Friday, December 5, 2008

VAI Clinic 27 November

Aileen Barry was here to talk to artists from all over the county who were interested in the Visual Artists Ireland has to offer artists.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Submissions- thank you

Dear Artists,

Thank you all for the fantastic submissions that the Courthouse Gallery received this year. We regret any inconvenience caused by the late replies and hope that you all got a letter in the post by now. Although we would like to support all the artists, unfortunately we had over 60 submissions and had just to programme a dozen. We have a fantastic line-up for 2009. Just watch this space for the details of upcoming shows.

We would like to thank you all for applying to the gallery and wish you all success in your artistic careers.
All the best from the Staff at the Courthouse Gallery

Weekend events at the Courthouse Gallery

Warm your winter weekend with some singing and art. You are invited to attend 2 fabulous events at the Courthouse with a Portuguese theme- Portuguese singing on the Saturday night and Sunday a talk by Anne McMahon on her photographs of Olive trees in Portugal.
Looking forward to seeing you over the weekend.
All the best,
Courthouse Gallery Staff.

Saturday night:

Enchanting rhythms of Rio

combined with sweet, harmonious melodies sung in

Brazilian Portuguese -A ray of tropical bliss

to your Irish Winter!

Canto Brasil

Saturday 22nd November


10€ or 8€ concession



Sunday 3.30pm:

-Artist talk and reception-


Anne McMahon

Sunday, 23 November at 3.30pm

Afternoon tea and discussion with the artist at the Courthouse gallery, Ennistymon.

All welcome. Free.

See blog:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008



will present the first of our art appreciation discursive evenings in the Courthouse Gallery next TUESDAY , 11 NOVEMBER AT 8PM sharp. The topic for discussion in the RENAISSANCE Period and Finola will show some slides and explore and discuss some of the central themes of this creative period.
This is an ideal educational evening for the Leaving Cert art students as well as anyone interested in this magnificant period in art history.

Adults €7, unwaged 5€, students 3€.

AnneMcMahon- rescheduled artist talk

International photographer Anne McMahon will give an artists talk and host a reception in the Courthouse gallery on SUNDAY 23 November 2008 at 3.30pm.
Unfortunately we have to cancel the opening reception advertised for the 6th November and we regret any inconvenience caused. However we hope that you will join us for afternoon tea on the 23rd at 3.30pm and meet the artist.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


on Friday, 17TH of OCTOBER 2008 AT 8PM.

Touching Distance is an exciting new dance work, choreographed by Legitimate Bodies’ artistic director Nick Bryson featuring three highly skilled dancers, Cristina Goletti (who is also an artistic director), Aine Stapleton and Federica Esposito. It deals with touch between human beings as well as the dynamics within relationships. Touching Distance is an impassioned and full-length dance work of around 50 minutes duration. Real people on stage portray a dance able to touch a wide audience. This is a very special occasion, the first international contemporary dance company to perform in Ennistymon and the Courthouse Gallery is delighted to host this exciting live performance.

Tickets available at the door cost 10€ with 8€ for unemployed/senior citizens and 5€ for children.


Legitimate Bodies also are running workshops for adults on Thursday evening 7-9pm in the Courthouse (10€),

School going teenagers are welcome with their teachers to attend class on Friday morning- 10.30 to 12 (8€ per student)

Children aged 7-9 can participate on Saturday morning, 18th October from 10.30am-12.

Pre-book please with the Courthouse Gallery- 065 7071630 or email:

"Can’t Stop the Rock"

An exhibition of paintings by

Cóilín Rush.

at 8pm on Thursday evening,

9th October

Exhibition runs until 30th October

**Gallery co-ordinator Maria Kerin will give a short talk at Ten Past Three on Tuesdays during the exhibition - all the family are welcome, especially the children.

Artist statement:

“‘I am he who can play many games!’ That is the essence of the happy child….”- The Dice Man.

I dislike themes. Too often an exhibition statement begins with-‘The single unifying theme of this exhibition of works is…..’.Or better again in the case of a call to Artists- ‘This is a an open submission call for Artworks and the theme is….’. An Artist who hears that call can now take a work and bend its meaning and pervert it’s destiny until it meets the proposed theme. The theme which has been set is a challenge. It is an obstacle. How can an Artist triumph over it? In this way the theme is the engine of creativity! Possibly, but perhaps not. I think themes sometimes prevent us from seeing the work that Artist’s do when left alone.

I make paintings based on photographs of images that appeal to me. The selection of images is not altogether arbitrary. The images are usually from feature films that I appreciate the aesthetic of. I use the excess paint left at the end of some rendering to begin abstract works which I like to think then in turn inform the qualities of my figurative works and I occasionally unsuccessfully try to find the painting that works as both. I take other photographs from life, often portraits of friends. I get commissioned to do other things. I get ideas about flow mediums and how they might react with one another and so I take a small canvas and make an experiment and then so as not to waste it I make a painting of it. This exhibition is filled with all of these things.
I have a short attention span. I have to break up the pursuit of one idea with interjections of the meaningless. If I think- ‘This work deals with issues of…..’I have to concede that, without a theme, it does not. It is dumb. It will not speak to you. Do you hear me? If you do, you have failed to observe things as they really are. As such the theme of this show is a lack of themes. Silly me! In this way the theme of this exhibition is theme.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Historical information

Information on the Courthouse Studios and Gallery:

Ennistymon Courthouse Studios and Gallery, Parliament Street, Ennistymon, was officially opened by Sile de Valera, T.D. on Friday 30th March 2007.

Five artists studios, a sound recording studio and an art gallery are based in the newly renovated building.

Development of the facility has been a labour of love for the Old Ennistymon Society, a totally voluntary organisation, which has been working since 1992 to ensure that the old Courthouse building in Ennistymon would be preserved and developed as a true community resource. The society decided to develop the building as an arts facility, and in 1997 offered the building to a group of artists in the locality on a five-year lease at a peppercorn rent. This group, consisting of Deirdre O’Mahony, Fiona Woods, Jackie Askew and Veronica Nicholson, subsequently formed itself as the North Clare Artists Group and sought and received funding from the Arts Council under the Studios Conversion Scheme to create studio spaces for 5 artists in the building.

As this leasehold period was drawing to a close, the Old Ennistymon Society sought access funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands to further develop the building, backed by the County Council. In August of 2001, the society appointed John O’Reilly as its architect for the renewal project, and the fine building to be seen today is a testament to his skills and vision, and to the tenacity and vision of the founding members of the Old Ennistymon Society, who have laboured for many years to bring this project to its present stage.

Today the Courthouse is a hive of activity. An international film maker, a puppeteer, a watercolour artist, a ceramics artist, a landscape artist and a performance artist have taken up residence in the studios, following an open competitive interview process.

Some notable exhibitions have taken place in the gallery space, including those curated by Fiona Woods, the North Clare Visual Arts Officer. With what’s shaping up to be an exciting mix of local and national in a diverse multi-disciplinary programme for next year, artists across all disciplines will have exhibitions. Diverse cultural events including contemporary dance workshops and performances, samba band gig and poetry reading will also take place in the next few months. Suggestions aren always welcome for other creative events/workshops.

Sheena Meaghar

Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon

September 12- October 4

Clare – Voyance
Artist Sheena Meagher collects wordscapes and adds her own visions of the county.

This is a body of work focusing on the power of place and memories relating to County Clare. During the process of creating paintings and installations for this exhibition, ‘wordscapes’, or pictures painted with words were sought from a wide section of the Co. Clare community by artist Sheena Meagher.

Over one hundred people contributed powerful wordscapes that capture the musicality of the Clare voice, rich literary and musical traditions, the influences of landscape on people, and a vibrant sense of community. These, together with the original paintings and installations by the artist combine to evoke the rich tapestry of life found in Co. Clare.

Artists Statement;

As I have been coming to Lahinch since I was a small child, Co. Clare represented freedom and holidays. During these long, easy days anything could happen, any idea could occur to me. My paintings and installations celebrate particular moments from times enjoyed in Clare. My hope is that visitors to this exhibition will respond to my work and to the collected wordscapes by recalling their own times of freedom and inspiration.

About the Artist

Sheena Meagher worked as an architect in Dublin and Rome, receiving an award from the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in 1993. Key to her philosophy was how we inhabit a place, and our impact on the environment. In 2002 she began a transition towards painting having worked with fresco in Venice, painting with rich earth pigments and lime mortars on historic buildings. She was introduced to Chinese painting techniques by Weimin He. Struck by the relative immediacy and creative freedom offered by the process she began a transition towards painting full time. Generous sweeps of colour to articulate detail can be accomplished by the same brush as it tapers from a full base to a fine tip. The distinctive and vibrant colour palate may be applied densely or in gentle translucent washes.

She continues to concern herself with the built and the natural environment; sense of place, atmosphere, movement and energy. Sheena now works and lives at the edge of the Atlantic having moved to live and work in Co. Clare.

Courthouse Gallery, Parliament Street, Ennistymon, Co. Clare

Opened Tuesday to Saturday, 12 to 5pm. 065 7071630 or

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Present Exhibition - "Solitary Company"

“Solitary Company”

Mona Hynes, Patsy Ricks and Mary Fahy

“Solitary Company” is the title of the exhibition by three artists from the North Clare area in the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon this August.

Inspired by the transient local landscape, local artists

Mona Hynes, Patsy Ricks and Mary Fahy

have created a diverse show, highlighting each of their unique expression through the medium of paint. “Solitary Company” captures the energy and light of North Clare and this is a wonderful opportunity to re-visit your local area through the eyes and creativity of another. They have made visible interepretations of the landscape that we pass by everyday, noting subtle changes and celebrating all that is so intriguing in our local environment.

Through multiple layers of paint Galway born Mary Fahy has created dense landscapes highlighting the edge of things; where sky meets land, where sea meets shore, to twilight images at the edge of day. She manifests through painting the essence and energy of a place in a highly personal way by re-]imagining it on canvas. In some paintings Mary Fahy suggests interaction between people and their environment: a trace of a footprint, evidence of people having passed through.

Being an artist from the Burren, Mona Hynes expresses her connection to it through paintings that are in a fluid expressive style and deal with an emotional and imaginative response to this beautiful and often desolate landscape. Mona Hynes allows the paint the freedom to form an initial image by dropping and pouring it onto the canvas and then she paints over this. She never knows what the final piece will look like. For Mona Hynes this process reflects the unique and mysterious quality of the Burren.

Patsy Ricks, an artist based in the Courthouse Studios, engages with everyday scenes in Ennistymon and Lahinch such as dilapidated buildings, old stone walls, rust and even the dogs in the street catch her eye. She feels it is necessary to record, through the medium of watercolour, the demise of buildings and their surroundings in the local area. Patsy Ricks work is her chronicle of places fast disappearing .

“Solitary Company”,Paintings by Mona Hynes, Patsy Ricks and Mary Fahy was opened by Councillor Flan Garvey on Thursday 7th August 2008 at 8.00pm.

Exhibition runs until Saturday 30th August.

Open: Tue to Sat 12.00 - 5.00pm.Ph: 065 7071630 Email: