From oil paint to razor wire and neon tubing to super 8 film, here are eight artists at various stages in their careers to keep on your radar in 2019.
Watch out for Leah Beggs, whose third solo show The Space Between at Solomon Gallery runs until 2 Feb. Beggs’ paintings are layered abstractions which reference sea, sky and land. In person, they have a remarkable energy. A graduate of IADT in Dun Laoghaire, she’s based in Connemara, County Galway and has recently begun to show in London. Ten commissioned pieces hang in the National Concert Hall and the Department of the Taoiseach.
Ailbhe Ni Bhriain makes subtly surreal film works with a dream-like urgency. Her show Inscriptions of an Immense Theatre ran to great acclaim at Temple Bar Galleries and Studios in December and her new work Inscriptions (One Here Now), which is at Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, County Cork will be moving to Visual in Carlow on 9 February, where it will screen until May. Watch excerpts from the brilliantly eerie Reports to An Academy here, and from her Great Good Places film series here.
Cecilia Danell’s strong lines and nuanced use of colour shone at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Futures exhibition in 2018, and her solo show, Winter Wanderer, currently at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery is another triumph. If you don’t catch it before it closes on 2 February, there will be another chance to see her work at the RHA, where she’s mounting a solo exhibition from 15 March to 22 April this year. Her current paintings are inspired by winter walks she took in the area surrounding her childhood home, the family farm in Sweden.
Kevin Killen works with neon light, which means his art is endlessly Instagramable - Killen was part of the wide-ranging Cast sculpture exhibition which ran at the Luan Gallery towards the end of last year. His latest show, Senses of Light is running outdoors in London's Broadgate, with neon and sculptural pieces on show until March. Check out more of his tangled neon tubes here.
Marcel Vidal made a big black sooty splash in a corner of the RHA with White Noise, his contribution to the 2018 Futures show. In 2018, he also impressed with his solo show Silverfish at The Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon. His installations are dark, apocalyptic and occasionally dangerous (White Noise included razor wire), and the contrast between the restrained, clean elegance of his works on canvas and the drama of his three-dimensional work is part of what give his installations their edge.
2018 Arts Council next generation bursary awardee Atoosa Pour Hosseini is a Dublin-based artist who was born in Tehran/Iran. Her most recent solo show has just closed at The Lab Gallery in Dublin. She makes drawings, paintings, video, installation and performance work about the nature of memory, illusion, reality and perception. Have a look at these mesmerising images from her 2018 film Antler, and watch excerpts of her short films here.
Winner of the 2018 RDS Taylor Art Award, Mary Sullivan is a graduate of the pioneering Sherkin Island BA in Visual Art, run by DIT Dublin School of Creative Arts on a tiny island off the coast of West Cork. Sullivan is from Bere Island, a bit further up the coast. She won the €10,000 graduate prize for At Home, At War, a purpose-built military look-out structure constructed to house four video works watched through peep holes from the outside. Sullivan’s research into the abandoned military sites on Bere Island, led her to this work that parallels repetitive domestic duties with the precision of military drill.
The Taylor Prize has been presented by the RDS since 1860. Sullivan is following in the footsteps of previous winners including Dorothy Cross, Louis le Brocquy, Mainie Jellett, Harry Clarke, Norah McGuinness and Walter Osborne.
Painter Martin Finnin has been making art in Cork since the early 1990s. Now represented by John Martin Gallery in London, his solo show there, Go Go Pitch-Black Night!, was a 2018 summer highlight. He is one of the most enjoyable Irish artists to follow on Instagram, not least for behind the scenes video peeks into his studio process:
Currently based in Berlin, he has recently been posting images of three-dimensional streetscapes he's been building from cardboard and paper: "imaginary dream cities with figures wandering through obstacles and sculptures".
And a few more…
In 2019, also keep an eye open for what emerges from the studios of RHA Graduate Studio Award winner Anishta Chooramun; Arts Council next generation bursary awardee Kerry Guinan; Amanda Doran, who has a solo show at the RHA right now (); 2018 RHA Futures artist Bassam Al Sabbah; and Sue Dolan, who won a slew of awards for her CIT Crawford College of Art and Design 2018 graduate showcase, including the Lavit Gallery Student of the Year Award. Her prize, a solo show there, opens at the Lavit in Cork on 7 February.