Thick, turgid and lacking in soothing oils

At the request of Mary Conlon, London-based artist Joe Duggan and I selected this year’s Winter Members’ exhibition and we must apologise for several reasons, firstly for not selecting the 100 plus other members. And there are many other reasons for apologising for what we selected! Too much thick, turgid painting, the use of brown paint in particular and some of it, just plain messy and more so works which are deliberately not beautiful.  We are also responsible for selecting tiny ‘big’ drawings, why couldn’t they have been bigger? We accept the blame for the inclusion of specific stylistic ‘neo-contemporary’ figurative works, some of which are rather wonderful silent, screaming paintings, depressing yes, but in that rather charming film noir cropped manner.

One large print work represents the making of old symbolic money (slightly different from the current IOUs we are allowed to use) weaving a lost cause Lady Lavery genuflecting to a past nostalgia. Handmade symbol of wealth left out in the rain. Sure we all know that wet damp feeling, afraid we are going to seize up in a country lacking in soothing oils or lacking any oil. There are also installations of works including bunting, brains and lampshades. Finally we included a video work which shows plastic bags billowing with air created by blowing wind out of a dustbin, empty but evocative.

Ormston House, the exhibition space conceived and brilliantly directed by Mary Conlon, with the assistance of a group of present and past LSAD students, are currently hosting their Winter Members’ Exhibition.  Conlon came to Limerick as the third Shinnors Curatorial Scholar, the collaboration between Limerick City Gallery of Art and Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT. She brought the space into being as part her on-going PhD curatorial research with the help of the Creative Limerick initiative of Limerick City Council which allows underused commercial spaces to become sites of cultural activity. Ormston House has developed a significant reputation over its short history. There is something highly energetic and smart about how the space is curated and organised on a minuscule budget with voluntary labour. One is struck by how this space demands standards that seem way beyond its means.

PS: A must-see show, with some of our best, brightest and unabashed artists, who just really enjoy making work that some of you will love.

Mike Fitzpatrick, Limerick, 2013

Admission is free and all are welcome.


John Burke, Angela Darby, Vanessa Donoso Lopez, Levi Hanes, Ramon Kassam, Emmet Kierans, Bartosz Kolata, Chris Leach, and Frances Leach.

The exhibition is co-curated by Joe Duggan and Mike Fitzpatrick for our Membership Scheme.

25 January - 16 February 2013

Image: Bartosz Kolata, detail of Heroin (2012), oil on canvas, 46 x 56 cm, courtesy of the artist.
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