Restoration


In the past two years society globally has grappled with learning a “new” paradigm for living. Not least affected by societal upheaval among the population are artists, whose sometimes very delicate infrastructure can be in certain instances almost completely obliterated. In the context of Garter Lane Arts Centre Waterford, the studio artists based there, while having endured lockdown restraints, were eventually able to regain complete access to their working environments and effectively pick up where they left brushes and pens down. It was during the long days of the initial lockdowns that the thinking behind Restoration took root. Garter Lane’s Executive Director Sile Penkert stated, “we were forced to rethink and to re-challenge not only our worldview but how we navigate our world. As the remit of the Arts Centre is that of bringing art and culture and its making to the fore, so too were we met with the conundrum of how to do that very basic thing in a completely new way. In other words… How do we get that work out there?

 

 

A project idea was born as a response, which coincided with the good news that No.5 O’Connell St (or Barker House) was finally to be treated to some very long overdue building works and essential upgrading. Bringing the work of visual artists outside the realm of the Arts Centre would restore not only the artist’s use of their spaces but could refresh their own professional development paths. in tandem with being immersed in a defined project with a specific outcome and artists would be exercising the “practice” muscle again.

Restoration would also restore the public’s knowledge of the artists, their work, and the studios they inhabit as the works created would be housed in the public realm. The notion was given further life through a chance conversation with the library’s staff. The libraries services in Ireland form an integral part of any city or town’s social fabric, so indelible is their presence that the number of groups, clubs, societies, and events that run from a county’s libraries annually is almost innumerable. Faced with the pandemic the libraries too had to re-imagine their output and re-configure their reaching out mechanisms. By combining our outreach abilities we are bringing art-works to a very large, countywide, and broad audience. The placing of work in the libraries guarantees that the work is seen and has life for the spectator, either in a digital or physical context.

Restoring the route to seeing and consuming art and culture. Restoration then became a project of three halves. One: work is commissioned by Garter Lane and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland. Each studio artist was commissioned to create one artwork for a library setting. The brief was set and the work began in earnest. Two: while this process was taking place in the cloistered setting of the top floor of No. 5 Georges Street and indeed off-site where necessitated as a result of the type(s) of work being created, the documentation process ran in tandem. Here another artist was engaged and her work was concerned with capturing the work in progress. Together these two sides of the same project would be reflected. Artworks were created and thought about and discussed all the time through the lens of where their eventual destination would see them situated. The documentation that lives alongside the artwork is the insight, background, and introduction to an overall view of both the work and the artists who have created it. It has formed this booklet. And Three: all of the artists involved participated in and contributed to a professional development process that accompanied the “making”. Here artists were invited to sessions with noted professionals and experts such as:

Eamonn Maxwell Curator Arts Council Collection Advisor, Jane Morrow Curator, Dr. Susan Connolly Lecturer & Artist, Aoibhie McCarthy Director Sample Studios.

Restoration is the culmination of many hours of work, conversation, deliberation, and installation, and we wish to thank all the artists involved and those who assisted them in making the project a reality.

With very special thanks to the Arts Council. 

 

In other words…How do we get that work out there?”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Garter Lane Arts Centre boasts two buildings and has a 30 year+ history in the trajectory of visual arts practice both in the city and the region. 

 

PLAYLIST OF ARTIST STATEMENTS

 

 

 

As an integral part of the Culture Department of Waterford City and County Council, Waterford Libraries actively seek opportunities to work in partnership with local organisations, groups, and individuals.

This project provided us with just such an opportunity. Six artists, who are currently in residency in Garter Lane have each completed an art work especially for this project. Each piece is unique and beautiful and, like us all, has a pandemic story to tell.

These talented artists have installed their pieces in our library branches throughout the City & County where they will be enjoyed by all of the communities who use our libraries.The theme of this Arts Council Project is Restoration – this has significance in that it reflects both the impact that creativity has had during Covid as well as being a practical way of restoring those physical links between artists and our communities. Libraries are ideally placed to provide those links by offering bright, innovative spaces where artists can display their works and flourish.

We are grateful for the support we received from the Creative Ireland Programme Waterford who have funded an outreach programme allowing us to work with our partners in Garter Lane to create an Art Trail, beautiful postcards and a series of art workshops with the artists.

Jane Cantwell

Waterford County Librarian & Head of Culture Team, Waterford City & County Council

 

Marcella Meagher is a self-taught painter. Working in oils on linen and board, using the highest quality materials and a limited palette, Meagher’s subject matter is wide-ranging.Landscape, still life, portraiture – human and animal – are all imbued with the light and form that is representative of the rich visual language she has developed as a response to the world she sees around her.

 

 

Ardkeen Library

051 849 755

Mon: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Tue: 1pm – 4pm & 5pm – 8pm

Thu: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Fri: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

 

Brendan Butler has worked as an artist since graduating from Crawford College of Art & Design in 2001. Working in oil on canvas and pencil on paper, inspired by music, film and literature, both classic and modern, Butler expands on narratives and characters to create a world in which he explores facets of human behaviour and identity, exposing normally unseen, sometimes dark elements of the human psyche.

 

 

Central Library

051 849 975

Tue: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Wed: 1pm – 4pm & 5pm – 8pm

Thu: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Fri: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Sat: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

 

Sharon Fleming is a Waterford based artist, crafter and tutor working in ceramics, print and painting. Inspired by the fluid patterns and textures found in nature as well as the geometric lines of the modern environment, Fleming utilises whatever medium or materials these forms inspire. Often combining techniques – for instance Japanese woodblock carving with screen printing – she creates figurative and abstract images while her porcelain work is characterised by the use of her own glazes and imprinted with delicate images and markings and decorated with glass fragments.

 

 

Central Library

051 849 975

Tue: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Wed: 1pm – 4pm & 5pm – 8pm

Thu: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Fri: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Sat: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

 

Denise McAuliffe is a Waterford based visual artist working in mixed media. In addition to an MFA in painting from NCAD and a BA in Visual Art, she has studied the figure and portraiture at The Royal College of Art in Florence and contemporary art at The Slade School of Fine Art in London. Combining old master techniques with a wide range of materials – oil paints, household paints, lace, driftwood, string, plaster of Paris – McAuliffe creates large scale pieces that shift between abstraction and figuration, offering a space for her audience to engage with.

 

 

Carrickphierish Library

051 849 696

Mon: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Tue: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Wed: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Thur: 1pm – 4pm & 5pm – 8pm

Fri: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

 

Amii McGuinness is a multidisciplinary artist with a BA in Visual Art and qualifications in Television Production and Teaching in Further Education. Currently working with photography and video, she uses old lenses to blur and soften evoking a sense of nostalgia and mystery in her visual and aural documentation of the world around her, creating dark haunting images that question memory and individuality. McGuinness is inspired and informed by the work of artists such as Edward Kienholz, Christian Boltanski and Bill Viola.

Tramore Library

051 849 594

Tue: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Wed: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Thu: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Fri: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

 

Rory Van Dokkum is a Waterford based freelance artist and illustrator with a BA in Visual Art. Working primarily in black biro on white card – with occasional dips into a fine-tip pen – the deliberate economy of media underlines the rich detail of van Dokkum’s work. Images range from stylised illustrations to surreal combinations of human figures and abstract organic forms. Taking inspiration from Hieronymous Bosch, Max Ernst, Wayne Barlowe and Kris Kuksi, Van Dokkum’s main goal is to provoke reaction, be it wonder, curiosity or unease.

 

 

Lismore Library

058 213 77

Mon: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Tue: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Wed: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm

Thu: 10am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm