Joan Clancy Art Gallery
   Mweelahorna, Ring, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Tel : (058) 46205   Mobile : (086) 813 4597  
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Review Of Christmas Crackers Exhibition

Munster Express
13th December 2002
Liam Murphy

Following on from the successful Martin Quigley exhibition Suaimhneas, Joan Clancy Gallery at Ring have a seasonal show aptly named Christmas Crackers, with new work from newcomers to Ring, Ruth Lockhart and Almha Roche as well as Dungarvan favourites Ann Dunphy, Danny Cunningham, Rayleen Clancy, Blawnin Clancy and Martin Quigley.

Quigley has three miniatures of acrylic on paper Landscapes encapsulating the poetry of his work. Danny Cunningham has a beautiful and restrained sense of detail in Cliffs at Dunmore East, where yellow tones give an autumnal effect that enhances the depths of the seascape.

A strong selection of Rayleen Clancy's work is on offer but it was a small acrylic and charcoal on canvas that caught my interest. Tucked into an alcove, Tom and Liam at the Races is like a snapshot of present and past, living and gone before us - a family memory - a shared memory.

Ann Dunphy's Helvick Head is another of this artist's heavy gold layers of mixed media aerial shots of a wild coastline with orange dots like a trace memory to move the eye around the landscape.

Almha Roche, a Dublin-based performance artist, has a set of severe scraped austere images, framed within frames like shadows within shadows. Her The Stranger reminded me of the Metal Man framed within a canvas where colour is pared and scraped back to a colour impression. Her work has a grey cold quality. My favourite was July by Blawnin Clancy with a striking pose of children on the rocks above the sea in a cove. The skewed perspective caused by working from a photograph puts the sea uppermost like the sky, but the timeless sense of summer innocence more than compensates for this.

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