Curated by the S/TAC Collective
Shell/Ter Artist Collective (S/TAC): Diana Copperwhite, Allyson Keehan, Niamh McGuinne, Sharon Murphy, Geraldine O’Neill in association with ten emerging artists; Maya Brezing, Matthew Coll, Karen Ebbs, Spencer Glover, Ami Jackson, Mary Martin, Fiach McGuinne, Sorcha McNamara, Eileen Leonard Sealy and Catherine Ward.
This exhibition presents new works in drawing, painting and expanded forms across a range of media, which take inspiration from, or, are embedded in, painting.
The main focus of this exhibition is to highlight the role of the Collective as a shelter for emerging artists, aligning with Draíocht's strategic commitment to support young, early career artists. The Shell/Ter Artist Collective explores the concept of shelter from emotional, psychological, philosophical perspectives and seeks to provide a dynamic space for artists whose work resonates with or delves into the theme of shelter.
Exhibition image: Sorcha McNamara, (Nonesuch) Ensemble, 2023, 166 x 97 x 38cm, mixed media
Image: Shell/Ter Artist Collective beside ‘The Clothes Line’ a recent collaborative work at the National Gallery of Ireland.L-R Diana Copperwhite, Geraldine O’ Neill, Sharon Murphy, Niamh McGuinne, Allyson Keehan.
Shell/Ter Artist Collective is made up of artists Diana Copperwhite, Allyson Keehan, Niamh McGuinne, Sharon Murphy, Geraldine O’Neill
The Collective developed organically in 2020 during the pandemic, initially through shared dialogue about the effects, both personal and professional, of a shifting and unpredictable world. The purpose was to create a dynamic space where each could explore, enrich and diversify their practice while supporting one another. The artists work in diverse formats – painting, lens-based media, print, textiles, installation - yet their underlying preoccupations and the issues they address overlap.
The concept of Shelter has been a central focus for the collective since its inception and its title refers to a shell (a home, a physical covering, a protection from the environment) and the broader nature of shelter in its psychological, social and environmental contexts.
The vision is to represent, through collaborative modes of artistic expression, a synthesised engagement with notions of shelter as an abiding and multi-faceted concern via exhibitions, commissions, projects and other artistic interventions, artists books and creative studio processes. Concomitantly the collective acts as and embodies a shelter in itself.
Diana Copperwhite (RHA) is a member of Aosdána. Her paintings explore the relationship between colours, gestures, figuration, and representation. She gives structure to the unseen world of atoms and molecules to examine the psychological and spatial interpretation of self. Layering fragmented sources that range from personal memory to science, media and internet, Copperwhite’s canvases become worlds in which the real is unreal and this unreality is in a constant state of reforming.
Allyson Keehan has recently completed a PhD in Fine Art Painting from Glasgow School of Art titled: Painting and Materiality: Three Creative Strategies for Transformation. Keehan’s work investigates expanded notions of painting by creating painting/sculpture hybrids. Looking closely at veiling and artifice, her practice incorporates drapery and the frame to create complex structural experiences of real and imaginary spaces.
Niamh McGuinne is a recent MFA graduate from NCAD. Her practice combines print, sculpture and film to create interactive installations. The embodiment of psychological experience and the nature of somatic response is an underlying theme in her work in which she creates interactive structures, inhabitable or often wearable, which present an invitation to participate - physically or imaginatively.
Sharon Murphy is an artist and curator with a background in performance. Her lens-based work is rooted in the theatrical and questions the boundaries between the seen and the unseen, the real and the unreal. The theatre curtain is a recurring motif in her work, suggesting preoccupations with hidden meanings, the limits of realism and the nature of liminal space.
Geraldine O’Neill (RHA) is a member of Aosdána. Playing with incongruities of time and space, she juxtaposes traditional references with scientific reasoning and contemporary perspective in large-scale compositions. Her works address protection and shelter from a domestic and environmental viewpoint to emphasise the fragility of life.
Selected current and upcoming exhibitions
July – November 2023
National Gallery of Ireland
Curated by Anne Hodge
December 2023– Feb 2024
Draíocht Gallery, Dublin 15
The ladder is always there
Curated by the S/TAC Collective
June – September 2024
Limerick City Gallery
In a dream in the happy house
Curated by Una McCarthy
October – November 2024
GOMA, Waterford + Theatre Royal
Site-specific gallery works plus public art projections
Curated by Jenna Whelan