Thursday, August 25, 2022

Coastguard Cultural Centre in Tramore:  Tramore Art Group Exhibition 

John Cullinan pictured in his studio. 

IF it’s summer then art is in the air. Tramore air. Especially life. Still life, nude life, plein air life and the group that shelter under the umbrella of Tramore Art Group take their art seriously. Without doubt, Westown artist John Cullinan is very much the driving force behind these artists with weekly meetings taking place under his watchful eye here in the Coastguard Cultural Centre.  

Jack Thompson’s “Bull calf head” is the picture of muscular pubescent testosterone. Brigid Hynes Roche from Dungarvan has some really powerful work here that features tall ships moored and a sea-tossed tale of yore that leaves me fearing for a small child in the desperate grip of his father.  

Still life features from a number of artists. John Cullinan’s “Seeds today, flowers tomorrow” fascinates in its depiction of light and shade as does his “Reflections”. John is at work as well on the light and changing landscape in two broad-angle views of lighthouses at the Hook and Loop Head. Lupita Sheehan is also exploring landscapes here with a Doneraile “View of the Pier” in Tramore at low tide, a hectic red and burnt-brown “Autumn Fire” and a delightful beach scene that fills the room with the love a young mother has for her small child. Statia O’Keeffe has four pictures from a smiling young African girl to tranquil boats at rest in Tramore Pier that reminds of lazy, hazy days of summer as does Pauline Corby’s view frothy-white waves under a landscape that sweeps down like a comfort blanket to Tramore Bay as seen from the beach. 

Andrea Jameson has two landscapes that dazzle with colour. A riverside walk is ablaze with autumn coloured trees that fall down towards a winding stream and a winter river with gaunt young branches catches the glint of the winter sun on a bank that carries all the chill of that barren season. Meanwhile, Deborah Cullinan’s “Metalman” is an impressionistic ball of colour on a warm but breezy day. 

Live art is a huge element and probably the most challenging canvass for the Tramore school. Tramore artist Tara Fennell has a pair of summer nudes that are startlingly accurate in skin and muscle tone. Broad brush strokes and vibrant colours swirl around the prostrate figure, dominate the canvass and leave me pondering the mind of the enigmatic sitter. Orla Kinsella’s sketched nudes are detailed and muscular while Pauline Corby’s “Nude after Degas” is enigmatic and puzzling in its aspect. 

I love Lisa Murphy’s work. Her spectral and gaunt figure of a young girl with a protective white dog in “Spirit Guide” and her figure of a pop-like icon, emerging somewhere from an aquamarine watery depth, with upward piercing eyes and viewpoint, leaves me staring in amazement at the puzzling and beautiful young women.  

The Tramore Artists Exhibition runs until the end of the month at the Centre. 

Lisa Murphy at work. 

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