Words as colour not language | Paul Hallahan at Hang Tough Contemporary


Words as colour not language | Paul Hallahan at Hang Tough Contemporary Date/Time
Date(s) - 03/03/2022 - 20/03/2022

Hang Tough Contemporary





  • Launch: 6pm, Thursday March 3rd
  • Running: Through to March 20th
  • Location: Hang Tough Contemporary No. 4 Exchequer St. Dublin, D02 HX95

Hang Tough Contemporary is delighted to announce ‘Words as colour not language’, an exciting collection of beautiful new paintings from our ‘Open Call 2021’ overall winner Paul Hallahan.  

Paul Hallahan is an Irish artist whose work is primarily based in painting, but he also works in sculpture and video. Interests within his work commonly focus on how we interact with nature, taking art as a form or by-product of nature and our civilisation. 

Using various methods and techniques Paul’s paintings are built up of thin layers on mostly raw canvases which permit light to move through the works which allows the works to change within the locations they are positioned. This has always been of interest to Hallahan as he wanted the works to be active to the viewer and transcend the composition and initial image of the work. Hallahan takes a methodical and relaxed approach to his paintings. Although unhurried, it is a meticulous way that he plans his work. Some processes take days, even weeks to achieve. The reward, beautiful compositions, focus areas, symmetries and mesmerising colours emerge. Hallahan appreciates his materials and emphasises a commitment to always find a balance between paint and canvas, activating abstracts in a way unique to him.

“The themes in my exhibition ‘Words as colour not language’, look at organic matter within our landscape, our relationship to the dense woodlands and crevices, especially woodlands near the west coast of Ireland, South Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo. Previous interests in my works have looked to ideas of the larger landscape such as horizons in urban settings and our relationship to the rising and setting sun within the built up environment. This new exhibition will encircle a work titled “Lotus”, a large dense painting made with organic matter and magnetic fields in mind. The exhibition will present works that I have worked on throughout 2020 and 2021, most never seen before but all made during my transition from urban to country living. Since moving to south Donegal I have been able to explore the landscape like I never could while based in a city and this has allowed me to investigate ideas within the grime and ever changing undergrowth seen throughout the countryside and especially the coastal woods and valleys where I am currently based. The works in the exhibition have been made with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland through the bursary award 2021”.

Paul studied Animation in BCFE followed by Visual Art in Waterford Institute of Technology. In 2009 in conjunction with Waterford City Council Paul set and ran Soma Contemporary till 2012, working with many national and international institutions and artists.

He has exhibited widely over the past ten years and in 2018 he won the Golden Fleece Award. In recent years he has had exhibitions at The Complex (Dublin), Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin), The Lab (Dublin), Berlin Opticians Gallery (Dublin), Roscommon Arts Centre and in 2019 he was part of a two-person exhibition that was shown in the Lexicon Gallery Dublin, Garter Lane Gallery Waterford, Sternview Gallery Cork and Platform Arts Belfast. In 2021 he Hallahan was the overall winner of the ‘Hang Tough Open Call’ Instagram competition.

Paul’s work is part of the collections of The Arts Council of Ireland, dlr County Council, Industrial Development Agency Ireland (IDA), Trinity College Dublin, The Office of Public Works, Waterford City Collection and numerous private collections.

In 2020, Paul moved from Dublin to the northwest and is now based in Bundoran, Donegal. 

‘Words as colour not language’ x Paul Hallahan will be hosted in Hang Tough Contemporary, Exchequer St and guests will be invited to book to attend the launch event via Eventbrite. Mask wearing will be enforced and drinks are kindly provided by Teelings Whiskey.

This is a free event but booking is required to attend launch: BOOK HERE

Booking not required to attend the exhibition after the launch event.

Hang Tough Contemporary Opening Hours:

  • Monday, Closed
  • Tuesday, 12 – 6
  • Wednesday, 12 – 6
  • Thursday, 12 – 6
  • Friday, 12 – 6
  • Saturday, 12 – 6
  • Sunday, 12 – 4

Exhibition Enquiries  – gallery@hangtoughcontemporary.com / Press Enquiries – press@hangtough.ie


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