Review Of An Tuath Nua Exhibition
8th April 2005
Easter Monday and Helvick Head was shrouded in mist, with only election posters to break the gloom. The údaras na Gaeltachta
Elections are soon. At Joan Clancy Gallery for the opening of the new exhibition An Tuath Nua (Translated by Joan as The
New Country but I prefer to read Tuath as Tribe or People). The show consisted of new work by nine women artists. Among the
opening guests were two candidates and an Irish Times journalist and a nice cheerful lady with a chirping mobile phone who
wouldn't buy a beautiful painting because of the title GIANT HOGWEED — the bane of the countryside.
You could see the exposed oyster beds in the bay; there were horses in the fields and a part-eaten Easter Egg in the window.
A candidate said a few words, Bríd Nielsen, a bubbly woman, who looked too serious in her election literature.
In the absence of scenery I was drawn to the local images especially the simplicity of Blawnin Clancy's GATE. Her selection
of miniatures were beautiful. Wishy Martin's work whispered a magic of twilight and fading light caught in a luminosity that
you have to go and see. Her TOWARDS EVENING and LAST LIGHT drew me back to them time and again.
Damaris Lysaght had two beautiful and tranquil studies that stood out in a corner. NICOTIANA with that flower in a blue
bottle on a window ledge with a rusty roof in the background and LOUGH NA PARKA with it's blue eater and floating leaves was
Rayleen Clancy's work dominated the space as she showed a cross-section of new work and tentative new directions. I liked the
Alice in Wonderland style of BENEATH THE TREES and SIOG (Fairy). Her triptych GAN STRO (Rambler, without a bother) was a grey
and grainy cinematic study of a girl wandering across fields of imagination and a fine sprinkling of glitter added a sense of
mischief to the work.