July – August 2021 issue of The Visual Artists’ News Sheet

VAN’s summer issue has just been despatched to arts organisations and VAI members nationwide, while the digital version is now available for subscribers in the members’ area of the VAI website.

To mark the much-anticipated reopening of galleries, museums and art centres, we have compiled a Summer Gallery Guide to inform visual art audiences about forthcoming exhibitions happening in July and August across Ireland and Northern Ireland. This guide is published on the VAN website here. 

We are thrilled to resume coverage of exciting and timely exhibitions in VAN’s summer issue. Colin Darke reviews ‘Sorry, Neither’ at the Naughton Gallery, as well as ‘Somnyama Ngonyama’ – the first solo exhibition of renowned South African photographer, Zanele Muholi, on the island of Ireland, which was presented in partnership with Belfast Photo Festival 2021. Matt Packer interviews Iranian-Irish filmmaker, Rouzbeh Rashidi, founder of the Experimental Film Society, marking its 20th anniversary this year with a new publication and the exhibition, ‘Luminous Void’, at Project Arts Centre.

In addition, reviewed in the Critique section are: Sheila Rennick at Kevin Kavanagh; Fiona Hackett at RHA Ashford Gallery; ‘Light and Language’ at Lismore Castle Arts; ‘Home: Being and Belonging in Contemporary Ireland’ at The Glucksman; and Richard Moss at Butler Gallery.

This issue features an interview with members of Belfast-based art collective, Array, following their nomination for the Turner Prize 2021, along with four other UK collectives. Another significant development within the Irish visual arts community is outlined in Susan Campbell’s report on the million-euro acquisition fund (supported by the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media) through which 422 artworks by 70 artists have been added to the National Collection of IMMA and Crawford Art Gallery.

Among other profiles for this issue, Claire-Louise Bennett and Ruby Wallis continue their collaborative project, Brian Fay interviews Michael Geddis and Joanna Kidney about their long-running collaborative drawing project, Rachel Botha outlines recent developments in her curatorial practice, while Joanne Laws interviews Ciara Roche about the evolution of her painting practice. Residency coverage for this issue includes Rosie McGurran’s text on the Inishlacken Project, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and Bryan Gerard Duffy’s report on his experience of the inaugural Bolay residency in the Linenhall Arts Centre.

 In columns for this issue, Cornelius Browne reflects on the enduring legacy of painter, Joan Eardley, whom he refers to as the ‘patron saint’ of plein air painting, and Mel French discusses her recent training in silicone casting with model-maker, Paul McDonnell.

This issue includes a Regional Focus on County Donegal, with insights from Jeremy Fitz Howard, Acting Manager, Regional Cultural Centre; Martha McCulloch, Coordinator, Artlink; and Jean Kearney, Head Guide at Glebe House and Gallery. In addition, artists Laura McCafferty, Myrid Carten and Paul Hallahan offer insights into the realities of maintaining a visual art practice in the county.

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