Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas celebration at the Courthouse Gallery

We would like to thank everybody who supported us here in the Courthouse Gallery during the year and we would like to wish you all a  Happy and Peaceful Christmas & a C r e a t i v e New Year 2012.

Kathryn, Daire, Crissie, Trudi

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Story Of A Life, Noirin Mooney


    Story Of A Life

     Batik paintings





       Noirin  Mooney


         Dec 3rd – Jan 7th

Monday, November 28, 2011

Story Of A Life




of Batik paintings


Noirin Mooney 


 Dec 3 - Jan 7






with accompanying book Launch

and you are warmly invited to the opening

on Saturday Dec 3rd  at 4pm

The exhibition will be opened by

Denis Crosby     

Nollaig Shona Dhuit

Better known as a painter in oils, Noirin Williams Mooney was drawn to painting in batik when she came to live in the Burren in Co.Clare in the late 1960's. The colour and crackle of the landscape seemed to lend itself to the medium. It enabled her to explore the imaginative and mythological rather than purely landscape aspects of the Burren.
For the past thirty years she has been exhibiting extensively in her first love, oils. Prior to the death of her youngest son, Brecan, in November, 2009, she had already been drawn back to painting in batik and had begun to work on a Life of Jesus. Brecan’s death gave the work a new impetus. The fourteen pieces in ‘STORY OF A LIFE’ cover some of the main events, parables and miracles in Christ's life. Noirin has created this series of batiks during a time of deep reflection. They have taken some two years to complete.

”Illustrated depictions of birth life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are often overly somber. I think the ‘good news’ should lend itself to a more joyous expression using the medium of Batik painting.  In ‘STORY OF A LIFE’ I use the medium of Batik painting which lends itself to a richness of colour and hopefully the accompanying quotations in the book will give a meditative quality to the exhibition as a whole.”

Trasna II

Trasna II  

 an exhibition of postcard-sized works by national and international artists.

December 2nd  - January 7th 2012
Trasna II opens Fri 2nd at  7pm
To encourage you to share in this event there will be a wine reception and a humorous auction on the opening night Friday 2nd at 7pm. Members of the public are invited to come early and place bids on their favourite pieces before the auction begins at 8pm.

The pieces will be auctioned by Chris Wallis and Sarah Fuller
There is a reserve price of €40 on each work.
This is a silent auction, meaning artists are anonymous until after works are purchased.

 This is a wonderful opportunity to purchase original artworks as gifts for loved ones in the upcoming festive season.

Trasna II  will run in conjunction with our Christmas show –
 Story Of A Life
 Batic paintings by Noirin Mooney

Friday, November 11, 2011

3 Instrument Makers

3 Instrument Makers

19th – 26th Nov.
open 11am – 4pm daily (inc Sun)

Featuring the crafted instruments of

Harp Paul Dooley
Flute Martin Doyle
Uilleann Pipes Davy Spillane

Official opening
by Patrick McCormack
on Saturday 19th November at 4pm

November 19th - 26th 2011
open 11am-4pm daily (incl Sun)

In conjunction with the year of the craft the 3 Instrument Makers exhibition will offer the visitor a multi media experience featuring the musical instruments crafted by Paul Dooley, Martin Doyle and Davy Spillane as well as selected recordings of their music.

All three are internationally acclaimed artists who live within a ten mile radius of Ennistymon and were invited to partake in this exhibition which aims to honour and acknowledge their work.

Included in this exhibition will be audio interviews and a 15 minute commissioned film by ‘Packmule Films’ - Dylan Phillips and Marcus Campbell, documenting each of the musicians at work in their workshops

Photographer Christy McNamara, well known for his photographs of traditional musicians will be collaborating in this exhibition with a series of commissioned photographs.

Paul Dooley is one of the leading exponents of the Irish harp in its historical form and style, having studied the construction of medieval Irish harps in Dublin during the early 1980s. He started his performing career on the metal-strung harp in 1986 and has appeared on numerous CD recordings and television soundtracks his latest recording is called The Harpers Fancy.

In 2005 Martin Doyle moved from Bray to Co. Clare, where from his workshop he makes flutes for musicians worldwide. His love of flute making carries an aspiration for the progression of the craft,
“I like to strive to transcend my capacities and therefore my results. It’s important to me that the contemporary flutes keep evolving and giving us new horizons — that is the real joy of this work! My feeling is that we should never stop striving for the better good in any field of endeavour.”

In the mid '70's Davy Spillane started his uilleann pipe making apprenticeship with Johnny Burke in Bray Co. Wicklow and by 1988 Davy had made his own set of uilleann pipes with Johnny. These pipes are made of sterling silver, African blackwood, ebony and ivory. 1988 being the Millennium Year in Dublin, all the silver parts were individually hallmarked in Dublin Castle and received the Millennium hallmark unique to that year. This is the instrument that Davy has played on all his recordings and performances from when they were made to the present time. This is the instrument that is on display. 

In conjunction with North Clare Historical Society there will be a lecture in the gallery on Monday 21st at 8pm by Eugene Lambe, collector of tunes and stories from County Clare. 



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Submission Deadline

Deadline for Trasna II submission is 25th November!

A5 postcard submissions from artists should be a maximum postcard size
20 x 15 cm in any medium. Please send us an email to request an application form to and both should be mailed or hand delivered to:
Attn : Trasna II submission,
The Courthouse Gallery,
Parliament street,
Co. Clare.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Trasna II

What is Trasna II?

Trasna II is the second year of an exhibition of postcard sized art works that runs in conjunction with the Christmas exhibition at the Courthouse Gallery. The artists involved are both national and international and all of the works are no bigger than the size of a postcard. All of the works involved will be included in our silent auction where the starting bid will be no less than €40 (a standard 25% gallery commision applies).
Trasna II is an open theme and gives emerging artists a great opportunity to show their work in an exhibition alongside some established artists. Submission is free! And you also have a chance to sell your work.

How do I submit?

A5 postcard submissions from artists should be a maximum postcard size
20 x 15 cm in any medium. Deadline for submission is 25th November!
Please send us an email to request an application form to and both should be mailed or hand delivered to:
Attn : Trasna II submission,
The Courthouse Gallery,
Parliament street,
Co. Clare.

What now?

You can find us on facebook and LIKE The Courthouse Gallery
and follow the latest developments and see how the exhibition is coming along!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bábushkas & Bábochkas

Tessa O’Connor - 'Bábushkas & Bábochkas'
A selection of prints & stained glass

 OCT 21  to  NOV 16

 Tessa O'Connor studied Fine Art Printmaking in LSAD and graduated in 2009. She has been living and working in Russia and Belarus for the past year. This work draws on the style of Russian iconography  and folk art from the 17th and 18th centuries that she was able to experience first hand in the archives and museums of St Petersburg and the villages of Belarus.  The body of work is in lino prints and stained glass.

"My work is a testament to the people that I have met in the orphanages and adult institutions in Belarus and the caring friendships between them. These people are often pushed to the shadows of the country. In the works 'Bábushkas & Bábochkas' I am attempting to depict them in the place of respect that I feel they deserve. They have a warmth and strength that amazes me."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

They have Eyes

  “They have Eyes”
 an installation by Elaine Byrne 
and Photographs by Nuala O’Sullivan

OCT 21 – NOV 16
Official opening  Friday October 21st  at 8 pm

In her work Elaine Byrne enquirers whether there is complicity between the object and the subject, with a tension that affects fear, desire, reality and memory, in creating what the viewer actually sees but contemplating the idea that seeing is a reciprocal activity.   In her process, Byrne suggests that the articulation of fear and of tension within the banal is a position where the repeated story or word both articulates and realises the sentiment, that a picture rooted in a childhood past can evoke the memory of an irrational fear that though adult eyes contains no threat . In the exhibition “They have Eyes”, immediately the question ‘who or what are they’ is asked – anxious looking around to see where ‘they or it’ follows. 
Through with video, photography and installation Byrne investigates the state of the inner psyche, focusing on the notion multi layered identity. In examining this she looks at the experiences which shaped us – exploring the psychoanalytic model of the human personality, in which stories and memories carry important messages to the conscious and the unconscious mind. She is interested in memory’s role, including the collective unconscious memory – in helping us accept the problematic nature of life without being defeated by it.

Elaine completed a MA in Visual Arts Practices in 2009, and had solo exhibitions in Dublin, London and Mexico. She has been awarded the Arts council Travel and Training award (2010) and the Cultural Ireland travel award ( 2010 and 2011) .

In ‘They have Eyes’ 
Nuala O’Sullivan shows photographs which explore themes relating to identity and self image. They question how the mass media influence our self-image today and also consider the background and unseen financial forces that often manipulate how we see ourselves and how we spend our money.

In this series of photographs she is using paper dolls cut from the ‘How to Spend It’ Supplement in the ‘Financial Times Newspaper’. The dolls form a human chain, and although dolls are childhood images, here they address more complicated adult issues. Some of the photographs show the dolls against a black background looking stylised and highly finished like the magazines from which they were created.  However, the paper dolls continually topple over, and all the designer names they feature fall and collapse along with them.  

Nuala O’Sullivan holds a BA Degree in Fine Art Painting from the Limerick School of Art and Design (L.I.T.) and is currently researching her MA there.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

An Evening of Poetry on All Ireland Poetry Day

An Evening of Poetry
To mark All-Ireland Poetry Day 2011
Thursday 6th October at 7pm

Salmon Poetry presents:

Joseph Woods
Jean Kavanagh
 Isla Thielan
Jessie Lendennie

Joseph Woods is a poet and Director of Poetry Ireland. A winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award, his latest books are Cargo (Dedalus Press, 2010) which gathers together his first two books in a single volume and Ocean Letters (also from Dedalus Press, 2011) . He has also co-edited Our Shared Japan, an anthology of contemporary Irish poetry concerning Japan.

Jean Kavanagh was born in Dublin and is now living in Liscannor. In 2001 she co-founded The Cascades writing group in Ennistymon, and is now participating in the Advanced Poetry Workshop in The Galway Arts Centre. She has read her poetry at Clifden Arts Week and the Salthill Arts Festival, amongst other venues. She has twice been shortlisted for Over the Edge New Writer of the Year, most recently in 2011. 

Ilsa Thielan studied Art and Literature in Germany before settling in Clare. She works with photography, tapestry and words. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in many anthologies. Her debut collection, Night Horses, is forthcoming from Salmon.

Jessie Lendennie was born in Arkansas, USA. After years of travel, she settled in Ireland in 1981. Her previous publications include a book-length prose poem Daughter (1988); reprinted as Daughter and Other Poems in 2001. She compiled and edited: Salmon: A Journey in Poetry, 1981-2007;  Poetry: Reading it, Writing It, Publishing It (2009) and Dogs Singing: A Tribute Anthology (2010).  She is co-founder (1981) and Managing Director of Salmon Poetry. A new collection of her poetry, Walking Here, has just been released. She is currently working on a memoir To Dance Beneath the Diamond Sky.

For more information visit

Salmon30 - 
Celebrating 30 Years of Literary Publishing in 2011

All welcome to attend, no charge

Monday, September 26, 2011


Friday September 30th
Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery
Every year since 2006, Kolkata based Indian Classical musician, Sougata Roy Choudhury has toured Ireland performing mesmerising concerts on his 25 stringed lute the sarode. Sougata is known for his passionate renditions of raga and sensitive skill.  Growing up in a musical family, Sougata began playing sarode at the age of 10 and has studied under great maestros such as Ali Akbar Khan, Dyanesh Khan and Ashish Khan.  He has performed all across Europe and Indian and has a growing number of students.  He will be accompanied by Italian tablist Ciro Montanari.  Ciro is famous for performing with Galway based fusion group, the Bahh Band and has studied the tabla in Indian since 2004. Sougata has performed in Ennistymon several times in the past and this evening promises to be magical.  Tickets are only €10 for adults or €2 for children.  Bookings and enquiries contact Mattu- 086 268 5061.
Save Ennistymon’s Heritage 


After the Boom:Picking up the Pieces
a talk by
Frank McDonald
Author and Environment Editor of the Irish Times
In the Courthouse Gallery

Thursday 29th at 8.30pm

Frank McDonald joined the Irish Times in 1979, becoming Environment Correspondent in 1986, a post which he held until he was appointed Environment Editor in 2000.
The North Clare Historical Society

Who Do You Think You Are
from the butter box to the family tree

a talk by
Larry Brennan
at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon
Monday 26th September at 8pm
Admission €5

This is the first lecture of the North Clare Historical Society’s Autumn 2011programme.    
Larry Brennan of Clare Roots Society will bring the listeners from how to complete the  Butter Box method to the Family Tree and finally to the presentation of your family history. Larry will display the different sources easily available in order to complete your family tree back to 1800.
As one of the founders of Clare Roots Society in 2006 Larry took up Genealogy & Family History after the death of his parents who died within 7 weeks of each other in 1999. His research while not travelling outside Co. Clare has brought him to sources and family research in Australia, USA & Great Brittan. Larry has gone on to assist others at home and abroad with their research.
All are welcome

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


 free admission

Rita Wobbe will give an artist talk in the gallery on the
23rd of September at 6pm
Born in Germany, Wobbe has lived in the Burren, Co. Claire for nearly 20 years. Her sculp­tural abstract works explore the colours and textures of nature, either in the land­scape around her or from her travels abroad. She has had numerous solo shows in West Ireland, at the RHA’s Ashford Gallery, and in the Netherlands and Germany. Her work is in major Irish public collec­tions, and in private collec­tions in Ireland, Europe and the US.

23rd September at 7pm
 Classical violinist  Alland Assiri (Kurdish) and singer/songwriter Paddy Mulcahy (Lahinch) will give a performance in the gallery.

The History of North Clare in 100 Objects
23rd September at 8pm
The History of North Clare in 100 Objects is a series of celebration of our cultural tradition. We present at each gathering a panel of fascinating people who show us the tradition- not just of music, painting  and dance – but how we work work, play, eat and live together, in short the whole tradition of life - culture in the broadest sense.

Monday, September 19, 2011

'Instinct11' New paintings by Rita Wobbe from Sep 16 - Oct 13, 2011

     'INSTINCT 11'

      new paintings 

'The power of abstract painting lies in its richness of ambiguity and possibility of human expression. Over the last 100 years abstract painting has been shifting bounderies and questioning our perception of reality.
The painting process is a form of 'mapping the brain', using references from the outside world which enter and disappear. These references become one on the 'overall' surface of the painting. In fact the painting itself becomes the subject and the object; it carries its own reality. At times the painting seems to be alive; it breathes in and out. The layers of paint are like a skin over the skeleton of an animal. A painting is, it does not have to be explained.
Instinct, emotion and observation of natural phenomena are the main ingredients of this body of work. For me painting is 'contained emotion and energy'. During the painting process everything gets transformed into a physical object which I can let go of when it is finished. Most of the time a painting really finishes itself because everything I do suggests another thing until it becomes complete.
Abstract painting uses different means of expression. Colour, line, form, plane, surface texture, etc. are freely used as elements during the creative process.
In this body of work I am using a lot of vibrant colour. Going to the Canaries during the winter months changed my colour scheme drastically. In response to the bright light I started using brighter colours. Colour stimulates, it carries emotion, it can be seductive and calls for action and reaction. Colour is unpredictable, infinite in its combinations which makes it so interesting. It can manipulate and influence your mood. I am interested in the never ending game of possiblities.
In all my work I have been using structure as a starting point. In the past it used to be 'the grid', usually drawn onto the paper or created by using sand and varnish on the canvas. The grid helps me to control and contain the 'freeflow' of paint. These days I am more interested in organic structure and organic forms. In my mind an organic structure relates more to a female way of looking at life. I am interested in exploring this 'slightly different gaze' when making abstract paintings.

Abstract painting is challenging; it gives the viewer 'more to do' when engaging with  'a process of transformation'. It allows us to re-experience the thrill of making and creating a piece of art. After all it is a platform for free expression which we all like to enjoy and appreciate'.

Rita Wobbe has been working as an abstract painter for many years. She studied art in Germany and at Limerick School of Art and Design (MA painting 1998-2000). Over the last 20 years she has been exhibiting in Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. For the last 10 years she has been running abstract art workshops from her own studios near Kinvara, Co. Galway. She also teaches abstract painting at the Burren College of Art during the summer
In the winter she spends some time in Lanzarote, Canaries which had a great influence on her work and colour scheme. Nevertheless the Burren has been her home and her main source of inspiration.
Find further information on

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Katrina Morrison Photography exhibition of: Abbey's and Ruins - In The Red Couch Space - September 10th – October 13th

official opening by Willie Daly (Matchmaker) at 5pm Sat 10th
wine and cheese reception open to the public

 Katrina Morrison would be best known for her landscapes and has exhibited at numerous venues here in Ireland as well as mainland Europe and America. She received national recognition for her work during the Volvo Ocean Race 2009 and was invited to show her work in Seattle Washington during the Irish Festival this past March and is now happy to present us with her ongoing project of Abbeys and Ruins, “I have been travelling around for over five years in Ireland and am never stuck for something amazing to photograph. It may a landscape today or I may find myself awestruck by a stone carving that I find tomorrow. This exhibition will show a few things from County Clare you may never have seen and it is my hope that it might inspire someone to get out and look around at what we all sometimes take for granted, the beauty that is right in front of us”.

Friday, August 19, 2011


RACHEL BURKE                     


August 13th to September 8, 2011.             

Rachel Burke is exhibiting a series of new paintings from the west coast of Portugal, that echos the coastal environment of Ennistymon and also reflects on the memory of a trip away. The paintings of the sea induces a sense of 
 reflection and nostalgia , the open vastness and ever changing landscape of the ocean enables an inner personal exploration . The work also deals with the relationship between land and  sea, the tension and balance between the two elements. There is an ambiguity between reality and imagination of remembered places created with the sketchy line from dip pens sitting on imaginary colours.
Burke works mainly with acrylic inks on canvas, using dip pens and brushes, to build up layered images. Ideas of identity and nostalgia are explored through the importance of line, texture and the familiarity of pattern. These paintings embody a sense of the fleeting of time. Confident draughtsmanship combined with a subtle palette of painterly intimacy creating images suggestive of the intangible realm of visual memory.
Originally from Cork, Rachel Burke is now a Kilkenny based artist. Since graduating from the Crawford College of Art and Design eleven years ago, Burke has exhibited extensively, and has many pieces in both private and public collections including the Northern Ireland Office of Public Works, Republic of Ireland Office of Public Works, AIB, Credit Union, University College Cork and Kilkenny Educational Centre. Her paintings have been selected to participate in the 180th, 178th and 175th Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Group show.

Erin Treacy recently returned to the states after completing a Fulbright Fellowship in County Clare.
Being exposed to a wide variety of landscape fuels Treacy's creativity. In addition to her own excursions she has been fortunate to participate in artist symposiums/residencies throughout Ireland, Italy, Italy. The Slovak and Czech Republics, and Finland. Treacy has had numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the US and Europe, where her work is also held in public and private collections. Following this exhibition at Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery, Treacy will have a solo exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pa, USA at the Boxheart Gallery.
Treacy received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2004 with a concentration in painting. She then went on to receive her Master of Fine of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in 2007.  Treacy currently lives and works in Sunnyside, Queens.
Treacy’s mixed media paintings focus on creating new abstracted ‘environments’ out of fragments of memories concerning place. 
New work from this year introduces architectural imagery into my paintings for the first time.  Stairs, bridges, walls, fences, windows, doors, and ladders are now interlaced into the abstract compositions. These connectors, entrances, and borders are loaded with many connotations. Bridges, stairs, and ladders create union between disparate spaces, they offer paths to overcome physical obstacles that keep you from going from point A to point B.  Fences, walls, and windows enclose a space offering protection, yet the associated confinement of these structures can also be associated with restriction and possession.
These dualities reflect upon her past work where she focused on the fantasy and falsity in memory. By referencing a mental index of locations that are simultaneously everywhere and nowhere, she examine the idea that shifts in time and overlaps in memory result in a disjointed timeline.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Sorge's performance "Sunrise" on the opening night 4th Aug at 8.30 pm

the link for Sorge's performance on YouTube...


As part of the festival there will be exhibitions, films and installations from various artists in venues around Ennistymon town:

As part of the festival there will be exhibitions, films and installations from various artists in venues around Ennistymon town:

Fiona O’Dwyer: Location: Byrnes Townhouse & Restaurant, Main St, Ennistymon.
”Shoes to collect the cheque in” (1,350 Used Stamps and Yes Glue)
Fiona O’Dwyer: WORTH… Work in progress by visual artist Fiona O¹Dwyer.  Her work crosses a range of media including drawing, sound/video installation, sculpture, performance and print. Her practice increasingly references the cinematic, engaging with both the narrative content in, and the making of, film.
James Slevin: Location: the Blue Frog Café and Arts Venue, Ennistymon.
Hand carved wooden objects.
Opening: 7pm - Friday 5th August
Marianne Slevin: Location: Fitzpatrick’s (Old Super Value shop), Parliament St., Ennistymon.
 "The Mycelium and Earth Regeneration Series": An exhibition of drawings on maps which are local to the Burren as well as other places. The works include text about the place and the time they were being made in Doolin.
Alexandra Rafferty: Location: OH LA LA, French Creperie.
2 Video pieces: “Ram Project” and “Inside Out”.
Vincent Wall: Location: Wall's Shop Window, Main Street, Ennistymon.
“Davorenia” - A Tribute to the T-Shirt Stylings of Michael Davoren.
Format: Multimedia Installation
Marie Hannon, Monica de Bath, Eimhin Hawes: Location: Tides Shop, Main St. Ennistymon
Marie Hannon’s practice is primarily concerned with the social environments and conditions that have a bearing on who we are as individuals and as a people.
Monica de Bath is currently exploring the complexities of stories that go beyond ideas of legal ownership and dig deep into a people's relationship with Land, with each other and the urgent need to make a living.
Eimhin Hawes: ‘The Horde’ is an installation work that explores the global problem of colony collapse disorder in honeybees.
Deirdre O’Mahony: Location: the local Ennistymon Post Office.
 shows a video about the X-PO in Kilnaboy.
Maria Kerin: Location: Good Night In, Video Store, The Square, Ennistymon.
shows the video performance that she made on Raadi airport Tartu Estonia. 
Also "The Price of Flour"- consisting of 50 unused Estonian paper flour bags will appear in shelves around the shops of Ennistymon. They were designed by Michael Walsh. The artist sees them as small artworks highlighting the price of flour at different times over the Estonian past.
Pauline Keena: Live performance on Main St. Ennistymon. Sunday 2pm
The human form is the most important subject for her. Using the body as metaphor for local she engages the language of stillness, silence and repetition to explore moments of transition from lostness to listening.
Fergus Cronin:  Live performance in a public place in Ennistymon for 2 hours, Sat or Sun (or both) : “I NEED TO BELONG”

PANEL DISCUSSION on the Power of Local - Sat 6th Aug at 5 pm

PANEL DISCUSSION on the Power of Local
  • moderator: Cormac Mac Connell