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  • Artmag 15/05/2020

    Dublin’s The Doorway Gallery is hosting a series of weekly online exhibitions: Getting to know you takes advantage of the extra time currently afforded us to get to know the Gallery’s artists and their lifestyles better, and by showing their works in the making the artists’ studios, giving the viewer an idea of the journey that the artwork makes before it hits the gallery setting.

    Additonally, a live questions & answers event on the gallery’s social media platforms (see below) allows the viewer to ask the artist about their work, which will be available for viewing and purchase online – in some cases with a promise of special pricing for the event. The Gallery is also posting videos and additional online content.

    The series kicked off with painter Dave West, and continues with painter Dan Henson from 11th May, who will be guesting at the Gallery’s Facebook Live evening at 6pm on Thursday 14th May.

    From 18th May Cormac O’Leary will be showing new work, and among the artists to follow suit will be Adam de Ville, Marika Rosenius, Roisin O’Farrell, Isobel Henihan, Padraig Parle, Ursula Klinger, Ivan Daly and Roisin O’Farrell.

  • Aidan Dunne review on 'Getting to know you series. A tribute to working women launched online and a virtual gallery visit, The Doorway Gallery goes digital and Maria Kapajeva’s new book

    Getting to know you
    The Doorway Gallery’s response to the coronavirus challenge is Getting to Know You, a series of weekly online exhibitions each featuring a gallery artist. Apart from showcasing the work, the idea is that virtual visitors can get a glimpse into the artists’ working lives. As gallerist Denise Donnelly points out, the gallery schedules its exhibitions programme way into the future – as much as three years in advance. Sadly for those whose shows fall around now, of course, the gallery remains closed.

    So online access is the best available alternative. But her aim is to provide something more than and different to simply checking out a website to click through an inventory. The scheme allows not only a look at the artists’ new work but also, if you download the gallery app, a chance to see any particular piece in the context of your own surroundings, as well as video interviews, and Q&A events on social media platforms.

    Donnelly emphasizes that, to preserve the link to the gallery’s planned programme, the work will not be available to view until the start date of the online shows.

    First off was Dave West, including a Facebook Live evening – wine optional – in the company of the artist. Dan Henson features until May 17th. His work combines virtuoso realist painting with a liking for abstract form and pattern in nature. Thereafter, the ever-popular colourist Lucy Doyle, known for her still-life, interior and figure compositions, takes over, followed by Adam de Ville, Marika Rosenius, Francis Boag, Cormac O’Leary and more.

    It is a diverse range, linked by the artists’ commitment to the craft of, usually, representational painting. See, with links to instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

  • The Gloss Magazine 10th April 2020

    Your new exhibition is very appropriate, given we are all relying on memories of happier times, what is its inspiration?
    Most of the paintings are based on a trip to Lisbon last year – where we stayed in an old quarter in the city. I used to get up early and sketch the view from the apartment window – before the city woke up – it was a simple geometry of flat walls and rooftops, windows, balconies, in bright tones, but quiet and still, with no people about. The city has all these pastel colours, a lot of orange, yellow and pink buildings, old crumbling facades, textured and baked by the sun over the years. I kept to the same views – I did some drawings from dusk and evening time as well. You get this smokey gold tone, a sense of the streets emptying and everything slowing down. I wanted to capture that sense of intense light and shadow, the heat still in the stone. You glimpse peoples’ lives, clotheslines on the terraces, plants on the veranda, a still life of a kitchen table or flower pots on a windowsill. There are no people in the paintings, but there’s the presence of life everywhere. I suppose the window is a natural frame to look into a composition, to capture a view, a panoramic sweep of the city. The apartment offered a sea view, but it was really this tiny distant glimpse of ocean over the rooftops, which I’ve tried to include in all the city paintings!

  • The Gloss Magazine 10th April 2020 Page 2

    Have you participated in an online exhibition before? Have you been looking at other art online in this period?
    It’s a new experience for me. I use my website and social media to showcase my work and as a promotional tool; while it certainly improves your profile and a wider audience get to see your work, I think art is still one of the few things people like to stand in front of in a gallery setting, to get the full effect of a painting. It’s like the difference between seeing art in magazines and books, then you experience the work on a wall in front of you with the right light and space, and you see the details, the layers and texture of paintwork – the shades, the colours are more vivid – screens tend to diffuse or degrade colour. I’ve been looking at art myself online, as most of the big museums are now offering virtual tours, and it’s a great way to experience the famous art collections from your armchair now that travel is curtailed.
    In the current situation, my online exhibition with The Doorway Gallery has worked well in that people really want to escape into a work of art, even just briefly, and to focus on something else rather than the news, which I understand. I’ve never had such a positive online reaction for a show, people are saying they really need something hopeful and joyful to see, and they really appreciate the work because it’s offering a window into a brighter world.

  • The Gloss Magazine 10th April 2020 Page 3

    How are you coping with social distancing and isolation – have you found this therapeutic?
    I have joked with other artists that we have been socially isolating for years. I do need to be alone for long periods in the studio. I live in a rural place, so there’s not a lot of people about – you’re part of a community but it’s a sparse one. So it’s not such a shock for me. I can go for days without much contact from the outside world. I’ve no phone or internet connection in the studio, I need to be cut off from distractions, as I’m easily distracted! I’ve always believed that in a crowded and cluttered world, isolation is a real privilege, denied to so many. I understand it must be a difficult condition to achieve and many people can’t handle it. But you learn to live with your own company. Enforced isolation, without access to making art would be a very different reality. My work will continue to explore the same themes, but I can’t help being influenced by the atmosphere of uncertainty in this strange time we are all living through.

  • The Sunday Independent, 1st September 2019

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  • The Sunday Independent, 1st September 2019

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  • Sunday Times 2016

    Honorable mention in John P O'Sullivan's 'fun and Funky' review of the RUA show in Belfast, The Sunday Times culture magazine 2016

  • Mail on Sunday

    'Hot trends' Cormac O'Leary's image of 'Lissadell Bathers' as part of The Doorway Gallery summer show 2014