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 pals,,
So this is an exciting week for me as I prepare to head off to Gstaad Switzerland to participate in ARTSFEMINs inaugural exhibition $€XY (Secure, Enthusiastic, Exponential and Young at heart) at the luxurious Huss_Gstaad, a stunning location in this rich and famous ski resort.
This is an all female, curated show highlighting the issues concerning equality within the arts world globally, supporting female artists and global charity: Women for Women International. I am attending the show to exhibit a huge new work (1 meter x 1 meter) a mixed media/acrylic art work called SAFEHOUSE, I created especially for this exhibit, as I usually work in wax this really is a large scale work for me, and I've got to be honest I loved working this way, working large suits me, its so physical and expressive, I really dived in!
I have the great pleasure to travel with, and show alongside of Irish visual artists and colleagues, Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova and Fran Halpin and 52 other curated artists from 35 countries.
As we in 'Team Ireland', as we call ourselves, prepares to depart for what is no doubt going to be a remarkable experience it hasn't escaped my notice that today is a landmark date for the #metoo movement, Harvey W was convicted today in the US...
Between the #MarriageEquality referendum and the #Repeal the 8th referendum here in Ireland a lot of feeling was dragged up for all genders everywhere, followed quickly by the revelations from Hollywood and of course our own appalling history of clerical and state controlled abuse against women and children, #metoo started to unfurl here on our own green soil...and indeed from my studio.
My feminist principles often flood into my work and SAFEHOUSE is no different.
I hope in some small way to offer a respite of hope through this work, a piffle really when you consider the scale of abuses against women and girls, but a gesture none the less...and a warning to antagonists everywhere...we wont take it anymore, we are strong, we are one, we talk, we are on to you!
SAFEHOUSE is not an 'angry' work, nor is it anti men, as is often argued when feminist talk comes to the surface. It is, in fact, a work of art full of hope, one that offers support to all! and after the exhibition launch this weekend when it is premiered, as promised, to the vip vernissage in the wonderful supportive and inclusive hands of Artsfemin I promise I will share the full artwork here.
For now all I can offer is a sneak peek, some press coverage and some prior fem-art works form my studio ...wish me well, I do you. xx N
Ps: If you wish to join us in Gstaad for this amazing event, follow the registration link in the Artsfmin page here.
My Fem-art. 2015 todate
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.
Contemporary Visual Artist working in mixed media/encaustic based in the drumlins of Co.Monaghan. Ireland.