Joan Clancy Art Gallery
   Mweelahorna, Ring, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Tel : (058) 46205   Mobile : (086) 813 4597  
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Review Of Greta Hellstrom - John Betjeman Tribute

Munster Express
Friday, 6th July, 2007
Liam Murphy

The Joan Clancy Gallery in An Rinn has a wonderful themed exhibition at the moment with the intriguing title Greta Hellstrom-John Betjeman Tribute.

Apparently, in the early twenties, the British poet laureate Sir John Betjeman used to spend time in the imposing Yellow House at the top of Helvick Head and he had a friendship with a Greta Hellstrom. He even wrote a poem for her in 1922 –The Irish Unionist's Farewell to Greta Hellstrom – with the refrain at the end of each stanza 'Dungarvan in the rain'.

When I visited the gallery, there was not a drop of rain, only the harsh wind cutting white horses of the sea as the sun shone bravely. The Polish artist Katarzyna Gajewska has three fine mixed media pieces based on the lines from Betjeman, including a novel take on the young poet. Wishy Martin has a lovely piece, GREAT'S HAT that captures an image of a beautiful woman shaded by a hat.

John Cullinan has several oil paintings of Helvick scenes and the strength of long sweeping lines gives his work an assurance that is very attractive.

Blawnin Clancy has two wonderful studies--STEPS OF THE COMERAGHS is a very evocative image catching the view fishermen see when they approach the bay at a particular angle. Her LOW TIDE CUNNIGAR BEACH, with its purple tones is a pleasure to sit before and take in the nuances of paint. Her sister Rayleen Clancy excels with several studies of Helvick that radiate with sunshine as she experiments with pointillism and pixels to wonderful effect. Her cautious use of glitter is very impressive. Her YELLOW HOUSE HELVICK COVE is radiant and HELVICK COVE SUNRISE just takes your breath away with the heart's surprise as the suffused light creates an inner magical place.

The two other Rayleen Clancy pieces MOVING HOUSE and BLOWN HOUSE have a Wizard of Oddish about them that makes the viewer step –double take- and look closer again.

There are also some works by Suzy O'Mullane, Rita O'Connell, Andrea Jameson, Sinéad Ní Chionaola, Olive Watkins, Eileen Healy, Arthur K. Maderson and Michael Mulcahy.

Located between Coláiste na Rinne (the Irish Language College) and the Cunnigar Beach, Greta Hellstrom - John Betjeman Tribute is running in Joan Clancy Gallery until Monday July 16th 2007. The gallery is open from 11 to 5pm each day. Well signposted.

More Information: on 086 813 4597

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