Triskele Artists take us to another place

‘ÁIT Eile’ will be on display at The Garden of Reflection Gallery from March 31st until April 18th

Artists Stephen Shaw and John Kavanagh from the city and Sinéad Smyth from Inishowen, invite you to visit a place where art and mythology meet to tell a new story.

These three dedicated and prolific artists formed a collective in September 2017 called Triskele Artists and are steadily going from strength to strength. This Easter, Triskele Artists open their first group exhibition in Derry City, showcasing their individual and shared visions, including new works inspired by mythology, landscape and folklore. 

Derry holds great importance for the group as all three artists grew up in and around its walls. Where better to celebrate this than at the Garden of Reflection, the Inner City Trust’s gallery space on Bishop Street. It is particularly fitting that this exhibition, celebrating the culturally rich mythology of the North-West of the Island, is hosted in Derry among the layers, stones, stories and memories where modern and ancient meet. Derry has always been so richly creative, with ideas flowing as fast as the Foyle, drawing inspirations from the shadows of Errigal and An Griannán, and echoing all along the Causeway coast.

The group belive that their exhibition which is inspired by the North-West, highlights this ancient homeland, its landscape, folklore, language and memory, and they wish to take you to another place, a place of timeless reflection and connection. To a world of creativity, imagination and hope. Tales of myth and legend are part of our own collective identity, and in this exhibition, they feel that they have translated these tales in visual form.

This is an ambitious year for the Triskele Artists, who only started working as a collective in 2017. After meeting at the highly successful ‘Art in Mini’ exhibition at Grouse Hall House, Gleneely (organised and curated by Sinéad and Stephen), the group have been active in creating artwork and opportunities to showcase their diverse styles and multi-layered work.

Having been invited to take part in Féile and Phobail in Belfast this March, with shows planned for Strabane, Belfast and Dublin before the summer, this will be a busy year for Triskele Artists. They will certainly be one to watch over the coming months and their show ‘Áit Eile’ is one not to be missed. 

Opening on March 31st at 6pm, ‘Áit Eile’ will be launched with an evening of live music at the Garden of Reflection Gallery. Emily McCormick is a singer-songwriter with an eclectic mix of influences who is back in Derry after five years living in London, gigging with her own material and studying songwriting. Emily will be joined by Louis McTeggart, a local singer and guitarist who has performed and recorded throughout England, Ireland, Europe and Asia for the past 20 years. 

Above, titled 'Cúchulainn: The Hound of Ulster' by Stephen Shaw.
Stephen explores the ordinary and the everyday. He is inspired by the light, colour and mood of Irish landscapes and their ever-changing scenes. In his intensely atmospheric landscapes, he tells his version of the story, sharing a mood or an experience. He depicts places he visits and scenes from his imagination. Stephen grew up in the Prehen area of Derry which has the advantage of being both close to the city and to the countryside. With forests, fields, rivers, streams and the city-centre all within walking distance.
These experiences helped garner his interest and exploration of both rural and urban landscapes. Stephen’s paintings can vary in style depending on the subject, they have found homes in Ireland and the UK and the US. “I paint what I know!, from the city streets of Derry to Dublin to the breathtaking rural and coastal areas of Inishowen and beyond” said the local artist.

Above, titled 'Buddha & Ganesh' by John Kavanagh.
John is known for his colourful, energetic paintings and sketches and is delighted to be showing his work in Derry for the very first time. ‘I have always used the city as a starting point in my work. there is something about the energy of the place, the history, the mythology, where the past is very present.’
John incorporates elements of figures, angels, bird motifs, planets and sacred geometry.  Being an experienced traveler, he brings memories and ideas from his journeys into his work. His work is multi-layered, often with dominant a colour palette. His inspirations are derived from language, storytelling, the spoken, written and sung word. “The richness of Irish place names and the legends associated with specific areas, echo our rich literature and deeper history”. In this exhibition, John has created more graphic based, detailed pieces that each tell a story.  Drawing inspiration from local folklore, the magic of Inishowen and the surrounding counties of Donegal and Derry, John delves into the world of myth and legend, inviting you to join him. Facebook

Above, titled 'Warriors in Wait' by Sinéad Smyth.
Sinéad Smyth was born in Inishowen, Co. Donegal.  Her work reflects her passion for the landscape and love of storytelling, both real and imagined.  Communicating emotional experience through her abstract, impressionistic atmospheres and her deep understanding of people through her portraits.  “I engage in painting with a purpose, suggesting the illusion of detail where none exists”.  Sinead has been featured on the BBC Arts Show for Radio 4 in their ‘highlights of the year’ programme.   Her facilitation work includes The Turner Prize, The Thames Festival, The British Council, City of Culture 2013. Her paintings and installation work have been shown nationally and internationally.

‘ÁIT Eile’ will be on display at The Garden of Reflection Gallery on Bishop Street, opening on March 31st at 6pm and running for two weeks until April 18th.


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