Visual Arts And Craft Trail - Part Two
We’re glad we managed to catch the remainder of the trail yesterday and not today, such is the ferocity of the rain that has just hit Kilkenny. But don’t let that deter, there’s a lot to be seen in a lot of areas and hidden corners of Kilkenny, so grab that umbrella if you’re hitting the trail today.
Lucy McKenna’s Electron Cloud installation in St. Mary’s Lane is an amazing piece of work. Hanging in the air above the laneway and consisting of 230 pieces, it lights up completely at night so if you’re strolling the streets of Kilkenny at night, pop down and check it out, it’s well worth the look. It follows on from her hugely successful installation The Darker Wood in Kilkenny Castle Park last year. Catch it while it’s still there. It’s so much prettier than the real clouds that are out there now!
Patrick O’Connor’s new exhibition is his first major show since 2005 and it sees the work of the South African artist being presented in Kilkenny Arts Office on John Street. A striking array of work is presented here in a variety of different forms and it makes up on of the strongest visual arts exhibitions of this years festival. It’s definitely one to check out.
Blackbird Gallery on William Street have a wonderful exhibition fromWilliam Grace, Kathleen Holohan, Valerie Walshe and Dermot De Largy entitled Time and Change which runs in the gallery until this Sunday. It’s also well worth checking out Jason Turner’s Reaching for the Sun exhibit upstairs in the Arcade. The work of Kilkenny artists and Kilkenny based artists is a definite highlight of the visual arts programme and demonstrates the prolific amount of talented professional artists who are working at the top of their game in the city and county.
Speaking of talented Kilkenny artists, the MADE In Kilkenny crafts collective are once again exhibiting in Butler House, which is their regular port of call at this stage. Once again, it’s a sterling display of the best of Kilkenny craft and they use the space to display it in the most eye-catching fashion. Another excuse to visit the beautiful Butler House.
The main body of the craft strand is Utensil, which explores alternative approaches to tableware from a wide range of European applied artists and product designers. The exhibit takes place in the National Craft Gallery in the Castle Yard and will run until late October so if you don’t get around to it this week, there’s still time! There’s an amazing range of work on display and it will definitely take you some time to get through them, such is the detail in the pieces. The Whispering Table by TheGreenEyl is quite the experience and one you should definitely spend a little bit of time with. There’s a lot to take in but it’s beautifully exhibited and changes your conception of domestic products entirely. You also may feel like having a cup of tea afterwards too!
We got to catch the rest of At The Still Point, which is just a treat. The whole series consists of work from Irish women artists working in film and it’s an amazing body of work. Tracy Hanna’s piece Propogation can be seen in the Monument Room of St. Mary’s Hall, as can Deborah Smith’s Day Light. There are two must see pieces of work in the surroundings of Kilkenny Castle, that will give you a good opportunity to visit the jewel in our city's crown. The wonderful The Predicament Of Man by Jessie Jones can be viewed in the Muniments Room of Kilkenny Castle and we recommend you do just that. With Hans Op De Beek’s epic series of four video works taking centre place in Butler Gallery, an exhibition that is an absolute must see and one, which luckily, will run until October.
On top of this, there is of course a huge fringe of amazing work all around the city and its environs that should also be explored if you can make the time. It’s a feast of art and craft and believe us, taking the time to plan out a little trail will reward you in the most unexpected ways. There’s something for everyone in Kilkenny this week!