background, the visual landscape signifiers become hidden in a forest of post-representational camouflage.
Orla Callaghan - Salvadore The Pirate Raft
‘The Tale of Frozen Charlotte and Salvadore the Pirate Raft’ (A little storybook.)
Since the 13th century a particular type of sail has been common to the west of Ireland and north Africa. The sail, known as the Dipping Lug in Ireland and the Lateen in Africa demonstrates the legacy of communication and interconnection forged by sea faring. This became a signpost for investigation into boats while 2020 rocked our world’s boat in ‘unprecedented’ ways.
Experimental boat making led to an emergence of narrative when the shard of a china doll, found in a field, somehow became involved and personification occurred. The shard is a Frozen Charlotte, a specific form of china doll made from c. 1850 to c. 1920. Frozen Charlottes got their name from an American poem called ‘Corpse to a Ball’ about a vain young woman. Despite warnings from her mother to dress warmly, Charlotte preferred to show off her beautiful gown and froze to death on the way to the ball. The truncated Frozen Charlotte of this new story carries the eerie shadow of vanity’s folly but her present state, the survivor of countless cycles of ploughing, speaks of resilience and endurance. The boat character, Salvadore the Pirate Raft, grew from a chain of references that began in the floating gardens of Mexico. Salvadore took shape as part pirate vessel, part party boat, and part survival raft, encapsulating some of the disparate energies involved in the struggle to stay afloat.
The writing is lightweight, a counter balance perhaps in these heavy times, when a yearning for fairy tales and sea shanties has seen a resurgence and levity may act as a buoyancy aid.
Joanne Boyle - Untitled 2020
Joanne Boyle is a visual artist based in Wicklow. She is a graduate of the BA in Visual Arts Practice, 2009. Since then she has been awarded a studio and mentorship award from DLR Arts Office (2009), an Artlinks Bursary from Wicklow Arts Office (2011), a Bursary for publication from Wicklow Arts Office (2012), was a founding member of Outpost Studios, Bray (2014), awarded a residency at The Guesthouse, Cork (2014), received Arts Council Visual Artists Workspace Award (2016), commissioned by Wicklow Arts Office to commemorate the 100th anniversary of womens right to vote (2018).
Recent exhibitions include, solo show in the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray (2019). Selected group shows include, PeripheriesOPEN Gorey School of Art (2018)(2019), Outpost Studios Group Show, Mermaid Arts Centre (2016), Panorama, Pallas Projects (2015), Summer Show, Taylor Gallery (2014), Annual Exhibition, RHA (2014), Open Submission, Mermaid Arts Centre (2013), Boyle Arts Festival, invited artist (2013), Annual Exhibition, RHA (2012), Boyle Arts Festival, invited artist (2012).
Lee Welch - Perhaps the Same Bird Echoed Through the Both of Us
In an age dominated by the digital image and mass media, Welch cherishes the physicality of the human touch with work that is a testament to the meaning and potency of painting. When he is looking for material, it’s not so much about the content as to how to handle the material to evoke an emotional response. Our emotions make us human. His paintings wait mutely – patiently – for the viewer to animate them. A dynamic, intimate encounter between painting and observer.
Lee Welch (IRL/USA) completed an MFA at the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam and gained his BFA from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He is the NCAD Studio Artist for 2020-21 and was recently awarded a residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Welch’s work has been featured in numerous institutions including Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC), León, Spain and Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp. His paintings are in private and public collections such as Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane and the OPW – State Art Collection. Lee Welch is represented by Berlin Opticians Gallery, Dublin.
Conall McCabe - Self Portrait
My Work seeks to traverse the divide between the traditional figurative painting and abstraction. I create delicately rendered paintings that explore my interest in the complexity of the human make up.
The lifelong search for purpose and a sense of completeness in oneself are the axiom upon which my artistic exploration hinges. The feeling of incompleteness in us all is represented individually in each intimate portrait. Every Portrait is a map of life and its corrosive effects. Our emotions, traumas, hopes, memories, a plethora of the human experience, interweave to make a mortal tapestry of finite form, a transient gestalt of being.
I explore the human form in a mosaic of abstract shapes which I refer to as Form/Colour Tessellation. My Artistic process borrows from the Appropriation of filtered digitised edited images. When seen as a whole the subjects are defined or recognisable. On closer inspection the viewer is met with an intricate network of fluid shapes and colours. Each tile or shape is significant in its own right both, an aesthetic in its singularity or part of a harmonious mass.
Ann Marie Webb - I never did learn that Tiktok Dance
As a painter I am curious of how painting acts through the language of abstraction to create a visual vernacular. I use colour and mark making to work in contradiction between space and object. My search rests in the place where an image can move between the specific and the nomadic, creating fleeting forms and shifting perspectives.
Yanny Petters - Hedgerow Silhouettes with Buttercup and Herb-Robert
Yanny Petters paints on glass in a technique known as Verre Eglomisé.
This piece includes Nature Print, 24 carat gold leaf and white gold and is one of three works representing hedgerow plants.
Yanny raises awareness of Irish wild habitats and draws attention to plants which we all too easily take for granted.
She is represented by the Olivier Cornet Gallery in Dublin.
Piia Rossi - Sound of the Wind
Piia Rossi is an artist and an art pedagogist from Finland. She studied printmaking in Ireland at The National College of Art and Design where she received a degree in Fine Art in 1996 and MLitt. in Education in 2006. Currently Rossi divides her time between Finland and Slovakia and keeps close contact to Ireland through work and friends.
Rossi has held solo exhibitions in Finland, Germany and Ireland. In 2009 she held solo exhibition Home Sweet Home in Signal Art Gallery. This was a participatory Installation made of over 100 miniature paper houses arranged on the gallery floor as an imaginary town. A number of these houses had images drawn onto them by the artist, the rest were devoid of any drawing as during the interactive workshops participants projected their own images onto the houses by drawing and painting.
Rossi has exhibited widely internationally as well as in Ireland. Her work is included in many Irish public and private collections including: DCC, OPW, Trinity College Dublin, AIB, Microsoft Ireland and President Mary McAleese’s collection. Rossi has been awarded The Arts Council New Work Grant and in 2018 her work was selected to the and Women voted – Women artists from the AIB Art Collection exhibition held at the dlr Lexlcon.
Rossi mainly works on large scale installations that are formed of numerous small parts. Instead of concentrating on small individual pieces she rather tells stories in arrangements of multiples. The method and material of the installations may vary, however the topic stays constant; belonging, pining and fear of losing. In her work she suggests order into chaos, the aim is to create an experience of harmony and quiet. She hopes to reach this by offering wonderment and awe, by arranging an elevating experience away from the mundane.
Rossi is currently working towards a solo exhibition Breakable held in Promenadigalleria, Finland. The piece seen in Signal Art Centre is a video piece of this large-scale floor piece that is composed of thousands of broken eggshells. These eggs are dyed using colors which Rossi makes from plants, berries, vegetables and other natures offerings. Sustainability issues in art production is important to Rossi and her aim is to create art that in the end can be taken apart and returned back to nature.
In the video the eggs move freely as air moves around them. When the eggs touch, they make very delicate sounds that are like fleeting memories.