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Last Chance to see Kinship

Hi everyone,

‘In the Botanic Gardens came the season of fruit and plenty, wildflower ceramics appeared in the moonshine.

The stumps of trees sprouted wool in many colours …

In the gardens red thread roots growing from a tree into the ground put my feet solidly on the grass…’

Esther Raquel Minsky, 29.08.22


This is the last week to see Sculpture in Context exhibition in the Botanic Gardens, Dublin.  There are so many wonderful pieces of sculpture situated throughout the gardens that you could easily spend the day there.  The gallery over the restaurant is a beautiful space and houses a large number of smaller pieces in ceramics, glass, fibre, bronze and teabags!

We are really pleased that our piece, Kinship, is slowly being colonized by nature as the grass, and the odd mushroom, grow tall around sections of spreading ‘roots’.   The felted pieces, which nestle in the crevices of the fallen tree, bear the signs of insect activity, snail trails and fallen leaves.  Just perfect!    Here are a few images of it now….



Thank you to everyone who visited and gave us such great feedback.  It was an interesting adventure for us to work collaboratively on one piece.  Our thanks to the committee of Sculpture in Context for giving us this wonderful opportunity.  


What marketing strategy?

It has been nearly a year since we last posted an update! That is definitely not a good marketing strategy for our group but, hey, we are artists not entrepreneurs! We get stuck into the work of thinking, researching, making and learning and forget to broadcast our achievements, be they large or small. There are many noteworthy progressions made by individual members over the past year which we will share over the next while, but two developments in particular are worth shouting about now.

Since we last emailed we made a short film, of which we are very proud. Its not a Hollywood blockbuster but a quiet exploration of the diversity of our artist collective. We employed the services of Ror Conaty, a very talented and patient filmmaker who gave us all that we wished for and so much more. Ror moulded our sketchy ideas to his vision of what could be, and he worked hard to achieve that vision. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned so much in the process about staging, lighting and sound. The process made us focus on how best to visually represent our diverse processes as mixed media artists and challenged us to write a voiceover that accurately reflected the essence of our work and of our group.

We are using the film to promote element15 and to submit with proposals we write for exhibitions. In fact, on the film’s very first outing for this purpose, our proposal was accepted. We will be exhibiting at a very well known event happening shortly. In preparation we have spent the last two months working collaboratively on one piece of work, details of which we will be able to share with you very soon. Here is a teaser of the work in progress:

Early days : Catherine, Fidelma and Trish hard at work

It has been wonderful to work together again in person on one project, even if it means on our hands and knees a lot of the time.

If you would like to see our beautiful film, please click on this link https://vimeo.com/696046187 Many of us are camera shy so you may see more hands visible than faces!

If you would like to know more about Ror Conaty’s work, please visit his website to see his most recent exhibition of photographs, ‘Looking Glass’, which was shown on billboards around Cork city last month. https://www.rorc.ie/looking-glass

More from us next week as we pull the strands of our exhibit together… Very exciting!

A Year’s Turning through the early morning mists …

Our exhibition ‘A Year’s Turning’ was always going to be a challenge. Making art for display outdoors in Ireland is an exercise in hope over realism. We installed the artworks in the rain and they spent the first week in the early morning mists that can descend on the foothills of the Wicklow mountains. Hunting Brook Gardens in particular, with its exotic leaves, looked right at home in the warm mist which, to be honest, just added an element of mystery to some of the artworks:

  • A Touch of the Tropics, Dee Kelly
  • Stay At Home 2019-2020, Caroline Fitzgerald

Then last week, the sun shone and umbrellas were needed to shade us from the heat. It was a fabulous week where we got to chat in comfort with all the visitors. Those who came for the exhibition and were blown away by the gardens, and those who came for the gardens and were delighted to encounter the art.

We had a visit from Richard Murphy, who produces wonderful garden photography. He took images of our work in its garden setting taking full advantage of the beautiful early evening and early morning light. The intensity of the colours in his photographs is amazing and we really appreciate the trove of images he has captured. Here are a small sample but there are lots more on his Facebook and Instagram page (richardmurphyphotography).

  • Frivolous, Marie Dunne
  • Falling Leaves, Fidelma Barton
  • They Awoke One Morning, Colleen Prendiville
  • Wild Meadows, Elaine Peden

The project was a year in the making as we tracked the seasons in the gardens of June and Jimi Blake. We could not have imagined how successful it would be in terms of engagement with the public, pushing the boundaries of our art and expanding the range of materials we employ. The images below capture some of that diversity – ceramics by Hannaleena Ahonen and metal work by Helen McLoughlin.

  • One in a Tree, ceramic and crochet, Hannaleena Ahonen
  • Water Vessel?, sheet steel, Helen McLoughlin

Lots of red stickers have appeared (we have sold 21 artworks from the exhibition so far) and some of the works could have sold many times over. We have two commissions to undertake, so that is exciting.

Thank you to everyone who has supported ‘A Year’s Turning’ and, if you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, the gardens are open this week from

Wednesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Hunting Brook Garden (Jimi Blake) W91 YK33 Garden Entrance €8

Wednesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. June Blake’s Garden W91 EC90 Garden Entrance €6

Come rain or shine these gardens are always a treat.