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Amharcealaín | Visual Art


Barrett St, Ballina, Co. Mayo.

T: 096 73593




Official opening: Thursday, 1st August, 8pm.

Ballina Arts Centrecontinues its exciting visual arts programme with an exhibition of work by Maureen O’Connor whose paintings and built configurations are about making an impression of the sensation of how we register, associate and combine our observations and thoughts.

 It is like watching something in the process of becoming something else, as if to visually parallel the way thinking works, while seeking a consensus meant to be as much about how it feels as how it looks. Admission free.  All welcome. Runs until 24th August.


The Quay,Westport, Mayo  

T: 098-28735.              



Pamela Gray                                                          

July 11th August 5th 2013

Custom House Studiosare pleased to host an exhibition on new works by Pamela Gray entitled Play. 

The will be opened by glass artist Linda Mulloyon Thursday July 11th 7.30pm at the Custom House Studios  Gallery, Westport. Quay, Co Mayo, and continues every day until August 5th 2013.

Ian Wieczorek writes about Pamela Gray

In her artistic practice, Pamela Gray has established a distinctive visual vocabulary located in the world of circuses, carnivals and the fantastical, depicting a very personal world, but one that is highly engaging in its distinctive and strangely naïve imagery. This new exhibition finds the artist extending the breadth of her creative vision, both in terms of subject matter and texture. The title Play is a most appropriate description for this show, referring to both the social act of play as a subject in itself, and also to the fact this show represents a step-off point and extension of process for the artist – creative play, where the artist’s studio becomes a laboratory for new ideas and methodologies.

Gray has primarily focused on masks as the subject for this new embarkation. The work depicts the wearing of masks as a social device and also as a form of play, and is at least as concerned with the wearer beneath as it is with the overtly visible. This is not portraiture as such, rather the exploration of masks as a vehicle for enjoyment and concealment, and also as a social metaphor for the ambiguities of inner and outer self. In Gray’s work, this is a step away from private, fantastical whimsy into the realities and implications of social etiquette and convention – a juxtaposition of innocence and darker undercurrents. Its depiction of children as mask-wearers asks questions and offers inherent ambiguities.

In tandem with this engagement with the real, Gray also presents another product of her recent play, a new series of small sculptural works that both stylistically and in terms of subject matter reference her previous work. These improvisatory assemblages extend Gray’s sense of the fantastical into three dimensions, offering brief, intimate glimpses into secret childhood worlds suffused with the possibilities of imagination.

In Play, Gray has chosen real life rather than pure invention as the step-off point. Her process is more expressionist in its treatment, yet retains the unreality and sometimes darkly-tinged ambiguity of its circus and carnival predecessors, proposing that real life and the fantastical are not such opposites after all.

Jo Killalea 

July 11th - August 5th 2013                                                 

Custom House Studiosare pleased to host an exhibition on new works by Jo Killalea  entitled  Picture Inequality: Challenge to Indifference. The exhibition will be formally opened by John Mulloy, Lecturer  in Art History, Critical Theory, Rural Arts and Arts-based Community Development at Gmit,  on  On Thursday July 11th   7.30  pm at   Custom House Studios  Gallery, Westport. Quay,  Co Mayo. and continues every day until  August 5th   2013.

Having worked for eight years on social and economic justice issues in a number of countries inAfrica, Jo Killalea is acutely aware of the polarity that exists in the world - where wealth, resources and life prospects are unequally and unjustly distributed. These paintings highlight the scale of global inequality by visually exploring statistics on quality of life indicators from recent United Nations Human Development Reports. They expose the gap between developing countries and the West with regard to basic human rights such as access to water, food, shelter, education and healthcare and the huge disparity that exists in terms of income, life expectancy, maternal and child mortality.  More recent paintings on the Great Irish Famine are included in the exhibition as a reminder that hunger and famine were, and still are, a preventable human disaster caused by inadequate policies and responses.

“These memories are an ethical wellspring for our response to migrants and famine issues today. We are challenged to place ourselves in the circumstances of the other by such memories”. [1][1]

Ian Wieczorek                           

8th August – August 29th 2013

The past 20 years has seen a new strain of photographic idiom: a digitally mediated form in which internal integrity of image has become subordinate to ‘message content’. The mobile phone or video still has to a major degree supplanted high quality imagery as the vernacular of contemporary reportage and societal experience. The corollary of this is that, in the contemporary experience, imagery has become a form of ‘shorthand’, illustrative rather than exhaustive, and even more subservient to the vagaries of personal interpretation than in former times.

Ralph Gelbert                                          

8th August – 1st September 2013

RALPH GELBERT ‘s paintings radiate the energy of volcanic eruptions, thus creating new worlds of colour, which inevitably draw the viewer into their maelstrom. The magnificent drama of these colour paintings makes a lasting impression on the mind’s eye of the viewer, where it unfolds its own dynamic force. He is an Associate Professor at theUniversityofKaiserslauternand a Tutor at theAcademyofArtsin Bad Reichenhall. He spends much of the year travelling to study and paint. Previous study trips include residencies inItaly,Scotland, South America andSouth Africa. In April 2013  he was artist in residence at theCustom House StudiosinWestport, Co. Mayo.

Niamh O Malley                                         

August 31st   –  29th September  2013

The Mayo Collaborative: For the first time five venues in Mayo have combined their resources and facilities to present the exciting video and sculptural work of Niamh O’Malley. Niamh O’ Malley creates single channel videos full of depth and penetration. Her videos confine our attention to the image, demanding of us a response to the timelessness of nature and the transitory quality of the manmade.  Her sculptures incorporating as they do glass and mirror also examine this interdependence as much as they propose their own internal sense of beauty.

The Custom House Studios are now inviting submissions for exhibitions and use of studio space for 2014 and 2015

The Studios complex houses 7 artists’ studios, a printmaking studio and two exhibition galleries. These facilities are housed in a historic restored Customs House building on the Quay inWestport, on a prominent waterfront street.


The studios are located up stairs overlooking the harbour.  All studios have daylight and 24hour access.


The main gallery is located on street level with good daylight. The second gallery is located upstairs and has good daylight. The gallery enjoys high visitor numbers.

Applications are invited for;

Studio Occupancy

Artists are now invited to submit proposals for yearlong use of Studios in the years 2013 and 2014, as well as for short term use of studios during the years 2013 and 2014.


Artists and curators are now invited to submit proposals for exhibitions atCustom House Studiosgallery during and 2014 and 2015. 

Selection for studios and exhibitions is by an independent panel of artists.

Submissions due for studios and exhibitions by the 30th September 2013

To apply please send letters of interest, CV, and documentation of work on a CD or photographs to:   

Manager,Custom House Studios, The Quay, Westport, Co.Mayo,Ireland.


Linenhall St, Castlebar, Mayo.

T: 094 9023733





Friday 2nd - Saturday 31st August

Ruth Pettus – To Market, To Market

An unusual, engaging and evocative exhibition of shoe sculptures by New Zealand-born artist Ruth Pettus, inspired by the Linenhall’s former existence as the original marketing area for the sale of flax grown in Mayo during the 18th and 19th centuries. As Ruth explains, “The shoes can be seen to represent the individuals and groups of people jostling, conversing and travelling within the market area. The different textures and directions of the shoes reflects a commercial hubbub of sorting, selling and buying  that would have most likely been enjoyed as a break from the daily routine. Most of these shoes were made at my brother’s house inCountyGalwayfrom 2009-2012.” She continues, “I have been working in this medium for 20 years. The ‘shoes’ are reminiscent of unearthed objects, damaged leftovers, fossils, narratives, the buried. They become an amalgamation of past and present.” Ruth Pettus is an Anglo-American artist living inBaltimore,Maryland. She has exhibited widely in theUS, ans also inSpainandRussia.

Adm. free

Official opening on Friday 2nd August at 7.30pm. All welcome.

TheLinenhall Arts Centre acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council in making this exhibition possible.


Monday 12th - Saturday 24th August

‘98 Recalled

As part of the In Humbert’s Footsteps Gathering Event, the Castlebar Committee, in association with theLinenhall Arts Centre, is delighted and honoured to present a unique exhibition of distinctive and  Previously unseen artefacts (many from private collections) pertaining to the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland, and French General Humbert’s expedition in particular. The exhibition will run for two weeks only.


NB. Exhibition takes place in the Linenhall Theatre


Main Street
Co Mayo

T : + 353 (0) 96 43184

E : 

The Ballinglen Gallery, 27th July - 26th August, Randall Exon, “Returning”

Randall Exon is fromWallingford,Pennsylvania,USA. He is the Sara Lawrence Lightfoot Professor of Art atSwarthmoreCollege, inSwarthmore,PennsylvanianearPhiladelphia. He is primarily a painter of landscapes but also paints portraits, still life and interiors. His work has been exhibited in Museums & Galleries in theUnited States,Ireland, The United Kingdom & Indonesia.

Randall Exon has been returning to Ballycastle each year since receiving a Ballinglen Fellowship in 1997. All the paintings in the show have been executed near Ballycastle over the past 16 years. The exhibition is comprised of portraits, prints and paintings and is a wonderful representation of this area. 

Selected Programmes:

excel 2016

Mayo County Council's Youth Arts Programme  2016


Bealtaine 2016

Celebrating Creatibity as we Age – May 2016

Bealtaine 2016 cover 


John F. Deane

Mayo County Council Writer in Residence 2015

John F. Deane Mayo County Council Writer in Residence 2015


Culture Night 2016

Countywide programme of cultural events – 16th September

Facebook: Mayo Culture Night

Culture Night 2016

  More Mayo County Council and Local Government Websites