Friday 29 May 2015

Elizabeth O'Kane at Ballmaloe as part of "Form 15"

Sculptor Elizabeth O'Kane is exhibiting bronze animal sculptures at the stunningly beautiful Ballymaloe House Hotel and Farm, Co. Cork, as part of "Form 15", an exhibition of sculpture by 20 artists organised by ARTISTIC ALLIANCE.  The exhibition continues until the end of August. All welcome.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

RDS ART Source RDS Dublin 14th-16th November

Seamus Gill and Alan Ardiff will be presenting their art at Art Source in the RDS 14th-16th November - its a great show to see a variety of art and artists!
Free invites available - contact

Tuesday 26 November 2013

WaterLand exhibition opening night photographs

Minister Jimmy Deenihan presided over the official opening of WaterLand.

It was a special night on the Dublin art calendar as the crowds poured into Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre for the opening of WaterLand exhibition on 5 November 2013.

Waterways Ireland hosted a fantastic evening with delicious food served by nearby Il Valentino.

The beautiful venue was packed with artists, designers, and collectors alike.

A great night was had by all.

Roll up! Roll up!   The exhibition closes this Saturday 30 November at 6pm.

Minister Jimmy Deenihan officially opens the exhibition.

Sarah Ross, curator of WaterLand

Dawn Livingstone, Chief Executive, Waterways Ireland

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive, Crafts Council of Ireland

Ayelet Lalor, Chairperson, The Design Tower Artists

Paper conservator Pat McBride, Minister Deenihan and Dawn Livingstone.

Artist Ayelet Lalor, Minister Deenihan, and Sarah Ross, curator.

Dawn Livingstone and John McKeown of Waterways Ireland, 
artist Emmet Kane, and Minister Jimmy Deenihan.

Filter, ceramic sculptures

Sarah Ross with Alison Lowry glass sculpture Killaloe workers.

The Liffey Swim, wooden bowl.

Elizabeth O'Kane with her stone carving FLOW

Sarah Ross with The Diver bronze by Alan Ardiff 
Grand Canal Quay watercolour by Elizabeth O'Kane

'Reflections', leather, Róisín Gartland 

Róisín Gartland with Jobst Graeve

Dawn Livingstone CEO of Waterways Ireland, Minister Deenihan, Sarah Ross and Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive, Crafts Council of Ireland discussing The Diver bronze sculpture by Alan Ardiff.

Dawn Livingstone of Waterways Ireland, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of Crafts 
Council of Ireland, Minister Jimmy Deenihan and curator Sarah Ross.

For more information contact the following:

Review of WaterLand Exhibition

Roger Bennett reviews WaterLand

Themed exhibitions are often contrived affairs, with the artists straining to make their work fit the brief, and trying awkwardly to justify tenuous connections. This most definitely is not the case with 'Water Land', an exhibition of sculpture and craft curated by Sarah Ross in Waterways Ireland's visitor centre on Grand Canal Quay.
Most of the exhibitors are residents of the neighbouring Design Tower, and therefore in daily communion with the waters of the canal; they are joined by a number of invited guests. Water is utterly essential in and for our lives, so it is not surprising that all the exhibitors have responded imaginatively to the theme.

For some, the inspiration is local, as in Elizabeth O'Kane's watercolour snapshot of the dock and its buildings, and Alan Ardiff's spiky youth diving confidently into the blue canal water, the splash cleverly created by three concentric bowl rims.  ​
Grand Canal Quay III, Watercolour, Elizabeth O'Kane
An invitation to take part in an exhibition such as this can free an artist to depart from their usual practice. Michiel De Hoog forsakes his precise violin-making, and comes up with an exuberant frieze-like painting which sets canal-bank warehouses dancing to the rhythms of the waves. Or, signature pieces can be given a fresh twist: an Ayelet Lalor head is topped by a wild swell of hair, a play-place for tiny figures to sunbathe and dive. Flowing curves are a recurring shape in Seamus Gill's jewellery and sculpture; here, he has hammered them into a gorgeously voluptuous waterlily.  
Water Lily, Bronze, Seamus Gill
For some exhibitors, the challenge was to capture the shape and texture of water – exquisitely realised in Da Capo's waterdrop pendant, and in the undulating tactility of Elizabeth O'Kane's limestone 'Flow'.

Flow, Kilkenny limestone, Elizabeth O'Kane

Emmet Kane, Zelouf and Bell, and Joe Hogan have investigated our historical relationship with water. Kane's 'Grinding Water' is turned and carved from ekki wood, an extremely hard timber used in lock gates: it is a very assured piece, and demonstrates his growing confidence as a sculptor. Zelouf and Bell's haunting famine larder references Rowan Gillespie's Liffey-side starving figures, and Hogan's Heaney-inspired bog boat is a robust example of his basket-as-sculpture series.
Craft is perennially under-exhibited in Irish galleries. This is an uplifting exhibition: playful, thoughtful, full of beautifully-made pieces. Quite simply, a must-see. 

Water Land runs at Waterways Ireland's visitor centre on Grand Canal Quay from 6th - 30th November.
Opening times for visitors are from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm.
Roger Bennett is a woodturner and writer about craft; he has been published in Irish Arts Review, Ceramics Ireland, Sunday Miscellany.​

For more information contact the following:

Thursday 24 October 2013

Water Land Exhibition

The Design Tower and Waterways Ireland present ‘Water Land’, an exhibition of sculpture and craft objects inspired by the element of water.

Following the success of The Design Tower's Wunderkammer exhibition in 2009 the Tower artists and designer are hosting another group exhibition, Water Land.

This exhibition brings together the heritage of the inland waterways with new work by contemporary artists and craft makers. Curated by Sarah Ross, it will feature a selection of Ireland’s most well known and recognised artists and crafts people, those resident in the Design Tower, together with makers invited from across Ireland and abroad.

Throughout ‘Water Land’, the theme of water is broad and wide-ranging. Water helps anchor our history, our culture and influences our architecture. As a valuable resource it is ever-present in our lives and is integral to our future. As an island country, we are never far from the presence of a waters edge but at the same time, we can be divided by its very presence. The artists and makers use their experience with these themes for their inspiration in developing work in their individual media, whether that is precious metals, wood, stone, clay, paper, glass or  mixed-media.

Alison Lowry, Killaloe Workers 1887, Cast Glass Ceramic Decals

Among the twenty artists and designers taking part in the show renowned jewellery designer Alan Ardiff reminds us of the recent summer heat wave with his diving bronze figure inspired by the dare devil swimmers in Grand Canal Basin;  sculptor Elizabeth O’Kane has hand carved a block of Kilkenny limestone to resemble the surface of the water; and bespoke jewellery designers, Da Capo, have produced exquisite work inspired by the movement and fluidity of water.  Referencing values associated with the use of water are fashion designer, Róisín Gartland whose work references the abuses in the fashion industry for the sake of western beauty and adornment, and ceramic artist Henry Pim reminds us of the depletion of water as a resource. Connemara based basketmaker, Joe Hogan, and Swedish textile designer, Liz Nilsson, have both made work inspired by the natural materials sourced from the waters edge. This is further complemented by a series of sculptural forms created by Kildare’s internationally renowned woodturner, Emmet Kane, made from reclaimed canal gates made from the hardwood called ‘Ekki’. Other exhibiting artists from The Design Tower include Ayelet Lalor, Alan Ardiff, Mick de Hoog, Philip Murphy, Pat McBride, and Niamh Jackman.  Other invited artists include Alison Lowry.

The Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre is a beautiful light filled space, with a sensation of floating on water it provides an excellent environment for displaying works of art and craft inspired by water. The Design Tower, is located on the bank of the canal basin beside the Visitor centre, originally built in 1878 as a sugar refinery, it has been a creative hub of craft makers and artists for the last thirty years. 

Waterways Ireland, one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British Irish Agreement in 1999, has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways principally for recreational purposes. Due to both its historical significance and current value  the element of water was seen as a very relevant theme to promote the work of over 20 artists and makers at the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre.

‘Water Land’ is supported by Waterways Ireland and further funded by the Crafts Council of Ireland. 

The exhibition will take place from 6th - 30th November.
Opening times for visitors are from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm.
Entry is free of charge.  All welcome.

Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre
Grand Canal Quay
Dublin 2

For more information contact the following:

Monday 30 September 2013

The Watercolour Society of Ireland 159th Exhibition

Artist Elizabeth O'Kane is taking part in the Watercolour Society of Ireland Annual Exhibition in Dun Laoghaire.

Elizabeth recently became a member of the WCSI and is exhibiting three architectural paintings: two scenes of Manhattan - Williamsburg Bridge,  23rd and 8th, and a recent painting of Grand Canal Quay seen from the Design Tower.

County Hall, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
Monday 30th September 2013 – Sunday 6th October 2013 (1 pm.)


Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Exhibition Closing Sunday 6th October  at 1pm

"Becoming Men" We are MOTHERLAND - a short film

Check out this beautiful short film featuring The Design Tower, and the local historic buildings, as a backdrop to local kids diving and jumping into the Grand Canal.

Beautiful black and white footage of local kids swimming in the summer heatwave diving off bridges and cranes in the Grand Canal, all set against the narrative of an older man reminiscing about swimming in the canal in his youth.

Click on this link to watch the short film: