Exhibition | Thinking About Blue Almonds

Aideen Farrell, Chloe Brenan, Deirdre Brennan, Dorota Borowa, Exhibition, Hazel Egan, Members Exhibition, Niamh Coffey, Ormond Studios 2018, Sarah Edmondson, Sarah Wren Wilson, Thinking About Blue Almonds

(Thinking About Blue Almonds)

10Chloe Brenan, Avalanches, Starlings, Gnats, digitised photograms on photo rag

The displayed images are part of a larger series of images that explores the micro materiality of both the spoken and written word. The series takes text from Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse as a kind of ‘ready made’, photographing extracts that explore the correspondence and contextualization of individual particles within larger groups and swarms (gnats, atoms, starlings etc). Pages from the printed novel, held up to the light and photographed with a macro lens, examine the materiality of the printed text and the fibres of the paper, revealing its transparent, tissue-like quality. The reverse side of the page becomes visible, allowing for a non-linear reading; the integrity of the textual passages becomes fractured and atomized, emphasising the minute constituent particles within the paper’s surface. The material aligns with the semantic content of the words.

The series also features photograms of blown-glass pieces (placed on photosensitive paper in a darkroom and exposed to light). The resulting images make visible the refraction of light through these amorphous transparent objects. Spoken excerpts from Woolf’s novel were used in the process of the glass-blowing, whereby the objects index the physicality of the act of utterance. The objects are shaped by the plosive words, lung capacity, oral cavity and body of the speaker, capturing the corporeal dissipation of energy, air and atoms bound up in spoken communication.


15 smlSarah Wren Wilson, Tubular Intention, plaster and pigment.

The artist explores what it is that defines an art object through questioning how we categorise artwork by considering fabrication and situational context. Both exhibited artworks are forever fraudulent as they attempt to be considered as painting without using any paint. Tubular Intention, cast from water pipes looks to examine painting through 3d composition and arrangement. While its fellow rebel, Mineral Tonics I, made from a rectangular cast attempts to resemble a hanging painting. Both artworks feature the use of a cylinder split in half, suggesting a mode of incomplete transition as they sit awkwardly in-between the act of painting and sculpture.


11Hazel Egan, Border lines, graphite on glass

Multiple glass sheets are propped against the wall. Graphite lines the edges of the glass, positioning the drawing on the border of the pictorial plane. The carbon based graphite focuses the attention on the limit. Light, shadow and reflections interact with the clear glass surface, a material that is both fragile and durable. This installation speaks about thresholds and liminal spaces between materials and dimensions. It also brings to mind borders between sea and land and between different nations.

Creativity lies in that intersection between our outer world and our inner world – Scott Barry Kaufman


12 smlDeirdre Brennan, Joshua Tree, photographic prints

California dreaming in an archetypal American diner in the town of Joshua Tree. A woman sits lost in thought whilst a couple’s dinner goes cold as they step outside for a cigarette. In her photographic practice, Brennan has always looked for that place where people go to in their thoughts, that moment in between when they are unaware of the camera. She seeks to capture a profound moment, a moment of vulnerability and pathos. She endeavours to arrest a moment in time, and in that process elevating that moment to a higher value or meaning.


13 smlSarah Edmondson, The Making of XXXII, 11 mins 30 secs, video loop, colour, with sound

XXXII is a video piece in which the artist, dressed in the likeness of Jesus as seen in Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus, continuously blows out candles on her 32nd birthday cake, her last birthday still ‘younger than Jesus’. Her frustration visibly increasing as the candles continue to relight is a metaphor for the pressure she feels due to the age expectations placed on her by society; success, motherhood, income etc. Inspiration is drawn from the term ‘social clock’ coined by the American psychologist Bernice Neugarten which debunked the idea of a biological clock determining age. Instead, she theorised that there was a social clock determining the ‘correct’ time for marriage, childbearing and academic success.

The artist shows you the unsuccessful filming of XXXII, including the accidental interruption of the performance by her boyfriend. The inclusion of their conversation gives an insight into the artist’s domestic life and the many roles that she plays, allowing them to seep into the frame. It is a raw account of the reality of life as an artist, the vulnerability and frustration that are often experienced through the making and showing of work, and the many failed attempts that are endured during the process.


14 smlDorota Borowa, Untitled 1-3 (from the series Ice Paintings), 13x18cm, oil, board, melting ice

By not planning the outcome, I hope to achieve the same coherence and objectivity that a random slice of nature (or a readymade) always posses – Gerhard Richter

The Ice Paintings are painted with melting ice. The aim is to capture traces of the patterns which nature leaves in its path without any interference. Borowa only prepares the conditions where the image can be developed. The cycle is a part of her recent experiments which also include: Rainy Paintings and Wave Paintings. All of them are based on the reactions which are unleashed when mixing water and oil paints where chemistry separates the pigments. The process of painting has become the starting point for all the artist’s recent works. Her paintings become a place between accident and design, between acceptance and destruction. She does not have a preconceived image and this freedom allows her to accept the way the paint flows. She also works with the painting’s own radiance and limits herself by normally using only one paint and by manipulating the natural light of white primed canvas.


16 smlNiamh Coffey, Untitled, watercolour and graphite on paper

This work draws on notions of reverie, the etymology of which includes the meaning ‘to behave wildly, to frolic, to dream, wander. Wild conduct and raving delirium’. Depicted are scenes of apparent mayhem performed by leaky, oozing, hairy subjects. Fleshsuits are mended and ironed. Teeth are yanked out and collected from the recently beheaded. Endless Russian doll replicas are discovered inside bodies. The installation ridicules the absurd and arbitrary ways queer and female relationships and sexualities can be portrayed. These fictions aim to disrupt and expose the fetishised and commodified existing narratives surrounding queer and female bodies.


9Aideen Farrell, Untitled, plinth, plaster casts, wooden board, wire, screws, brick and glass

Centring around three plaster models, the objects and materials in this work are stacked and suspended to explore scale, weight, balance. This work draws on the degrees of abstraction, separation and distance present in the design of spaces. The work is part of a wider series that weighs fixed architectural designs against material conditions of contingency and threatened collapse. This piece seeks to activate these models through spatial relations and harboured energies. Informed by an imagined space of an architect’s office, it asks what influence this space has beyond its own boundary; examining the ideology of creative solutions, future blueprints, and their outward extensions.

Exhibition | Thinking About Blue Almonds

Aideen Farrell, Chloe Brenan, Deirdre Brennan, Dorota Borowa, Events, Exhibition, Hazel Egan, Members Exhibition, Niamh Coffey, Ormond Studios 2018, Sarah Edmondson, Sarah Wren Wilson, Thinking About Blue Almonds

(Thinking About Blue Almonds)

Stay up late. Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world.

(Bruce Mau, The incomplete Manifesto for Growth)


Ormond Studios is pleased to present its annual member exhibition ‘Thinking About Blue Almonds’, featured as part of a short series of events that also involves a film screening, artist dialogues, and a musical performance that revolve around different meanings and interpretations of the colour blue; melancholy, water, infinity, distance, night time, etc. The title is taken from the Polish phrase for day dreaming, ‘myśleć o niebieskich migdałach’, which translates as ‘think of blue almonds’.

The exhibition takes the idea of the ‘blue hour’ (l’heure bleue), the twilight between night and day. It responds to this transitional phase – the mundane shift from collectivised industrialised time to private domestic time. This temporal passage tends to serve as a period of activity for artists, who often find themselves taking up the role of the night shift worker. The studio space becomes activated as a location where unorthodox temporalities can be carved out from the diurnal rhythms that pattern daily life.

The singular nature of the studio space becomes a point of departure; a private physical space that paradoxically acts as a porous boundary between the artist and the world, where ideas and relations are free to cross-pollinate and extend beyond their conventional parameters.

Transitional states, ephemerality, non-duality and fluidity are explored on a conceptual and material level throughout the exhibition.


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Exhibiting artists: Dorota Borowa, Chloe Brenan, Sarah Wren Wilson, Deirdre Brennan, Niamh Coffey, Sarah Edmondson, Hazel Egan, Aideen Farrell.

Image credit: Kate Bowe O’Brien


Studio member Sarah Edmondson is about to commence a month long residency as Art Educator in Residence at the National Gallery of Ireland

Residency, Sarah Edmondson

From the 1st to the 24th of August Sarah will occupy the Millennium Wing Studio of the NGI making new work and hosting a series of public events in response to the current exhibition ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry’.

Please see the NGI website and check their social media for more information and updates regarding Sarah’s progress and the various activities and events taking place as part of her residency.
Sarah NGI press (1).jpg

November 17th Artist Talks: Nollaig Molloy, Dorota Borowa & Sarah Edmondson

Dorota Borowa, Events, Ormond Studios 2016, Sarah Edmondson


Join us in our new space at 4 Ormond Quay for an evening of presentations and discussion with three emerging artists. Nollaig Molloy, an artist based in the west of Ireland, along with Dorota Borowa and Sarah Edmondson from Ormond Studios, will share their work and talk about their practice.

Due to limited capacity, please let us know if you would like to attend.

Nollaig Molloy:

Nollaig Molloy is an multi-disciplinary visual artist based between Leitrim and Roscommon. Graduating in 2012 from National College of Art and Design, Dublin receiving a BA (Hons) History of Art and Fine Art, Sculpture her practice includes drawing, video and site specific sculptural installation. Her work derives from a fascination with the material-to-hand and objects of necessity, through modes of in depth research and engagement with environments and people from local communities. She explores the perception of the everyday and essences of material. Focusing on the interplay between material, people and their surroundings drawing from spatial and material site specificity. She examines processes and techniques of traditional craft, incorporating it within contemporary art.

Molloy’s recent solo exhibition ‘Material Witness’ , Roscommon Arts centre, Roscommon, 2016, other exhibitions include ‘hɛkəl~s’, TACTIC Cork, Cork City, 2015 and ‘HERE/NOW’ as part of Boyle Arts Festival, Roscommon 2014. She is a recipient of the CREATE Artist in the Community Scheme, Research and Development Award Mentoring 2015 with mentor Gareth Kennedy.

Dorota Borowa:

Dorota Borowa is a Polish artist based in Dublin. Dorota received her MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She works with painting, drawing, collage, video and photography. Borowa has participated in many solo and group exhibitions in Poland but also in Hungary, Lithuania and Norway and recently in Ireland. She has been awarded a number of Artist In Residency Programs (last residency in Cill Rialaig in Ballinskelligs, Ireland 2015) and also has been longlisted for the 2016 Aesthetica Art Prize.

Dorota works across the range of media including painting, drawing, collage, video and photography. The process of painting has become the starting point for all her recent works and her techniques reflect her works which straddle between reality and abstraction and the fallibility of human memory.

Sarah Edmondson:

Sarah Edmondson is a Dublin based artist, originally from Waterford. She graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a BA (Hons) Art and Design Education, 2012 and from University College Cork, BA (Hons) History of Art and Sociology, 2007.

Sarah uses many mediums in her work in order to explore a variety of different concepts and themes including paint, photography, image transfers, cardboard construction, found objects, stop motion animation and digital film. In her work there is often an interest in space and the occupation or desolation of that space. She looks at our (humans) relationship with objects and how the arrangement of these objects can be used to initiate a personal response or create a narrative. Her installation pieces aim to question the validity of certain information presented to us by the media or the state, including cultural institutions and the education system. She confronts the viewer with fictitious information or scenarios in order to highlight the ambiguity of our learned reality.

Studio Member Sarah Edmondson exhibits at TaKt Gallery, Berlin

Exhibition, Ormond Studios 2016, Sarah Edmondson
Sarah Edmondson is participating in group exhibition ‘In the Mind’s Eye’, at TaKt Gallery, Friedrichshain, Berlin.  Exhibition curated by Isolde Krams and is the result of a month long residency in July 2016.’In the Mind’s Eye’ continues until September 25th.

Die Plattenbauten, installation, acrylic on plaster blocks and a two part video projection, w/ sound, 4 min 35 sec loop