18 Apr. 2018

Digital Transformations – Arts/Digital Technology Conference

Ballina, Co. Mayo

19 – 20 May

Given the major controversy surrounding Facebook misusing personal data from over 50 million users and allowing it to be harvested and exploited by Cambridge Analytica, it is not far fetched to say that our relationship with digital technology has recently fallen under scrutiny. Trusting digital technology and the giant multinational corporations behind it all to cater to nuanced characteristics of human nature may prove a more difficult issue than we could have possibly imagined but there in itself lies the assumption that we take for granted: We expect that technology may change to meet our needs, but what if technology is changing us to meet the demands of technology?

Memory, authorship, productivity, privacy, consumption and other key facets of our human identity are changing. Digital society is transforming our traditional relationship to these concepts, enhancing some and alienating others. The arts, at its core, can be summed up as an attempt to process and translate the human experience. So what role does the arts play in this new digital landscape?

The Digital Transformations conference, held in Ballina attempts to answer just that. The conference, which will take place over the 19 – 20., May will explore a range of issues intertwined with this uniquely modern problem. By inviting leaders from business and technology, education and journalism to share their views on the digital society and the meaning and value of the arts in such a society, the conference will offer some insights into how artists navigate the impact of this society on their work. With key speakers like Steve Woodhall, Paula Kehoe, Cate Field and Sinead Mc Donald, Digital Transformations boosts an array of interesting speakers and food for thought.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

13 Apr. 2018

The Model Blog celebrates its 10th birthday

The Model blog has been entertaining, enthralling and informing the public for an entire decade. The blog, which celebrates its 10th birthday on April 16th, was started in 2008, when The Model’s website was in its infancy. During its formative years, the blog was primarily a resource for keeping the public informed on all things Model but as time ticked by, the blog gradually developed into an innovative space featuring news on new acquisitions, announcements, reviews, event breakdowns, interviews and guest blogs.

Over the years, the blog has featured articles from various contributors including Model marketing team alumni such as Denise Rushe, Erin Fox, Aoife Porter and also, young model members, guest bloggers, work experience students and artists’ in residence. This has provided The Model blog with a multitude of different styles & influences with each voice bringing its own unique flavor to the blog. Time has also seen the blog develop its tone from informative to a more laid-back, informal style.

In 2010, The Model was nominated for Best Arts and Culture blog in the Irish Blog Awards. Sadly, we missed out on the honour but the nomination did cement the weblogs reputation as a celebration of everything arts and culture. The blog has also boosted a slew of famous interviewees including Patti Smith, Elizabeth Price and Sean Mc Sweeney, all of whom were interviewed either by young model members or new members of staff because here in The Model, we believe in allowing everyone to share in an opportunity, no matter their age, origins or point of view.

So in honor of our weblog’s 10th birthday, we’re celebrating you, our followers. Thank you for reading and supporting The Model blog over the years. We would also like to thank everyone who has contributed to our blog, be them budding writers or talented photographers. We hope you join us as we continue to grow, inform and have fun!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

11 Apr. 2018

Sligo Global Kitchen claims Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award + New SGK dates

Last Month, Sligo Global Kitchen claimed the prestigious Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award. The Model is delighted to see Sligo Global Kitchen recognised for all their hard work and dedication. SGK was awarded the honour by none other than the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, an organisation that celebrates indigenous food producers and organisations who create, make and share great Irish produce and products while helping to maintain Ireland’s outstanding international reputation in food and drink. We think that SGK are fully deserving of this award and congratulate them for their achievement.

SGK grew out of a simple idea; that people living locally in direct provision might appreciate the use of the arts centre’s industrial kitchen to cook and eat together, given that residents cannot cook their own food whilst living in direct provision. Anna Spearman, a studio artist at The Model, reached out to Mabel Chah to liaise with other residents in direct provision and SGK was born. Since its inception, SGK has seen hundreds of friends and strangers gather together to enjoy dishes from Syria, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ireland, Poland and other countries. These communal dinners function to foster connections between the local community and those living in direct provision. Everyone is welcome and the meals are served for free, although donations are received with gratitude. The donations that are collected are then used to fund future SGK events. SGK has been generously funded since 2015 by the Community Foundation for Ireland. Other funding sources include the Communities Integration Fund. Since it’s inception, SGK has served over a thousand people and The Model is proud to have played host to some of their most memorable events.

Since receiving the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Community Award, members of SGK have been having their say on how the win has made them feel. ‘I am very happy for the prize we have received, it is a joy to know that the collaboration of all and teamwork has resulted in this award,’ said Arle Bell Gallardo, a member of Sligo Global Kitchen. Mabel Chah, the project co-odinater of SGK, also chimed in with her point of view on the big win. ‘I think it was very rewarding and more so because we don’t do anything with the hope that we will be receiving awards or national recognition,’ said Mabel, ‘We are grateful for The Model opening it’s doors to us and to Sligo sharing in our meals and to the whole nation for taking us in. We are here!’

The next SGK kitchen event takes place in The Model this Saturday, April 14th. This event will have an added twist; as explained on the FB page: ‘We are calling this event Sligo Global Kitchen “All Men”. The men living in direct provision have asked for the ladies to take a break while the men do the cooking. Since the start of the year it’s been mostly the ladies cooking and the daddies babysitting and eating, so it’s time to flip the switch! The men of SGK are loving the idea of serving up some man-made cuisine to the women of SGK and the rest of Sligo on the 14th of April.’ SGK ‘All Men’ will be serving a range of Venezuelan, Bangladeshi, Zimbabwean & Nigerian cuisine. See you there!

SGK has also announced another event set for 3pm., 19th May. More info on this event will be available soon via our social media platforms and website.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

12 Dec. 2017

Lankum - Interview

Lankum are one of the most intriguing bands to ever spring from Irish soil. During their Irish winter tour, before they took to the stage at The Model Sligo, Rebecca Kennedy sat down with Ian to talk tours, fans and tradition.

How’s the tour going?
It’s going really good. It’s really enjoyable. We are playing a lot of iconic venues around Ireland; Cleere’s in Kilkenny, The Spirit Store in Dundalk, Connolly’s in West Cork. We haven’t played so much in Ireland so much in the last year. We go to the U.K. a lot and play in other countries so it’s really good fun to catch up with friends and having a laugh.

What kind of audience are you seeing at your gigs?

We’ve always had a very big mix of different types of people coming to our gigs everywhere. If we play in Dublin or we play in London or Scotland. It’s really funny because you see really heavy metallers sitting beside 70-year-old traditional singers. And you’ll be thinking, ‘Where else would you see those two sitting beside each other in any other kind of gig?’ It’s really positive. We get a mix of different age groups and different people that are into our gigs and it’s been like that since we started playing together.

How did your audience re-act when you were signed to Rough Trade? Was there a fear that joining a major label would change the fabric of the music?

Rough Trade have been great. It’s a really legendary label, like they’ve been going since 1976 and they are still independent. I can imagine with any other big label they might be trying to get you to change the music in someway. But rough trade they said right from the get-go, ‘we love what you do, were not going to tell you how to do it.’ And they didn’t, whatever we wanted, like a 12-minute ballad they were like grand. We didn’t want a barcode on the front of the album, they said that’s grand, we will put it on a sticker on the back. We’ve always been a band that’s focused on the songs. We keep the compositions sparse because all the magic you already need in the song itself.

Lankum follow the old Irish tradition of collecting songs. How does that process work?

We spend a lot of time going to special singing gigs. We go a lot to Donegal, especially the Inishowen peninsula. They have really nice ballad singing weekends and monthly sessions as well. We just like travelling around and spending time with older singers, it’s really great craic as well. Most of the songs that are on the new album are songs we heard people singing and we would ask them if we could we write them down. We spend a lot of time trawling through archives & going through older print collections to find songs. It’s one of my favorite ways to pass the time. I would have grown up in that type of environment where anytime the family was together, someone was singing for the craic. It didn’t even need to be traditional songs; it just needed to be someone singing to pass the time. That’s why we have such a taste for it.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

6 Dec. 2017

Turbulence: Rebecca Kennedy reports on the opening celebrations

On Dec. 01, The Model celebrated the opening of our new major contemporary art exhibition with a spectacular array of events. Turbulence is a major exhibition that explores the way in which contemporary artists are responding to the refugee crisis today. The exhibition features work by artists Rossella Biscotti, Elaine Hoey, Gulsun Karamustafa, Naiza Khan, Eoin McHugh, Cengiz Tekin, Sarah Wood and Jack Butler Yeats.

Given the concept behind Turbulence, it seemed only fitting that Sligo Global Kitchen would kick off the opening by doing what S.G.K. does best; serving up a variety of mouth-watering tapas. A crèche facilitated by Model volunteers Binta Sow, Fatma Dogan and Niamh Gowran was set up in the education room. Those of us who had been to Sligo Global Kitchen at The Model before were aware of its ever-growing audience. By 4pm, the atrium was filled to the brim. Such was the crowd that the queue snaked passed the café and lead straight through to the bottom of the staircase. The S.G.K. crew on hand; Nkeka Cummings, Funmi Oluwadara and Sara Batiglag handled the gathering with grace and patience.

By 4.30pm, our patience was rewarded and everyone was seated. One of the many reasons why SGK has enjoyed success since it’s inception has been the unity that is shared over a meal. Indeed, there was unity among us, what with strangers sitting with strangers and enjoying some homemade food with a glass of wine, but there was also an unmistakable spirit of solidarity.

To officiate the opening, actor & writer Donal O’ Kelly took to the balcony and preformed a specially created performance piece in response to the ideas behind Turbulence. He later said that he was “Honoured to be part of the opening event of such an important exhibition as Turbulence, and to try to amplify the voices of those deliberately silenced and isolated among us, such as refugees and asylum-seekers in Direct Provision.”

Following Donal O’ Kelly’s enigmatic performance S.G.K.’s project coordinator, Mabel Chah sung an original song entitled ‘burning coal,’ that left the entire artrium silent. When the performances had come to a close, Turbulence was officially opened to the public with a speech from The Model’s chairperson, Dr. Bláithín Gallagher.

Elaine Hoey’s VR piece ‘The Weight of Water’ caused a particular stir. This piece, which uses virtual reality technology puts the partcipant in the position of a refugee in a boat, suffering through the infamously treacherous journey to Europe. Yvonne Eames, who attended the exhibition, told us why she found this piece particularly moving. “I’m a solicitor and I work with refugees at the legal aid board,’ said Mrs. Eames. ‘I thought Elaine Hoey’s ‘The Weight of Water’, was very evocative. It wasn’t brash, it was simplistic and that helped insulate the experience. I hope that this powerful piece will go on to create real change in how we view and treat refugees in Irish society.”

Sprawling across the entirety of The Model upper galleries, Turbulence is not only a mammoth exhibition in it’s size, but also in it’s concept. Within the exhibition, mass movement is explored from the perspective of some of contemporay arts most interesting artists. The refugee crisis effects us all, from old to young, which is why we thought we’d ask one of the youngest visitor’s of the opening, what she thought of it all. Annie Spearman, who attended the exhibition at the ripe age of 17, had this to say on the matter. “The exhibition was really engaging and complex but it still managed to make the refugee crisis relatable to me” said Annie, “The opening was really good; Mabel’s song was beautiful. It made me cry!”

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

21 Nov. 2017

Daniel Chester - Open Studio

There is a contemplative, sublime and somewhat sombre quality in Daniel Chester’s landscapes. When shown during the 2016 Cairde festival, his large-scale rural landscapes emanated a beauty that was both haunting and tender, it was no surprise then, when Chester became the recipient of The Model Cara Award 2016, a unique prize which is an invitation to the artist to develop a project in The Model’s process room.

Usually, residencies entail an artist taking over some private quarters, however on this occasion the Leitrim-based artist decided to base himself in The Model process room, turning it into a place of work. Casting open the metaphorical (and physical) doors in order to dissolve the barriers that separate the artist from the audience, the artist has created an “open studio” where the public can observe and interact with the artist at work. It’s concept is live, interactive visual art, that deliberately blurs the lines between process and performance.

Throughout the month of November, Chester has the run of the process room; a large, bright space with twin windows that naturally lends itself as a studio. For the duration of his residency, his space is open to the public (daily 10am – 2pm). As well as presenting an oppountinity for Chester to meet his curious audience, the open studio presents an unique chance to observe Chester’s working process as his pieces unfold before us. It’s a fascinating concept, the idea that we can simply observe as Chester creates his sobering & oppressive pieces, attempting to pinpoint the exquisite moment in which they become emotionally shattering.

So come along and see Daniel Chester, he will be working in the Process Room 10am-2pm daily until 02 Dec. The pieces that Chester complete in The Model will be on display in the process room till late December. See reception for details.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

10 Nov. 2017

The Model's Education Autumn/Winter Programme has arrived!

The Model is delighted to announce the arrival of the 2017 Winter/Autumn education programme! This season will see the return of some educational classics like Sligo Latin Dance, Sligo Global Kitchen, a season Family Special, as well as some fantastic new workshops for children on Sundays.

Join Dr Marie Bourke, (Curator of Frederic William Burton: For the Love of Art currently on view at The national Gallery), on Thursday 16th Nov. for a talk on this leading water colourist of the Pre-Raphaelite era including his work in the West of Ireland. Burton’s 1864 work, The Meeting on the Turret Stairs was voted Ireland’s favourite painting by the public in 2012. More here

This season sees the return of the much loved ArtTrap, a Sunday programme of workshops for children. Facilitated by artists Ana Faye and Sinead O’ Hanlon, this series of fun creative activities is designed to encourage children to explore the galleries and learn about contemporary art through making, experimenting and discussion. ArtTrap is a series of five unique workshops which will take place from Sunday 19th Nov. to 10th Dec. 12.30am – 2pm. €15 per class.

Daniel Chester, recipient of the Cara Visual Award 2016 is Artist-in-Residence in The Model Process room throughout November. Chester will run an Open Studio at The Model’s Process Room between 10am-2pm daily until 02 Dec, where the public have the chance to watch this talented painter at work and talk to him about his ideas and techniques. An artist’s talk with Daniel Chester will take place at The Model on Thursday 16 November at 2pm.

Running out of ideas for this year’s Christmas decorations? Then you have come to the right place! The Model is hosting a Family Day Christmas Special. This will be a fun-filled cracker of a workshop that promises to sparkle with Christmas magic. And just to top it all, the workshop will be followed by a Christmas film for all the family in The Model cinema. Family Day will take place on Sun. 17 Dec., 11.30am – 3pm. €10 for one adult + one child/ €2 per additional child.

Sligo Global Kitchen (SGK) is back! SGK is an art and food project, bringing diverse and multi-cultural communities together at a communal table. So bring your friends and family along and discover new tastes & flavours at Sligo’s most communal table. SGK takes place at 3pm on 18 Nov. & 16 Dec. Sligo Global Kitchen will also cater for the opening of Turbulence, a major exhibition opening at the Model on Sat. 02 Dec.

Sligo Latin Dance is making its much-anticipated return at last! These sessions are an introduction to Latin Dance taught by Loander and Jesus, Latin dancers from Venezuela. Learn to Salsa, Merengue, and Bacheta in a fun, ambient environment. The classes include complimentary classic Venezuelan “mocktails” and mini tapas. The classes are held on Thursdays from the 14. Nov-19. Dec. 11am-12pm, €5.

In partnership with the Irish Film Institute, a film programme for secondary school students will focus on both German and French – The Wild Soccer Bunch, a German coming of age tale and My life As A Courgette, a beautifully animated Swiss/French will be showing on 11am, Thu. 23 Nov and Thu. 7. Dec. respectively.

The exciting pop-up Niland Collection programme Punc 1×1 will continue to unfold throughout the year in schools throughout the county. Schools are also invited to visit our wonderful collection of art and tour our contemporary exhibitions all year round. Please contact The Model for more details on our tour programme.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

4 Oct. 2017

High Winds Move Slowly

The Model is delighted to announce that our contemporary art exhibition High Winds Move Slowly will be extended until the 12th of November.

High Winds Move Slowly is a visual conversation between two artists on alienation, suffering, coping and the nature of life. Henk Visch expresses human suffering in his disembodied, humanoid sculptures while Arno Kramer favors escapism into an other-worldly animal realm of his own creation. This contemporary show is a must-see for the Halloween season so be sure to stop by, grab a coffee from The Model café and explore this surreal and enigmatic show.

Extended by popular demand this exhibition, which features drawing and sculptures from two of The Netherlands’ most subversive artists. So, if you haven’t had the time to stop by & check out the show; fear not, you have another month to do so.

To bring this special exhibition to a close, The Model will host a masterclass by renowned Dutch artist Arno Kramer on 31st of October. Kramer is a curator and poet, as well as a visual artist. He is the recipient of the 2015 Netherlands Artist of the Year award and he curated Into Drawing Contemporary Dutch Drawing, a show that went on to tour in five countries. Please be sure to book your places soon, as Kramer’s masterclass is sure to sell out!

Tickets are available here

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

Related Programming

19 Sep. 2017

Culture Night 2017 - What's on!

Culture night 2017 is nearly upon us, and with the ever fascinating evening drawing closer by the day; we thought we would compile a list of exactly what’s on offer for the only night dedicated to celebrating all things cultural!

This years programme is coordinated by The Model on behalf of Culture Night Sligo partners, Sligo County Council Arts Service, the Hawk’s Well Theatre, The Model, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company and Sligo Youth Theatre. So, not only will we, The Model, be bursting to the brim with amazing events, all of Sligo will be following suit!

Here’s what’s on the cards:

Visual Art:

Time: 10am-10pm

Artist Select; Michael Wann is open to the public in the foyer gallery. At 6pm artist Barry McHugh will discuss a film by Oliver Laric which is exhibiting at The Model. A special tour of Jack B. Yeats; Lives will take place at 7pm, an exciting feature of this exhibition exploring the artists iconic oil paintings and pen and ink drawings is a recent acquisition of an original Jack B. Yeats’ sketchbook – a must see for any real Yeats head!

Performance: Suzanne Walshe
Time: 8pm

Suzanne Walshe will create a live, immersive soundscape surrounded & responding the work of Dutch artists Arno Kramer and Henk Visch in High Winds Move Slowly. This performance will be a highlight of Culture night!

Amhrán na Mara: Song of the Sea
Time: 6pm – 7.30pm

The Model Cinema will host a special Irish language screening of Amhrán na Mara (Song of The Sea) at 6 pm followed by Cupán & Comhrá with the musician, Rossa Ó Snodaigh in the Model Café. Song of the Sea tells the story of an Irish youth (David Rawle) who discovers that his mute sister is a selkie who must find her voice and free supernatural creatures from the spell of a Celtic goddess!

Monsieur Gusto “Hanging About” The Model
Time: 3pm & 4.30 pm

Monsieur Gusto, the worlds most amazing Juggling Escapologist sensation, has a show that you just can’t miss! Not only does he Juggle Fire Torches, Toilet Plungers and Water Balloons while Balancing on top of people just like you! Get ready to be fascinated, entertained and a little confused when Monsieur Gusto takes the stage!

Open Studios
Time: 5.00 pm – 9.00 pm

The studio artists of The Model will be opening their doors to the public. The artists in attendance will be on hand to greet the public and talk them through their creative process. Featuring esteemed Model Studio artists like Ruth le Gear, Andy Parsons, Sean Larkin, Pulled, Micheal Wann and Cairde Prize winning sculpter, Anna Spearman!

Art for Blind DJ Set
Time: 9.00pm – 10.00pm

Joining us to close out proceedings on our Culture Night celebrations will be Art for Blind who will spin some tunes in the atrium.

Culture Night is brought to you by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Creative Ireland Programme in partnership with Sligo County Council Arts Service.

Oíche Chultúir has been made possible by the An tOireachtas annual grant for Irish language events hosted on Culture Night. Scaip an scéal agus go n-éirigh go geal libh!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

Related Programming

8 Sep. 2017

Bright horizon’s for Model Artist Michael Wann

Artist Select: Michael Wann, Artist Talk & The Art of Drawing

Michael Wann has become increasingly busy this month. September sees the celebrated Sligo artist opening ‘Artist Select’, the second of our studio artists to exhibit in this exhibition series in The Model, following on from studio artist Kiera O’Tool. Wann has received awards, placements in prestigious exhibitions and is soon to start his Autumn masterclass ‘The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann.’ October will also prove a hectic month for Wann, as he is scheduled to give an artist talk that will accompany Artist Selects on 5. Oct., not to be missed.

But it hasn’t been all hard work.

In the last week alone, Wann’s work was commended by The Moth Art Prize, was published in the autumn issue of The Moth literary journal and was selected for the National Open Art Exhibition in Southbank London which will open in November.

Not an unfortunate lot for the sligo based artist.

Artists Select: Michael Wann

Exhibition: Sat. 9 Sep. – Sat. 7 Oct.

‘Artists Select’, is a unique initiative at The Model which invites artists to choose works from The Model’s Niland Collection and display their own personal work as a response. Works by Wann, together with Le Brocquy, Hooghiemstra, Diarmuid Delargy and Paul Henry exude a quiet intensity, tapping into a deep history of drawing which informs the present and will no doubt persist into the future. In this presentation, Wann presents exciting new work, with burnt edges, sepia splashes, spontaneous gestures and accidents, which blend and converge with the rational or more traditional array of made marks within the making of a landscape.

Artist Talk: Michael Wann

Artist Talk: Thu. 5 Oct., 2pm, Free

Wann will give a talk that will investigate and explore the relationship between his own work and his selected pieces.

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann

26. Sep – 31. Oct

Tuedays, 2.30pm – 4.30pm (inter. & adv.), €120

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann is a 6 week master class course in The Model, Sligo. The drawing classes commence on the 26th of September and will come to a close on the 21st of October. Michael Wann’s classes have long been a fixture of The Model’s programme as Michael provides his students with excellent expertise, a new skill-set and positive encouragement to explore your artistic side.

To book a place on “The Art of Drawing” you can contact Michael directly on: 087 9303528 or email: studio@michaelwann.com

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

18 Aug. 2017

A breakdown of Model events for Sat. 19 Aug

To celebrate the opening of High Winds Move Slowly, The Model is hosting a number of curious and intriguing events that will be sure to inject a little creative colour to your weekend. From contemporary art, dance to classical folk, The Model is a one-stop shop for all your cultural and entertainment needs. To present what’s on offer, we have crafted a list:

5pm – Opening reception of High Winds Move Slowly

High Winds Move Slowly is a two-person exhibition featuring Dutch artists Arno Kramer and Henk Visch. This show, which is curated and toured by the Museum De Buitenplaats in the Netherlands, marks the first time that these two artists have been brought together in one exhibition. As well as showcasing the exhibition, a site-specific drawing that has been commissioned for the exhibition in The Model atrium.

To celebrate the opening of this dynamic exhibition, The Model will host an artist talk between Arno Kramer, Henk Visch and curator, Patty Wageman. This will be followed by contemporary dancer Iris Reyes, who will respond through movement and dance to the larger than life sculptures and large scale drawing in the gallery space. Reyes is a recipient of the “Best Dancer” award with the VSCD Zilveren Dansprijs. Since September 2006 Iris Reyes has been working as Ballet Mistress and Rehearsal Director for Introdans in Arnhem, where she assisted the esteemed choreographer Hans van Manen. A gifted dancer, Reyes will inspire and amaze with her powerful performance.

6pm – Drinks reception

At 6pm complimentary wine will be served in The Model Atrium. While enjoying a drink in the elegant surroundings of The Model Atrium, why not stick around to see the legendary New York based musical duo The Murphy Beds at 8pm? The café will also be opened, offering a selection of craft beers, teas and coffees. But before then, there is more to see. Our other excellent exhibitions are also open for the public to enjoy.

Artist Select, a unique exhibition in response to The Niland Collection is also open in the Foyer Gallery, featuring the work of artist Kiera O’ Toole. This is a new series that sees one of The Model studio artists (Kiera O’Toole) respond to the work of Arno Kramer, whose work is held in The Niland Collection. The resulting exhibition is a sensitive visual inquiry.

And for Yeats’ lovers, a colourful exhibition of the work of Jack B. Yeats is exhibiting in the beautifully lit Niland Gallery. Lives; Jack B. Yeats enables audiences to trace the development of key characters in Jack Butler Yeats’ work, through an exploration of his illustrations, pencil sketches, watercolours and the iconic oil paintings of his later mature period. A new & exciting feature of Lives is the recent acquisition of an original Jack B. Yeats’ sketchbook. Owing to the generosity of Claire and Kevin Connolly, The Model has acquired the artists’ visual journal. For Yeats, a sketchbook presented an opportunity to not only sketch the possibility of a new piece but also to capture life as he experienced it. For fans of Yeats, these sketchbooks provide a snapshot into the private dream world of one of Ireland’s most elusive artists.

8pm – Performance by The Murphy Beds in the theatre.

Polish your Brogue’s and get your flat caps ready for The Murphy Beds, a stunning musical duo that’s sure to get your feet tapping and your heart racing! By interweaving the exquisite talents of two world-class musicians, The Murphy Beds is an innovative and dynamic duo that will have you dancing in the aisles. The Murphy Beds (Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O’Leary) will perform traditional and original folk songs with close harmonies and deft instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. They have performed and collaborated with artists across the folk spectrum including Beth Orton, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Anais Mitchell, and Sam Amidon. The Murphy Beds have travelled the world, bringing their personal brand of folk music from New York to Belgium and Germany and now, to Sligo! The Murphy Beds will play one night only at The Model, so be sure to see them before they depart!

We hope you can join us on this cultural evening full of dance, performance, and visual art.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

20 Jul. 2017

Cairde Visual Review

On the 6th of July, Cairde Visual opened in The Model. The exhibition is Cairde Sligo Arts Festival’s fourth annual open submission show. The exhibition features work from both national and international artists across a diverse range of media with over 100 pieces from 87 artists on display. The exhibiting artists were selected from hundreds of applications by a panel of esteemed judges consisting of Barra Cassidy, Christian Reeves, Emer McGarry, Pat Murphy and Cormac O’ Leary.

Cairde Visual began this year with an engaging artist talk & wine reception. Artist’s Anna Spearman, Ruth le Gear & Daniel Chester were invited to speak about their practice with education curator, Marie Louise Blaney. The thoughtful and playful talk explored the nature of each artist’s practice & their relationship with their environment.

The Artists:

Anna Spearman is an object-maker, a painter and a socially engaged arts practitioner. She initiated and collaborated with The Model on the development of the Sligo Global Kitchen project since 2015. Acting Director of The Model, Emer McGarry, had the honor of presenting The Model Cara Award to Anna Spearman. This award entitles it’s recipient to a two week residency in The Model’s state of the art artist studio. This award will see Anna develop a project for The Model’s Foyer gallery in 2018.

Ruth Le Gear is a Leitrim-based artist. She completed her BA in Fine Art at GMIT Galway in 2007. Her work is interdisciplinary, often combining text with video, photography, audio and other elements. In her practice, she combines empirical approaches, particularly water memory, with more intuitive processes of understanding non- physical phenomena. Ruth’s recent project & publication ‘Water Senses’ is available in The Model Shop.

Daniel Chester is a Leitrim- based artist, originally from Enniscrone, Sligo. Having completed his BA in IT Sligo in 2001, he spent time deepening his practice as a painter, before going on to complete a Masters in Visual Arts Practices in Dun Laoighre College of Art and Design in 2009. Daniel was the joint winner of The Model Cara Award 2016 (alongside Selma Makela, who was recently showed in the foyer gallery) and will be exhibiting in The Model later this year.

The talk was brought to a close with an announcement from Cairde creative director, Tara Mc Gowan, who named the winners of both The Hamilton Gallery Award and the Augural Cosgrove’s Delicatessen Prize. Noel Tighe & Hazel Merrigan were the joint winners of the Hamilton Gallery Award, which entitles the artists to an exhibition in one of Sligo’s newest galleries. Helen Merrigan Colfer was the lucky winner of the Augural Cosgrove’s Delicatessen Prize of €500.

The wine reception that followed was a roaring success with hordes of art-lover’s gathering in The Model to appreciate the colourful collection of work on display. The Model has always enjoyed a good party and spirits were high as the evening wore on. To add to the general delight of the gathering, several pieces were sold on the night in question. Today, the number rounds up at a healthy 10, not bad for an exhibition that has only been opened for a fortnight, eh? So why not drop by before the 06. Aug & take a walk around this eclectic and exciting new exhibition!

Cairde Visual is open till 06. Aug. 17

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

28 Jun. 2017

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival

The Model is hosting a number of events during Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, which takes place from 09 – 15 July and promises music, theatre and visual arts that will appeal to all ages.

The Model Presents Cairde Visual

From 06 Jul. – 06 Aug. The Model presents Cairde’s fourth annual open submission show. The exhibition features work from national and international artists across a diverse range of media with over 100 pieces from 87 artists on display. The show features a range of paintings and drawings, sculpture, film, photography and installation. The exhibiting artists were selected from hundreds of applications by a selection panel consisting of Barra Cassidy, Christian Reeves, Emer Mc Garry, Pat Murphy and Lorna Watkins.

Our family day with Chelsea Canavan this month will be a response workshop to Cairde Visual. Children aged 6+ and their parents / guardians. will explore installation design and print, taking inspiration from the exhibition. The Model Cafe will be serving up tasty treats for families wishing to stay on for lunch. Family day takes place on Sun 16 Jul. from 11:30am – 1pm and costs €10 for 1 adult with 1child and €2 for any additional child. Booking in advance is highly recommended as spaces are limited to 20. Book here

Kíla Family Concert
3pm 11 Jul.

Song of the Sea is a 2014 animated Irish fantasy/adventure film that won the European Film Award for Best Animated Feature Film. It’s a truly lovely tale of family bonds and Irish myths. Kíla composed the music for Song of the Sea and during this incredibly unique family concert; the Irish folk band will perform three of the songs they wrote for the film while Song of the Sea plays onscreen. Children and parents alike are invited to interact with the music throughout the concert through dancing and clapping, making it a truly interactive & magical experience. Get your tickets here: Adults: €12 / U18s Go See: €6

The Model Cafe will have a children’s ‘special of the day’ on the menu – Tasty Tortillas!

Bottlenote Music: The Walls have Ears
6pm & 8pm, 14 & 15 Jul.

Commissioned by Cairde SAF with support from The Model, Bottlenote Music’s The Walls Have Ears takes place over two evening at No. 2 John Street, Sligo. For the first time in it’s history, this magical, site-specific experimental session of improvised music will cross the boundaries of Ireland’s capital city and take place in Sligo.

Performers include Bottlenote’s Sean MacErlaine and Shane Latimer. MacErlaine plays clarinet and live electronics, while Latimer plays guitar and modular synths. Joining them for this gig will be Claudia Schwab, Phil Minton and Jennifer Walshe. During each of the four sessions, the audience will be lead from room to room to witness a series of improvisations, explosive sets and moments of magic. It’s improvised, so no two shows are the same – and the artists don’t even know what they will do until they start playing.

Places are limited to just twenty per performance, booking is with Cairde Sligo Arts Festival.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

Related Programming

20 Jun. 2017

The Model is in Vogue (quite literally)

The Model is proud to announce that we have been featured in Vogue’s ‘Where The Vogue Editors Are Holidaying This Summer’ article. The article, which features Sligo alongside holiday havens like Italy, Ibiza and Greece, sees the Vogue U.K. team choose their top holiday destinations for 2017. Sligo was top pick for news editor Scarlett Conlon, who was lured to Yeats’ country by its cultural and artistic history, boutique shops, beaches and bustling restaurant scene.

Alongside The Model, Sligo businesses The Cat and The Moon, Breeogue Pottery, Liber and Mullaneys got an international shout out for their artisan merchandise. The Model was featured in the ‘Don’t leave without’ section and we couldn’t agree more. Visiting Yeats’ country without stopping by to see an original Yeats in our current exhibition Jack. B Yeats: Lives or taking in some contemporary art with Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors would be sacrilege!

The Model is also delighted to be able to contribute to the bustling restaurant scene that is luring international customers to Sligo’s pale, sandy shores. The Model Café is now open for business with a menu that offers a little more then local cuisine. Our new chef, Juan Sevilla Jimenez has intertwined elegant, simple dishes made with the finest local produce with a Mexican twist. So come on by and see for yourself why The Model is listed as a must see by Vogue!

To see the full article, click here

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

13 Jun. 2017

Interview with our new Café Chef Juan Sevilla Jimenez

The Model Café is open for business. So now is the perfect time to get to know the chef behind Sligo’s newest café. Juan Sevilla Jimenez is originally from Mexico but now calls Sligo home. We caught up with him to get the low-down on his grand plans for The Model Café.

How did you end up coming to Ireland?

I was living in New York. I was working in an Irish pub, where I had been working for four years. I used to be a bartender. I met my girlfriend there. She was the waitress. I met her the first year I worked there. We worked together for two years. Then we decided to move to Ireland. I know two Mexican guys who are in the same boat. They met Irish girls abroad and ended up moving to Ireland with them. Small world!

What was your first impression of The Model?

The first time I came to The Model was for a Baroque concert. My partner plays the flute and she is part of the group. She has been playing with the Baroque group for seven or eight years. When I walked into The Model and thought it was a really nice place: it’s really tranquil and light.

Where did you work before?

I worked in Fabbrica, the Italian restaurant on Rockwood Parade. I was the second chef there. It was really nice. The staff worked very well together but I decided to come to The Model because I was looking for a new opportunity and a new experience.

What’s your vision for The Model?

I have a lot of ideas. The atrium is a calm & beautiful, it would be a really nice place to have dinner! I’ve also got a lot of ideas for the menu. I would like to create more breakfast dishes and devote one day a week to serving Mexican dishes. A Mexican day could be great too!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

8 Jun. 2017

The Model Cafe is open!

Foodies and caffeine addicts alike will be delighted to hear that The Model’s much-anticipated brand new café has opened. Taking pride of place in the heart of The Model atrium, The Model Café will make a fantastic addition to the bustling café scene in Sligo town. The menu at The Model Café is designed to showcase the finest of Sligo produce to reflect the unique flavor of the county, as well as interweaving a Mexican twist with local cuisine thanks to our fabulous chef Juan.

The Model Café caters to all your caffeine needs with all the usual suspects: strong Espressos, smooth lattes, indulgent hot chocolates as well as stocking a selection of refreshing herbal teas. To keep us happy during this unusual spell of warm weather (fingers crossed that it sticks around) The Model offers chilled soft drinks like San Pellegrino. For all you healthnuts out there, The Model Café also has a fine array of Vit-Hit to replenish and revive!

If you are stopping whilst out on a leisurely stroll or just out to enjoy a light brunch in the beautiful surroundings of The Model atrium, then the pastries selection is sure to put a smile of your face. The selection of delicacies includes savory croissants and delicious Danish swirls, all freshly baked and made with the finest ingredients. If it’s lunch you’re after then The Model Café has you covered. Featuring dishes like the The Mexican: spicy chorizo & crushed avocado, roasted peppers and tomato on a bed of lush mixed salad served in a wrap, ciabbatta or in a classic salad. The Model Café serves a menu of elegant, simple dishes with an exotic edge.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

7 Jun. 2017

Yeats Day and The LilyLolly Craftfest Event

Join us at The Model to celebrate Yeats Day and The LilyLolly Craftfest with two fantastic events:

Jack Yeats at The Model Lunch Time Tour, 1.30 pm, Tues. 13, Jun
Come and join us on Yeats Day for a walk through our current exhibitions: Jack B. Yeats; Lives and Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors.

Nora Niland Lecture, 7pm, Wed. 14, Jun.
‘One a Gazelle; the Eva Gore-Booth that Yeats never knew’ delivered by Professor Sean Golden.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

6 Jun. 2017

Ronnie Hughes; Strange Attactors - Educational Booklet

The education department has produced a beautiful and educational booklet for kids and parents to take along to Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors.

‘Using this guide, children and their parents can have hours of fun navigating the exhibition Strange Attractors by Ronnie Hughes. Engaging and interactive, this guide is packed with word searches, puzzles and drawing ideas to help you unlock clues to unraveling the meaning behind the many layers of colour and abstract patterns in the artist’s paintings. The children’s guide is free of charge and can be picked up at The Model reception.’_ – Marie Louise Blaney

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

5 Jun. 2017

Italian students enjoy their experience at The Model

One would be hard pushed to find a harder working set of individuals outside of the legion of volunteers and students whose commitment, talent and dedication, keep The Model ticking over, year round. The Model was recently lucky enough to play host to three Italian students who spent a fortnight of their Erasmus year in Sligo. The students: Martina Pensato, Anna Biferale and Desire Spigali came from Ladispoli, Lazlo, Italy to Ireland to gain experience in the tourism industry and improve their English. During their work experience, the girls learnt the inside business of what it takes to run a contemporary arts centre like The Model. Think Andy, Anne Hathaway’s much harassed character in ‘The Devil wears Prada’ and you’ve got the gist. Just kidding!

In the course of their stay, the student’s invigilated exhibitions, assisted at the front desk and even helped out in the marketing department, where their tech savvy skills were put to good use. Martina Pensato found this exposure to the inner workings of the art world the most valuable aspect of her experience in The Model: ‘I liked the work at the Model because I like to work with art,’ said Martina, ‘We were happy that we choose to work in The Model because we learned that a museum is not just a destination for a day trip, it has it’s own culture that is a way of life.’

Where Martina enjoyed the work, Anna Biferale was preferred the social aspect that being part of The Model entails. ‘The people of The Model are very kind. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the staff.’ Desire Spigali agreed. ‘The staff of The Model have made the two weeks of our Erasmus that we have spent in Sligo worth our while.’ The students also managed to teach us a thing or two. Several members of The Model staff are now fluent in multiple Italian curse words, which will come in handy, should we are to ever find ourselves offended in Italy.

The Model would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Martina Pensato, Anna Biferale and Desire Spigali for their hard work. We wish you the best of luck in your future!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

2 Jun. 2017

Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors - Walk Through

Ronnie Hughes began his career as an artist after receiving an MA in Fine Art from the University of Ulster. Since then, Hughes has had numerous solo shows in Ireland and taken part in prestigious group shows in New York, Chicago, London and Germany. As an award-winning artist, Hughes has been the selected for highly sought residencies such as a one-year residency in New York, and three-month residencies at Banff Arts Center, Canada and Bemis Arts Center, Nebraska.

As part of a national tour that will see Hughes’ work travel to Limerick City Gallery and The Royal Hibernian Dublin, Hughes’ latest solo show has opened in The Model. ‘Strange Attractors’ is an exhibition of elegant abstracts. Hughes work is complex: registering everything from an existential longing to understand the world to theoretical psychics. Hughes’ work is also aesthetically pleasing, with blasts of clashing colour and kitschy geometrics reminiscent of late 1960’s American interior design.

The ‘Strange Attractors’ journey begins in gallery A. Gallery A houses some of Hughes, small scale more intimate works. Colour Mechanics, (2016) Klacto, (2016) and Polychrome (2016) are stand out pieces. The theory of using a confined small to showcase Hughes smaller works continues into Gallery B, which showcases dynamic pieces like Cascade (2017), Palette (2017) & Limbo (2017). Gallery C, D and East present Hughes’ larger, visually dominating works. The lofty spaces balances the larger pieces well, particularly Badass (2016) and Klikkak (2015), by setting them opposite other pieces, creating a confrontational effect between these strange attractors.

As well as painting, Hughes show offers a series of gouache drawings. The symmetry of line created within Propus I, Propus II and Propus III, located in Gallery C, are heavily reminiscent of infamous imagery of theoretical physics and science fiction, making the exhibition a very optically interesting experience. Hughes ‘Strange Attractors’ is not limited to geometrical forms. With the exhibition, strokes of loose, free-forming chaotic lines and shapes appear amongst more, formal structured shapes.

Ronnie Hughes: Strange Attractors will be on show in The Model until 22. Jun. 2017.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

31 May. 2017

My Pick - Heike Thiele

As part of our My Pick series we asked Heike Thiele, Assistant Curator at The Model, to choose her favorite work and tell us why.

‘A Sunday Morning in Sligo’ is a watercolour that depicts a young man jumping from a mud bank to a pool below. A friend watches him from the pool as the young man is caught mid-jump, frozen in a fetal position. Onlookers watch the fun as young men splash about in the water, climb the mud bank and plummet once more to the water below.

I like this watercolour in particular because it has an immediacy that some of J.B. Yeats paintings sometimes lack as often they seem to be set on a stage.

‘Sunday Morning’ seems of vital importance, like it’s an experience from his life. The watercolor feels as though it is autobiographical. Maybe J.B. Yeats was swimming himself in the water watching another lad jump in and this is a memory.

I also like that the water is not the sea but that it’s a bit mucky. I find that it feels like a real summer experience and that it’s just gorgeous. I also like that it’s not fully formed and has very few visible outlines. It’s freer than other J.B. Yeats work. It’s really quite painterly and it’s less of a drawing.

‘A Sunday morning in Sligo,’(1898) by Jack B. Yeats is currently featured in “Lives” a Model exhibition in The Niland Gallery. “Lives” will be on display until 01. Oct. 2017.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

10 May. 2017

Interview: Steve Wickham

(Photography by Paul Mc Manus)

Steve Wickham is a true Sligo treasure. As a long-serving member of The Waterboys, the Dublin born violinist has travelled the globe collaborating and performing live with the likes of Bob Dylan, U2, REM, Elvis Costello, The Hothouse Flowers and Sinead O’ Conner. Wickham is a resident studio artist at The Model. It isn’t an all too uncommon occurrence to hear the sound Wickham’s soaring violin spilling from the window of his studio whilst passing below. It’s a bit like having Madonna in the attic, really.

Safe to say, we consider ourselves very lucky to have him. Having had such a prolific career, it is no surprise that Wickham is gearing up to release his second solo album, Beekeeper. In preparations for the launch of the album (taking place at 8pm, Fri. 12 May in The Model) Steve Wickham sat down with our marketing assistant, Rebecca Kennedy to discuss Beekeeper, inspiration, and Sligo.

Can you tell a bit about how Beekeeper came about?

I was sitting for a painting for Nick Miller in his studio up in Rathcormac for about a week. I asked Nick was it okay for me to bring my violin because it’s kind of boring to just sit there. He was into it. I brought the fiddle and improvised while he painted me. I brought a recorder to tape all the tunes and in the end I had hours and hours of improvised music. As I was collating the music, I realized I wasn’t ready just yet to make that album yet but it sparked the creative juices to put out a solo album so I did. I recorded some of it in my studio. The creative process was spurred on by being in The Model. I wrote ‘Song of Lost Things’ in The Model and ‘The Hare.’

Your music is such an eclectic mixture of sound. What goes through your head while your writing?

It’s one song at a time. I never think, ‘Oh, I have an album here.’ I had a lot of pieces that were saying to me ‘what are you going to do with me?’ I kind of answer them by saying; ‘I’m going to put you all in an album.’ I had a great producer working with me, a guy called, Joe Chester. He’s actually an old friend of mine. He was in The Waterboys. He’s an Irish producer who worked with Hozier. He has a great aesthetic. When you’re working on things yourself, you’re too close to them. Like a curator in an art gallery, a producer can step back from an artists’ work to actually look at it. So, I’d a lot of help from Joe and some of the guys in The Waterboys. I also had help from Brian Mc Donagh with whom I began the recording process.

How does your experience as a solo artist compare to your experience of being in a band?

When you find yourself in any sort of group, there’s a group dynamic to be aware of. When you are part of a band of musicians, you must find the dynamic. Find your own place within it. That place, where you can give most of your musical self. The lead singer or songwriter is generally the leader of the band. I am primarily a violinist and most of my career has been spent supporting the song and the singer and for the most part this has been completely fulfilling for me. With this record I’ve had to stand up more to the fore which is a bit more daunting but fun too, especially with a great band behind me.

If you could describe Beekeeper in three words, what would they be?

A hive of songs…or a deadly buzz!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

3 May. 2017

Interview: New Irish Directors

New Irish Directors is a short series of film at the Model curated by Edel Doherty. To get under the skin of New Irish Directors, Rebecca Kennedy sat down with Edel to discuss the series and what it has to offer Sligo audiences.

Why the focus on Irish director’s?

It’s an exciting juncture. A new wave directors have been are being recognised in at Toronto, Cannes & the Berlinale. The directors in the series are quite contemporary. Some of the classic themes of Irish cinema are still there but they are being teased out in a more nuanced way. The way the film industry has moved in the past in that Irish film relied on outsider funding from Britain in the form of co-productions. Now, more and more co-production with Irish cinema is happening with other European countries. This is having an impact on how Irish directors are telling their stories; they becoming far more international and far less parochial. It’s an exciting time in the history of Irish cinema.

Is there anything regarding visuals or storytelling that separates Irish directors from their international counterparts?

Lenny Abrahamson for example is on his way to having a very distinct body of work. We don’t have a distinct visual director. We haven’t got a David Lynch or a Jean-Luc Godard in amongst our directors but we are terrific storytellers. Irish directors are catching up with their international counterparts in that sense. You know, a lot of stories have come out recently about our collective past. Stories of the Catholic Church and government corruption that we see continue even past reports and tribunals. Our filmmakers are not afraid to touch on that, even directly at times. It’s something you can really say about Irish film. We are fearless storytellers.

What film from the series would you most recommend and why?

Our last film Mammal is a complicated film on grief and loss. The Young Offenders is a sophisticated, pure comedy with some really beautiful, natural scenes. Each one shows something different. When it came to curating the series, we wanted the films to compliment each other and we wanted a balance overall.

If I had to choose one I would pick Further Beyond. There are a few reasons I would choose that. It’s our only documentary in the series. Dramas and fictions tend to get a bigger audience but so much creativity is happening with documentaries at the moment. The word “hybrid” is thrown around a lot with films like this. I think that Further Beyond is more of a film essay. And it has a Sligo connection.

It charts the journey of Ambrosio O’ Higgins who’s family were forced to leave their lands in Sligo and eventually travelled to what is now modern Chile. His son, Bernardo O’ Higgins was one of the first leaders of Chile after they gained independence from Spain. The film charts his journey by taking you to key locations that let you grasp some clues as to who this individual was. Further Beyond explores immigration and identity; themes that are at the core of any Irish film. We are looking at our past, our politics and our identity, at times very humorously.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

2 May. 2017

Guest Blog - Nicola Evans on ‘The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann'

Nicola Evans has been volunteering at The Model for over a year. As a marketing professional, Nicola lends her expertise one morning a week to The Model. As well as a passion of PR & marketing, Nicola harbors a fine talent for drawing. To improve upon her skills and make the most of The Model’s phenomenal education programme, Nicola recently took part in Michael Wann’s class ‘The Art of Drawing’. Michael Wann is a celebrated artist famous for his wonderful charcoal work that artfully weave technical skill with nuanced emotion. He has been the recipient of countless prizes and awards such as the AXA Insurance Drawing Prize & the Tom Caldwell Drawing Prize. In this short guest blog, Nicola tells us about her experience in The Art of Drawing and why you should consider taking the class.

“I always dreamed of the day when I could take an afternoon off from work weekly to pursue a hobby and so it was with great anticipation that I signed up for Michael Wann’s drawing class.

I had not drawn for a while – so it was quite nerve wracking walking in – especially knowing what Michael could achieve with charcoal. However, the class couldn’t have been more relaxed. All the artists in attendance varied in levels of experience. Michael is a patient, encouraging instructor that gave us direction when we needed it.

Us newcomers started off by learning the fundamentals of art like perspective and how to create dimension & tone. Michael really encouraged us to experiment and take drawing at our ease. ‘Loosen up’ and ‘make a mess’, he would often say, ‘accidental marks are often the ones that make a drawing come alive’.
After our crash course on the essentials, we moved onto landscapes. It’s so easy to lose yourself when drawing big open skies; time just seems to disappear.

By the time the final class rolled around, my technical drawing skills had definitely improved. I was becoming braver using charcoal, less precious about creating a masterpiece and just having fun experimenting and exploring the millions of different effects you can get from a burnt piece of willow.

The class was a very relaxing experience. It felt like yoga for the mind & thanks to Michael, I am very inspired to continue drawing in the future.”

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

16 Apr. 2017

Sean Larkin - New Studio Artist Profile

What is your practice?

Fine Art Painting.

How did you come to rent a studio at The Model?

The Model is recognized as one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centers, and as such presents itself as a stimulating cultural site which offers a range of supports and opportunities for collaboration with fellow artists as well as potential projects with high artistic and educational merit. The Artist Studios at the Model makes it a site of artistic production and an opportunity to present work to interested audiences, which I see as vitally important. Networking opportunities with other arts professionals is equally important to artists so when a Studio became available in early 2016, I couldn’t resist the opportunity.

How does it feel to have the space to work?

What excites me most about the space when I walk over the threshold into the studio is the feeling yes, this is where I want to be – this is the space I want to be in, which is very empowering. I can see my residency in the Model as a catalyst for continuing creative inquiry, creative practice and related research loosely based on cultural signposts.

What are you plans for the future?

What challenges me most about contemporary practice in painting is that it is about change itself, never still, and its capacity for reinventing itself as cultural sign posts is both exciting and surprising given to enormous impact of new media and technologies.

My immediate plan is to sift through the material I have been collecting over the past year and produce a body of work – which will result in an exhibition in the not too distant future while also looking at networking opportunities with other arts professionals.

Could you tell us a little of your background?

I live and work in Sligo. I was educated at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) Dublin & graduated in 1973. I was the former Head of School of Creative Arts at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dun Laoghaire from 2005 to 2012. I worked at senior management level in the Institutes of Technology sector from 1978 until I retired in 2012. I represented the Institutes of Technology sector, Ireland (IOTI) as Chair of the Working Group on Practice – based Research in the Arts, an advisory group established by the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) with support from the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB). I was HETAC external examiner /assessor in Fine Art on a variety of assessment and programme validation panels for the Sector.

I was Head of Department of Art and Design at IADT from 1998 to 2004 and previous to this post was Head of the Department of Humanities at IT Sligo. During this period I was the HETAC nominee on the Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) on the senior cycle Curriculum in Schools Committee. I maintained a link with professional art practice with work represented in public and private and public collections including the Arts Council Collection, Ireland. 

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

30 Mar. 2017

My Pick - Alexandra Hopf

This painting, ‘Singing the Minstrel Boy’ by Jack. B Yeats has triggered my ongoing fascination with the stage. I have been fascinated with it since I was a child. My mother was a trained circus performer and I can remember very vividly my first theatre performance. Ever since then, the stage has been is a magical place for me. Everything on stage is born out of the darkness; daytime, nighttime, sounds, changing settings, action, still stand, smoke in the backlight, smells from the dusty curtain, a bang from a revolver, false hair, forgotten texts and the ghosts of the past that become visible.

The stage is an interesting subject for a painting. A framed fiction itself, the stage is framed once again by the painting, therefore it is an image contained within an image. Yeats’ depiction in this painting of that moment within a staged performance is uncanny. The uncanniness of the moment is echoed in the actresses pale face. Maybe the light conditions were not perfect, maybe the make up was over dramatic, and so she comes across as a ghost… the ghost of an actress that has to perform over and over again, caught in the moment and doomed to perform forever. At the same time the audience were also doomed to watch that performance over again and again, pretending to see it anew.

For me, what Yeats has captured in ‘Singing the Minstrel Boy’ is the essence of both those who perform and those who consume. In the scenario of this painting, we as viewers are also integrated into the image, with those who watch us, watching others watch.

“The Night” – An exhibition by Alexandra Hopf is on display at the Model until the 16. Apr. 2017

“Singing the Minstrel Boy”(1923) by Jack B. Yeats is currently featured in “Lives” a Model exhibition in The Niland Gallery. “Lives” will be on display until 01. Oct. 2017.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

15 Mar. 2017

Daniel Bannon talks volunteering with Rebecca Kennedy

To highlight volunteerism in Sligo during it’s year as The European Volunteer Capital for 2017, Rebecca Kennedy talks to Daniel Bannon, a volunteer at The Model.

“I choose to volunteer in The Model because I had finished a degree in Music technology in Tralee, Kerry and I was looking to help out in an arts center where I could make use of the theatre. What I enjoy about volunteering at The Model is that the team here is made up of really good people.“

Mr. Bannon tells us about the fast-paced work environment at The Model.

“You learn something new everyday so I get a lot out of it. I meet new people and it’s an opportunity to network.”

“My favorite memory of working in The Model was doing the sound engineering for ‘Beneath the Air’, last October. That was the first gig I worked on at The Model and after it finished I had a great buzz. It was really exciting. I knew a lot of theory about sound engineering from my degree but having the opportunity to practically apply that meant that I gained some really great experience.“

“I will continue to volunteer in The Model and I would recommend volunteering here to anyone remotely interested in the Arts. Spending your time at The Model presents the opportunity to learn new skills, get practical experience and meet like-minded people.“

If you are interested in joining the volunteer team at The Model please contact getininvolved@themodel.ie

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

8 Mar. 2017

Noel Corr talks volunteering with Rebecca Kennedy

Noel Corr is undeniably one of the longest serving and dedicated members of The Model’s Volunteer team. Every Wednesday Noel rises early to take the bus from his hometown in Bundoran, Co. Donegal to Sligo Town to donate his time as a Gallery invigilator.

Noel tells us why he volunteers and why he thinks others should too!

“I started volunteering at The Model about seven and a half years ago on the 25th of May, 2010. I’ve always been interested in art, now and again I would go to Dublin, to the National Gallery. I used to come here to The Model every Wednesday anyway. I came for the art and the café! For me, it’s a day out.”

“I volunteer from 10am – 2pm. There’s a nice atmosphere in the galleries. What I really like is that I meet a lot of different people. Later in the year, during the summer season, you meet Europeans, Americans & Australians… I’ve met so many over the years and I’ve made friends with a couple of them. I picked The Model because it is a peaceful place to come to, you know you can relax.”

“I will probably stay here. I come to Sligo every Wednesday anyway, 12 months of the year. So I’m going to keep volunteering as long as I’m still alive!”

“Volunteering would be good for anyone at college who may want to do something during the summer months. But anyone who’s interested in art could volunteer here. Coming to the Model, there’s a lot that you learn about the arts and the art world… and it’s a great place to be, I get on with everyone. They’re just a nice bunch of staff here and that’s important. You can come here and have a laugh and a joke & that’s just as important as anything else!”

If you are interested in joining the Volunteer team at The Model please contact getinvolved@themodel.ie

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

23 Feb. 2017

Reconstructing Memory Masterclass: A Review

Clea van der Grijn’s Reconstructing Memory is the culmination of three years hard work. The exhibition is multi-disciplinary featuring paintings, installations, sculptures & photography. It’s the result of the artist’s stay in Sayulita, a jungle encased village in the heart of the Mexican jungle. Considering the prolific nature of the show at hand, it is interesting to wonder what a masterclass hosted by the artist would entail. In other words, what can a group learn in one day of an exhibition that took the artist over three years, multiple mediums and one heck of a move to create?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

The class commences at 10.30 am in the education room at The Model. Van der Grijn begins with a short talk, explaining the conception and creation of Reconstructing Memory. Then comes a tour of Reconstructing Memory packed with lesser-known facts about the exhibition. After our tour, the real work begins. As an exercise in the art of beading skulls, a traditional folk art in Mexico, we are asked to pick symbols from a sheet that van der Grijn hands us. These symbols serve a dual purpose, they provide the intrinsic designs that adorn the skulls and tell the story of the person the individual the skull has been decorated for.

The symbols are not for the faint hearted. They are complex patterns that need to be beaded & glued to the skull with great care. Of course, half of us find this fact out after we have chosen the hardest, most detail heavy symbols. The skulls are polystyrene and the first step in the decoration process is to create a base. Seeing as the students in the master class had long since waved goodbye to childhood, it would be fair to presume that coating the skulls with crepe paper and P.V.A. would be a tedious chore. But far from it, creating the base with sticky, messy glue is more fun than you can imagine. Toddlers really do have the life of it.

After the bases are created the skulls are left to air dry, we pick from a mountain of supplies. There are tiny beads, shiny buttons, crepe papers, fake flowers & an abundance of markers to help us tell our stories. When the skulls are ready, so begins the challenge of decorating. Van der Grijn has brought along a real beaded skull as an example and your dear correspondent catches more then one nervous glance in its direction as the class unfolds.

Indeed, the Mexican skull is so skillfully and beautifully decorated that it feels more Fine Art than Folk Art. And ours are proving more difficult than we predicted, the beads are difficult to control and the glue is temperamental. Looking down and the cranium in my grasp is a sad affair, with its paper-Mache surface & drawn on nostrils, it feels less Fine Art & more Art Attack. But the Masterclass is enjoyable nonetheless. The shared mood is relaxed and the conversation careens naturally from topic to topic like the bends in a lazy river. “You must take yourself seriously as an artist,” van der Grijn tells us. It is not her only tit bit of advice but the one she says in her most vigor.

The rest of the class is spent finishing our skulls but only beginning our stories. I would highly recommend a master class to anyone interested in a particular exhibition. Not only will you learn a new skill, it is also a chance to get to know the artist behind the work, and perhaps learn to see the exhibition from their point of view.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

25 Jan. 2017

The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann - A short note

31st of January – 7th March 2017

2.30 – 4.30pm Advanced

€120 six week course

“Wann’s work is imbued with feeling and memories of the experience of being in the places he draws so skillfully” – Brenda Moore-McCann, Irish Arts Review.

Michael Wann, a celebrated Sligo-based artist will be holding ‘The Art of Drawing with Michael Wann’ a 6 week master class course in The Model, Sligo. The drawing classes commence on the 31st of January and will come to a close on the 7th of March. Michael Wann’s classes have long been a fixture of The Model’s programme as Michael provides his students with excellent expertise, a new skill-set and positive encouragement to explore your artistic side.

Why you should take Michael class?

That’s a fair question. We would not expect you to take classes from an instructor with no credentials, the same way you wouldn’t take etiquette lessons from Trump. Luckily Michael has a long list of achievements and experience to put your mind at ease. Here are just some of the honours and accolades Michael has garnered along his journey of artistic exploration:

Since graduating from the Sligo Institute of Technology in 2003, Wann has exhibited continuously in numerous solo and group shows. In 2004, his work was selected for the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Annual Exhibition. He won the AXA Insurance Drawing Prize at the RHA Annual in 2006 and was an invited artist to the Exhibition in 2009. He also had a solo exhibition “Humble Remains,” at the RHA’s Ashford Gallery in 2009. Other prizes followed in 2010 when his work was selected by Hughie O’Donoghue for the Tom Caldwell Drawing Prize at the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition. Wann was also awarded the Sean Keating Prize and Silver Medal at last year’s 186th Annual at the Royal Hibernian Academy & has the honor of being invited back to the R.H.A. this year.

His work is held in both private and public collections in Ireland and Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

Who should take “The Art of Drawing by Michael Wann?

Another great question. Wann’s classes are aimed at any one with a basic level of drawing experience, however if you are a complete beginner and passionate about learning to draw, this class is definitely for you. On what the class entails, Wann remarked, “The class aims to encourage participants to enjoy the act of observing and drawing in an easy going and informal atmosphere.”

The classes could also be a perfect gift for a creative friend or family member. Give the gift of artistic confidence and send a loved one to Wann’s classes, where they will up their skill level in the safe hands of a talented & highly experienced artist.

How to sign up:

To book a place on “The Art of Drawing” you can contact Michael directly on: 087 9303528 or email: studio@michaelwann.com

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Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy