LCGA Events

Artist Talk

Jun 20 2009 3:16PM
Limerick City Gallery of Art

Untitled, Gillian Kenny, Oil on Canvas, 2008



Limerick based artist Gillian Kenny in conversation with LCGA Curator / Director Mike Fitzpatrick will discuss her current exhibition of over thirty new paintings.  Her sources for the work include a collection of old picture postcards, self generated images of her travels in Canada and North America and her hometown, Limerick. These offer a rich vein of images of constructed land, city and seascape to work through. Kenny, in A Place to Stay moves from her previous direct engagement with the subject of urban spaces to these idealised or constructed representations.


Kenny’s pictorial odyssey precedes from the early appropriated childhood memories of Kilkee onto a depiction of the Dublin airport terminal with a cosy green Aer Lingus Aeroplane. Motels feature in her paintings, places she stayed in and photographed. Travelling North through upstate New York we are presented with an icon of early tourism, the spectacular visitor attraction ‘ Niagara Falls ’. Here Kenny creates a vibrant amalgam of the falls and a trail of yellow poncho clad tourists which makes the site and the visitor one circular entity.


The social history of travel is alluded to. There is a familiarity involved, partly due to the appropriation of highly saturated Hinde and Dollard postcards. These were perhaps found in Kenny’s research, as keepsakes of relatives of early holidays and reflections of mass tourism in its early stages. The destinations featured in the paintings include Blackpool, Dublin Airport , the Italian Riviera and several wonderful poolside images.


Barrington ’s Pier is an exception to the above series as it provides a counter point to the ‘happy’ land images of the postcards. Barrington’s Pier was a place Limerick people could go to be close to the water. The new Condell Road has now left the pier as a curious cut off entity and the painting captures this image of empty benches leading the viewer to the end of the pier. The painting seems to indicate both ‘home’, a familiar local place and a waiting room for departure. Collectively these paintings are a significant moment in Kenny’s journey as a painter.












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