The best of what they are

Kilkenny’s Blackbird Gallery is hosting an exhibition by artists from Dundalk’s Bridge Street Studios until the end of this month.

Kilkenny’s Blackbird Gallery is hosting an exhibition by artists from Dundalk’s Bridge Street Studios until the end of this month.

Bridge Street Studios is celebrating its 15th anniversary as a leading artist studio in the North East, and to mark and celebrate this occasion the artists have opened the show in the William Street-based Blackbird Gallery owned and curated by Valerie Walshe.

The artists have chosen ‘Bridges’ as the theme for the exhibition, reflecting the connections between the diverse range of art and craft created in the studio including painting, sculpture, mixed-media installations, ceramics, textiles and jewellery. These connections are strengthened by the common ground of creativity, peer support and shared facilities that exist in the studio. It also draws a parallel with the studio name.

The aspirational qualities of a verse taken from Bridge for the Living by Philip Larkin mirror the philosophy of the artist collective at Bridge Street Studios:

Reaching for the world, as our lives do,

As all lives do, reaching that we may give,

The best of what we are and hold as true:

Always it is by bridges that we live.

Drawing inspiration from the poem, each artist has produced three new works in their individual discipline.

The studio is currently home to Orla Barry (painting), Mary Cowan (ceramics), Michele Haechler (painting and mixed media), Sarah McKenna (ceramics), John O’Connor (painting), Fiona Quigley (painting and textiles), Fiona Thornton (jewellery), Rachel Tinniswood (textile art) and Mary Martin (painting).