Sunday, July 18, 2010

Art in Schull

A recent trip to Schull coincided with their art week. The local shops and restaurants featured work by artists based in the area. These ran the gamut from dire to excellent. Representing the dire was Michael Whelton and there were a whole bunch of insipid landscapes by Jules Thomas (whose partner is Ian Bailey - Schull's most famous denizen) in the Black Sheep pub. Anyone looking for tell-tale expressionism from that source was out of luck. The estimable Chapter One bookshop had 3 pieces by John Doherty - two good ones of buoys in Sydney Harbour and an outstanding piece of a Carrick-on-Suir shop front - preserving for posterity the picturesquely decrepit. Further up the town in East Meets West had ceramic work by the supremely talented and frequently self-destructive Pat Connor. While he occasionally creates benign elephants and smiling birds, his stock-in-trade is angst and agony - gaping mouths and tortured poses. Many of his figures bring Munch's The Scream to mind and of late he has been producing wretched couples yoked together in Beckett style misery. Great stuff. There was also a smart abstract piece by his daughter Jo Connor.