Michael Doherty and John Stewart present two very different visions of Belfast at An Culturlann
"Entering the Gerard Dillon Gallery at An Culturlann on the Falls Road in Belfast, the viewer is met with a glut of colourful views of Belfast by artists Michael Doherty and John Stewart.
Here is the Strand cinema, then black taxis packed together on the canvas, then we're down by the docks, where the yellow gantries meet the skyline.
Here too we find vistas of urban scenes, a crumpled Union flag on a lamppost – the insignia of post-conflict insecurity – then the Rock Bar on the Falls Road bathed in a redeeming light that flatters the building and oblivious passersby, and then O'Hare's shop, again transfigured into something poetic and compelling through the use of light and the careful application of paint.
Each artist has a distinctive, individual vision and yet the two seem in conversation with each other, their paintings complementary in focus and thematic engagement if not always in style. Doherty's paintings seem to owe something to the scenes of languid space and bright light popularised by the American realist painter Edward Hopper."
"Art of the Troubles is a major new retrospective exhibition at the Ulster Museum. It brings together the work of 50 artists from Northern Ireland – including, Joe McWilliams, Willie Doherty, FE McWilliam, Rita Duffy, Paul Seawright, Jack Pakenham, Micheal Farrell and Richard Hamilton – and runs until September 7."
'When Will Ramsay founded the fair in 1999 his aim was to make contemporary art accessible to everyone, and to show you don’t need to be an art expert or a millionaire to enjoy and buy art. Fifteen years on The Affordable Art Fair is the leading showcase in the UK for contemporary art under £4,000 having welcomed over 1.4 million visitors buying over £203 million worth of art.
How did it all start?
In 1996 Will opened Will’s Art Warehouse in south west London to bridge the increasing interest in contemporary art and the London gallery scene. By concentrating on relatively unknown artists not carrying a premium for reputation, the gallery was able to offer works from £50 – £2,500 from a stable of over 150 artists. The response to Will’s Art Warehouse encouraged Will to take his approach to the next level, and in October 1999 he launched the first Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park. 10,000 visitors took advantage of the ease of buying, breadth of choice, affordable prices and user-friendly approach.AAF has also become something of a global phenomenon with fairs taking place in Amsterdam, Brussels, New York, Milan, Singapore, Hamburg, Mexico City, Seattle, Stockholm, Hong Kong and Maastricht..But Will didn’t just stop with the Affordable Art Fair, oh no. He also founded contemporary art-hub PULSE, held annually in New York and Miami; co-founded Asia’s leading art fair, the prestigious ART HK (which has since become Art Basel in Hong Kong); as well as being a shareholder in Art India, the sub-continent’s first international art fair, attracting over 190,000 visitors since its launch in 2008.
"The Doorway Gallery summer show called ‘A Summer Selection’ is quite an eclectic mix of work, including atmospheric landscapes , vibrant still life’s , bronze and ceramic sculpture.
New work from the gallery artists include Lucy Doyle, Ken Browne, Christy Keeney, Roisin O’Farrell, Chris Wilson, Jonathan Knuttel, Cormac O’Leary, Karen Wilson, Kate Beagan, Francis Boag, and many more.
Also new artists include Heidi Wickham, David Coyne, Ursula Kingler, Kate Campbell, Fred McElwee, William Stevens and many more.
The Doorway Gallery walls are covered for the summer show with a very large and impressive exhibition; there really is something for everyone – not to be missed!"
Monday – Saturday 10.30 -6pmLate night Thursday until 7.30pm
Loopline Film’s feature length version of Sé Merry Doyle’s film ‘Patrick Kavanagh – No Man’s Fool’ has won the BIFF Award for best documentary at the Boston Irish Film Festival. The film is a rich visual journey, exposing the contradiction that existed between Kavanagh’s public persona and his poetry.
The posters show Fiona Shaw's Mary muzzled by a crown of thorns. That metaphorical gag is torn away in this beautifully wrought and emotionally devastating solo piece, adapted by Colm Toibin from his Booker Prize-nominated novella.
Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, London, EC2Y 8DS
Thursday 1 – Sunday 25 May 2014
The Barbican brings The Testament of Mary to London for its only UK performances in May 2014 following its 2013 run on Broadway which achieved three Tony Award nominations.Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner, one of the most richly creative partnerships in theatrical history, collaborate to create this powerful, subversive and exquisitely emotional work which mesmerised audiences and critics alike.
Fiona Shaw delivers a theatrical tour de force with her bold and affecting portrayal of the Virgin Mary struggling with the loss of her son and the events leading up to his death. Directed by Barbican Artistic Associate Deborah Warner, The Testament of Mary unfolds with the urgency of a news story framed by dreamlike sets, painterly lighting and evocative sound. Mary, more familiar to us through images than words, is given a powerful voice in this poignant meditation on a mother's loss.
The Testament of Mary is adapted from the 2013 Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel by Colm Tóibín.
Colm Tóibín said: “I have admired the work of Fiona Shaw and Deborah Warner for many years. Working with them has been exciting and inspiring, and I have learned a great deal. I am delighted that their production of The Testament of Mary is coming to the Barbican.”
Fiona Shaw said “It's a chance in a life time to play the Virgin Mary and not in a nativity play! This is a most secular piece where a mother is deserted by her son and she in turn deserts him. The playing of this universal mother-son story has in it the spirit not of religion, but of ordinary life - the loss of a child as he grows and leaves and the self-loathing of not being the mother she wanted to be. Mary's anger and despair are all new emotions rarely associated with the woman who was washed clean by church history. And of course it is fiction so the truths are of the imagination not of history. I am delighted to play this at the Barbican where London meets the world.”
Deborah Warner said “The Barbican stage feels a very natural home for The Testament of Mary and it will be wonderful to introduce this work and Fiona’s astonishing performance to the London audience. I relish the opportunity to revive work as it always represents, for me, a chance for further exploration.”
Internationally renowned for her versatile and commanding stage performances, Fiona Shaw is an award-winning actress as well as a director of both theatre and opera. Deborah Warner is one of the most prolific and highly regarded British directors working in theatre and opera today. It is 25 years since the inception of their collaborative partnership and they have worked together on many seminal productions in both London and around the world including Electra, The Good Person of Szechwan, Hedda Gabler which won an Olivier Award for Direction and Production, Richard II with Fiona Shaw in the title role, Happy Days and Mother Courage and her Children. They received Tony Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Director for Medea (Abbey Theatre, Dublin/Queens Theatre, London/US tour and Broadway) and their production of TS Eliot's The Wasteland toured the world.
Colm Tóibín was born in Ireland in 1955. With The Testament of Mary Tóibín returns to the subject of mothers and sons which he explored to great acclaim in his 2006 short story collection,Mothers and Sons. He is the author of seven novels, includingThe Blackwater Lightship and The Master, both of which were short-listed for the Booker Prize, and Brooklyn, which won the Costa Novel of the Year Award. His other books include two collections of critical essays, All a Novelist Needs: Essays on Henry James and New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers & Their Families plus a further collection of short stories, The Empty Family. He is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review, the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. The stage production of The Testament of Mary was nominated for three Tony Awards and the novel was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
Samuel Beckett liked his actors to be up to their necks in it. In Happy Days, the protagonist’s head pokes out of a mound of earth; in Play, characters are incarcerated in urns; in Endgame, it’s dustbins.
Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's insight:
Juliet Stevenson is currently appearing in Happy Days at the Young Vic