The Arts

In association with Sligo Today

Some of Matt Jones' creations New Irish Woodturning at Gallery No.6

Added: 23/09/14 : 15:34:11

The last week of an exciting Gallery no.6 exhibition is underway.

"New Irish Woodturning" brings together a select group of Irelands finest woodturners. Included in the show are Emmet Kane, Brendan Hogg, Alan Meredith, Matt Jones, John McKenna, Max Brosi and Pat Carroll.

Emmet Kane is one of Irelands most experienced woodturners.

Based in Kildare, his achievements are almost too numerous to mention and include exhibiting at the Del Mano gallery in LA and at SOFA in Chicago. Brendan Hogg creates unique and highly technical work and mixes timber with metals and plastics. He is one of Irelands most respected woodturners.

Alan Meredith
is a rising star of Irish woodturning. He studied architecture before pursuing a career in fine woodwork. He creates sculpture, bespoke furniture and unique turned objects.

Matt Jones is based in Riverstown, County Sligo and is a member of the Made in Sligo network. He was a finalist in the RDS National Craft Competition in 2013 and received the Design and Crafts Council Craftmanship Award earlier this year.

John McKenna is a multiple  finalist in the RDS National Crafts Competition and another very fine woodturner. Max Brosi is a graduate of Letterfrack and exhibited this year in the American Association of Woodturning juried "Rising" exhibition.

Pat Carroll is a demonstrator and tutor in high demand throughout Ireland. The Show will run for the month of September. Gallery no.6 ( formally Michael Kennedys shop ) is a new collaborative venture between Michael Kennedy and Tom Callery and is located on Market Street, Sligo Town.
Sligo-based artist Nick Miller shortlisted for Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 Sligo Artist shortlisted for Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014

Added: 30/09/14 : 13:15:10

Hennessy and the National Gallery of Ireland today announced the 12 finalists chosen for the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014. The 12 finalists were selected by an esteemed panel of judges, comprising Cristín Leach Hughes (The Sunday Times), Dr Declan Long (NCAD), Janet McLean (NGI), and Donald Teskey RHA, and chaired by the Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, Sean Rainbird, from more than 400 entries from artists living in Ireland and Irish artists abroad.

The short-listed artists for the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 include a Sligo-based artist Nick Miller from London, but who currently resides in Rosses Point, Co Sligo.

Nick was chosen for his piece Last Sitting, 2013, oil on linen. Nick addresses portraiture, nature and human encounters through painting, drawing and film and has exhibited both in Ireland and internationally.

He said, “The portrait is of the painter Barrie Cooke, who died earlier this year. He lived for the last 25 years of his life in Highwood, Co Sligo overlooking Lough Arrow where he had fished for many decades. We were good friend’s colleagues and for 16 of those years I was a very close neighbor in Kilmactranny.

"I painted him on a number of occasions, the first back in 1997. That painting is held in the Niland Collection in The Model, Sligo which also houses a number of Cooke’s works. This last portrait was made in my Drumcliffe studio on his very last day in Sligo before leaving to be close to his daughter in Co Kilkenny as his health deteriorated.”

Cooke was a highly respected, influential artist, a member of Aosdána and a close friend of poets Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes.

The short-listed artists’ works will be exhibited in the National Gallery of Ireland from 8 November 2014 until 8 February 2015. On Tuesday, 11 November, one artist will be announced as the winner of the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 and will receive a prize of €15,000. The winning artist will also be awarded a commission worth €5,000 to produce a portrait for inclusion in the National Portrait Collection.

Commenting on the finalists, Caroline Sleiman, Market Development Manager for Moët Hennessy said: “Hennessy has always been a dedicated supporter of cultural events in Ireland and the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2014 is testament to our ongoing commitment to acknowledging and celebrating Irish artistic talent. We were delighted that so many Irish artists, both living here and abroad, chose to send work to be considered for this prize while passionately committing to their chosen media. We are encouraged to see such a variety of distinctive and contemporary portraiture in this, the inaugural competition, and look forward to celebrating such skill and creativity in modern portraiture for many years to come.”

Adding to this, Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland said: “The National Gallery of Ireland houses a national collection of portraiture, a collection initiated under Henry Doyle in the 1880s. This partnership with Hennessy is the first time the Gallery has approached the task of adding to this part of the collection through a competitive process. While all the works of art are unique and difficult to compare, it has been extremely invigorating to look at over 400 entries submitted for this inaugural prize, and to see the jury weigh up the contrasting qualities of so many distinctive portraits in different media with such passionate commitment and attention to detail.”

'Vibrant Mixture'

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Dr Declan Long added: “As judges we have been very pleased to be able to present such a tremendously diverse shortlist. There are paintings, photographs and videos addressing a vibrant mixture of subjects, in a great range of styles, created by both established artists and artists at the very beginning of their career. As such, we hope that this selection gives a strong sense of the many and varied possibilities for portraiture today.”

The Hennessy Portrait Prize was launched in March 2014. Open to artists in all disciplines, , the competition’s aim is to showcase and encourage interest in contemporary portraiture, and to raise the profile of the long-standing and constantly evolving National Portrait Collection at the National Gallery of Ireland.

For further information on Hennessy, please visit or log onto the Hennessy Cognac Ireland Facebook page

Royal Opera for Live Streaming to Sligo

Added: 22/09/14 : 07:30:21

Element Pictures Distribution, in conjunction with Arts Alliance Limited, is delighted to announce an exclusive partnership to distribute Royal Opera House operas and ballets to Irish cinemas including GCG Sligo.

The Royal Opera House 2014/15 Live Cinema Season marks the beginning of this new venture, which opens with one of the most immersive and heart-breaking ballets of our time, Manon, on the 16th of October. Other highlights include Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular ballet Swan Lake, John’s Copley’s timeless production of La bohème starring Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja and Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which returns to cinemas for the Christmas season.  The legendary Plácido Domingo stars in Verdi’s I Due Foscari, while Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of The City of Mahagonny has its first ever Royal Opera House staging on the 1st of April.

Element Pictures Distribution will handle the full distribution of the Royal Opera House 2014/15 Live Cinema Season with each performance streamed live to cinemas throughout Ireland including GCG Sligo.

Andrew Lowe of EPD says “Element Pictures Distribution are delighted to form this new partnership with Arts Alliance Media to bring the best of opera and ballet live from the Royal Opera House to Irish audiences”

Caspar Nadaud of AA says “Arts Alliance is thrilled to be partnering with EPD for the 2014/15 Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season. With their vast experience as a distributor and an exhibitor we’re looking forward to working with them to grow our cinema network and reach new audiences”.

Newport ready for ‘Lights, Camera, Action’!

Added: 22/09/14 : 07:34:01

Everyone loves a touch of glamour, and the people of Newport in County Mayo are no exception.  On 26th to 27th September they will host the second Grace Kelly Film Festival in the town.  Grace Kelly, the iconic 1950’s movie star, visited the West Mayo town many times throughout the 1960’s and 1970s, reconnecting with the hometown of her grandfather, and even buying the old ancestral house and land.

“After her visit in 1976, she bought the old thatched house in Drimurla, just outside Newport” according to one of the Film Festival organisers, Fiona Hopkins.  “Tragically, she died before her plans for the land came to fruition.  But Newport people remember her very fondly and many recall how, as children, they would follow her from her hotel as she went for her daily walks, often ending up in the local hairdressers to keep her immaculate hair looking its best.”

“We really wanted to find a way to honour that connection, that bond – a film festival seemed the natural choice.  Just like the inaugural festival in 2012, the whole town will be transformed – shop windows decorated with original old photos and film paraphernalia, and the local school will become a Hollywood wonderland fit for any Princess!”

Anything new for the 2014 festival?  “Oh yes! This year, as well as screening three of Grace Kelly’s most iconic films,  we have sourced some unique footage of one of Grace’s early visits to Mayo, never seen before, and we have also organised a lovely boat trip around Clew Bay, taking in the island of Iniscuttle, ancestral island home of the Kelly family.  This really is a lovely weekend of activities, the atmosphere will be wonderful, and we hope visitors and locals alike will enjoy it.”

For a full programme of events and tickets, visit or drop in to Newport’s Tourist Information Office