|9.30am to 5.30pm*, Mon to Fri, Sat 10am to 5.30pm*, Closed Sundays & Bank Holiday. *Open till late on any days that we have evening performances. Free Admission|
This is the first exhibition in Ireland of the formerly London based Irish Artist Paul Cairns where he had kept studios and exhibited since 1996 (Bow Arts Trust and then Gatehouse Arts studios in Harlow Essex). He returned to Donegal (Milford, Baile Na Ngalloglach) about a year ago to be closer to the mountains and environment that inspired most of his early work, to get a more direct response than can be worked up in his studio. Paul has work in some significant private and corporate collections including Lloyds TSB, Paintings in Hospitals and hanging alongside works by Chagall and Lowry in private collections. As well as showing in London galleries (Beaconsfield Contemporary, John Jones, Nunnery, Salon Des Arts, Gibberd) he has shown work as far afield as New York, Bulgaria and had his 5th solo show in Ferrara, Italy.
The exhibition amounts to a kind of survey show with two convergent themes in evidence; new works painted over the last year in Donegal and other parts of Ulster and works painted in London or Essex, which often evoke the hills and mountains of the North West. Some of which are instantly recognisable while others, half remembered, offer a more oblique expressive view. There is a consistent expressive quality to the work which moves between figuration and abstraction. This painterliness shows the hand of an artist with formal considerations to the fore, the paintings often being constructed over shaped and distorted stretchers, as if to say 2 dimensions aren’t enough. There is work from distinct phases of the artist’s past projects and residencies; from the current obsession with Road Racing to Model Railways and other residencies in nature reserves. Paul Cairns lives and has his home studio in Milford (the unnamed road, between the Square and the fire station). Contact him through his website https://pauljcairns.wordpress.com/