Home from Switzerland
Hope this finds you well, so if you know me at all you know I've been banging on about this amazing opportunity to exhibit in the ultra exclusive Gstaad region of Switzerland. Well it was as simply AMAZING!
Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova, Fran Halpin and I set off last Thursday with travelling partners Mark Kelly (sexy groupie number 1) and Lorraine (Fran's sister and Sexy groupie number 2)!
For fun and because we were proud of the opportunity to represent Ireland, in this truly international exhibition, we geared up! ***Go Team Ireland***
We travelled in great form, lots of excited chats and fun had as you can see but we were going to do business and stand up for inequality in the arts world as was the remit of the show, arranged, curated and fashioned by organiser Leticia De Prado and her team at Artsfemin.
The surrounding were crazy gorgeous, seriously! Huss Hotel Gstaad is simply stunning as is the region it sits in...Saanen the local town is picture perfect in every way at the foot of the snow dusted alps.
Night one, after checking in and turning quite a few heads in this exclusive enclave with our Team Garb and after a very long day travelling we decided to join DJ Erick in the bar along with several other artists who had also arrived for the exhibition opening (in total 50 of the 55 artists where in attendance from across the globe) it was wonderful to finally meet our fellow exhibitors, we also met and mingled with a Google team party from Zurich thanks to my brother and his ability to make friends every where he goes in minutes!
We retired after a while to "wait for it" our own igloo for a quiet nightcap before turning in!!
On Friday, after a Monster Breakfast, I had opportunity to spend a short amount of time with my sister Nyree, Declan her husband and their gorgeous daughters who live in Switzerland and who made the three hour track to come support me...(love you x) we headed into the beautiful town of Saanen, a picture perfect chalet town of quaint coffee shops and high end retail..after a short visit I had coffee in town with the other artists and Yuhdi Menuhin!? (he established a renowned music school here) before tracking back up the beautiful winding path to Huus. We headed our separate ways to spruce up before reconvening for, a quick chat and lippie check - then we were on.
The venue was a buzz of excitement, glamorous, bustling and busy! With opening speeches by organiser Leticia of Artsfemin and French Princess Hermine de Clarmont-Tonnere, the mixing and mingling went well into the night with a presentation of the catalogue and a certificate to each of the artists involved. Those that know me will understand how difficult I find it to take pictures during an event so I have included only a small selection here.
I met so many amazing people over the course of the three days exhibiting during this event, so many new talents to follow on Social platforms, to share and learn with, and a handful I shall stay in contact with for many a year! The only downside of this international exhibition is the aftermath - Corona was just hitting us as we left, and as I am immuno-suppressed I did take precautions with hand-washing and gels but the severity of it only really impacted me on my return...for a few days now I have been suffering a chronic sinus infection and after a call from my doctor am on a weeks lockdown with antibiotics to beat the band - And today the schools and childcare facilities closed down until the 29th March!
it doesn't dampen the experience of travel and experiences like this with family, friends - new and old, the opportunity to do this type of work is never wasted and is always a learning curve and as I carry on in my creative journey I do hope it shall continue, and did I mention the PRESS was Great! - Go safe my friends, and thanks to all in Huus, Artsfemin, Gstaad and Solothurn for such a memorable experience.
Irish National and Local Press
I would like to take a minute to thank Monaghan Enterprise Centre, for assistance through their T.A.M.E. program and particularly all the team in my local LEO office. Thanks folks x Niamh.
Hi there Arty Friends,
I'm happy to tell you all I've been painting ... A LOT.... I started back at the paints prior to Christmas, splashing acrylics about in a bid to loosen up, to find some new flow to my work and to challenge myself to working in a different way but influenced by how I normally work with Encaustic.
Its been a revelation to be honest..layering hand made collage and monoprint over intuitive super expressive marks, playing with tones and hues and then moving into the more decisive and questioning part of the painting has really opened up some different conversations for me...I tried to further the challenge by reducing my palette, both in terms of paint and collage and with thanks to a very intensive (self imposed I might add) yet pleasurable week on an artists residency at the amazing Tyrone Guthrie Center I feel some real progress has been made.
Just as well says you as I prepare for two solo exhibitions in the Autumn/Winter season..but more on that later...
I have a few classes coming up shortly, another retreat weekend for the ICA at An Grianan and an encaustic print making demo at Creative Spark on behalf of AAEX, a gig Im very much looking forward to, as I get to share my techniques with my peers.
But my primary concern this month is exhibiting in Switzerland from the end of the month, a visit I hope to extend by visiting with my sister and her family, two birds one stone and Im hoping its going to be a great experience...its definitely a learning curve transporting large scale works abroad but Im hopeful with the advice we have been given all will be well..It is going to be a great show, 55 international female artists descending on the glamorous town of Gstaad facilitated by Swiss arts led group Artsfemin and supporting WFWI charity....showcasing work from across the globe and supporting one another and I am delighted to be joined representing Ireland by my friends and colleagues Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova and Fran Halpin...please wish us well and follow our social media feed for the daily updates.
For now I shall leave you a little video of my work in progress time at TGC and the terrific time I had in starting 15 paintings, some on paper , some canvas...more to be done ...Bye for now. xx N.
So late as it is, this is my first blog of 2020, and as such I want to start off by saying I hope this decade is the best yet for you all.
The end of 2019 was a little bumpy here as my poor mam was desperately unwell post knee surgery and contracted MRSA, it was a worry for sure...she has really been through the mill but is rallying well just with one or two continuing complications...it made us all very quickly access how lucky we really are..its a very true statement that your health is your wealth, as well I know.... thankfully with mum on the mend, kids back to school and hubbie to work I can return to the studio, Christmas was a quiet affair, we all had the awful bug in the run up to the big day so to say we enjoyed our quiet family Christmas at home is an understatement.
AAEX - INSTALLATIONS EXHIBITIONS. Nov 2019.
If you follow me on social media you will already know about my involvement in the wonderful AAEX Installations show prior to Christmas in Dundalk, Co. Louth.
AAEX or 'Art As Exchange' is a professional arts group of approx 30 like minded individuals bringing attention to North Louth and subsequently the entire North East region through their engaged public art. AAEX teamed up with curator Anne Mager from 'The Corridor' to explore alternative exhibition spaces in Dundalk, with the help of several supporting partners we secured a large vacant shop on Clanbrassil Street and satellite installations at The Demesne, the Longwalk Shopping Centre, the route from the Train Station through to Park Street and the County Museum. The exhibition ran from 15th Nov - 29th Nov and culminated in a wonderfully attended and lively engaging panel discussion hosted by AAEX, Anne Mager and Marcel Krueger 'Where is the art in Dundalk'
I was delighted to reconfigure my spirit bowls (Series: Ballast Full of Hope) and build a site specific display in a very dark anti-room off the main exhibition space in Clanbrassil Street for this event.
My installation entitled 'Abundance' comprised a collection of delicate hand cast pure wax bowls, vessels, arranged amidst black draping and reflected in mirrored glass, to express the infinite possibility in us all…Abundance. Was there to be found and yet one must seek it out….
This was a thrilling vibrant and enlightening group to work with, I am very excited for any future association with AAEX and honored to be among them…to find out more about the group and amazing line up of artists check them out on social media here, see the jam packed catalog here.
For now, here is a wee video compilation of the event I made and a look at several of the amazing installations that made this such a vital and versatile arts event.
I will check in here again very shortly with a little news about what the first quarter of this year has in store for me...stay tuned and stay well, until then. x N.
Contemporary Visual Artist working in mixed media/encaustic based in the drumlins of Co.Monaghan. Ireland.