February. A matter of Time.
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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1M ago
It was great to be back in Cork for the opening of the exhibition A Matter of Time curated by Dawn Williams at the Crawford Art Gallery. Being in Cork for a few days gave me the time to be involved in the installation of the work but also to have time to myself to revisit the spaces and places which were so much a part of the years I spent living and working in Cork. Most of these memories were happy ones, some were bittersweet and some were difficult and sad - such is life - the choices we make and the circumstances that force change. On a professional note, however, the experience was entir ..read more
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December. Time for Change.
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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3M ago
Things need to change but what power do we have as individuals to change things on a global scale? As artists, do we have a responsibility to speak out or this is presuming an importance which we don't have beyond our own limited sphere of contacts? Who is listening anyway? Who has the time? As this year ends and another one is about to begin , I have been reflecting on the nature of Time as a finite resource and how it seems to run out more quickly for some people than it does for others depending on wealth, social circumstances and geo-political position. You never know the minute... cometh ..read more
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October : Awards Amongst Other Things
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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6M ago
Overall, October has been a surprisingly good month full of unexpected things. It began with a trip to England to visit family. As part of this there was a day trip to the historic mill at Saltaire built by (surprise) Sir Titus Salt. He also built houses for his workers so that they would have access to clean air and light, constructed parks and commissioned public sculpture to adorn the streets (image above left).  No longer functioning as a textile factory, Saltaire houses a huge collection of work by David Hockney . It was an unexpected surprise to see his series The Arrival of Spring ..read more
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September: Time, The Troubles and Beyond
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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7M ago
This September, my triptych For those who are no-one's exhalation, left the studio for a long stay at the Troubles and Beyond Gallery at the Ulster Museum, part of National Museums of Northern Ireland. It now sits alongside other artworks and ephemera that reflect the history of Northern Ireland from the 1960s to the present day and the exhibition includes objects from the thirty year conflict known as the Troubles. I am delighted that my efforts to think about how the Troubles might be commemorated will be seen by a much wider audience including local people and visitors. It is a deeply refl ..read more
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August. Making Time/Marking Time.
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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8M ago
How do we mark the passing of time? How many of us notice the leaves changing colour from green to orange and know that summer is moving towards autumn? How many of us can tell the time by the position of the sun in the sky? How can we measure minutes on a sundial ? Recently I have been thinking of time and memorials; what stands the test of time and what does not. On the right, is an image of a reconstructed sun-dial at Nendrum Monastery which overlooks a part of Strangford Lough. On the right, is a working image of a wreath I am making to commemorate the loss of forest floors. The sundial i ..read more
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July. Jaunts at home and Abroad
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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9M ago
This July was a mix of work and leisure at home and abroad - even on holiday one never stops looking but more of that later. I was delighted to be selected for two exhibitions in the States and wished that I had been able to attend both openings. The first was as CIACLA, otherwise known as the Irish Arts Center in L.A. as part of Irish Contemporaries II, and the second was at the Evanstan Art Center in Chicago, Illinois as part of Partition in the Modern World, curated by Pritika Chowdhry. In an ideal world, I could have fulfilled a long held wish to drive from the East Coast to the West in t ..read more
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May. Museums and More in London
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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11M ago
Despite my love of monochromatic minimalism, this week saw me in London enjoying a few busy, crowded and high-key exhibitions. Ai Weiwei was at the Design Museum with his exhibition Making Sense. This induced hand-axe envy but also a reflection on the mass production of objects from canon balls to plastic bricks. Why are the former so aesthetically pleasing and latter less so, when both do damage to the physical world? At the National Gallery, I enjoyed Nalini Malani's immersive looped video installations 'Reality is Different'. Here, Malini critiqued well known historical works from the Nati ..read more
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April. Agreement 25 and Immaterial Again.
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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1y ago
April 2023 marked the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. Queen's University Belfast was host to a series of events involving so many politicans, Prime Ministers, former Presidents of the USA and various ambassadors, dignitaries, academics and the lucky few who were able to get tickets. Over at QSS, we marked the occasion in our own way by showing a reconfigured version of The im/material monument; an exhibition which ironically, I had shown at Queen's University Naughton Gallery the year before. What has changed in a year? In twenty-five years? For me, perso ..read more
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March - Moving Forward, Moving Back
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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1y ago
March can wrong foot us. One day we are sitting outside in the sun watching the first buds and flowers emerge and the next, we are tentatively picking our way through ice and snow. We are between seasons. In Northern Ireland we can get all of them in one day. This March, I have been sowing creative seeds and hoping that some of them, if not all, will take root despite or indeed because of the environment in which they have been planted.  Just as it is certain that the tide will come in and go  out again, so it is true that we are always between things. Failure or success, rejection ..read more
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January - Ninety Seconds to Midnight
Gail Ritchie Contemporary Art
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1y ago
The year started as it ended - preoccupied with time. Using the circular form of the traditional clock face, I began experimenting with non-numerical ways of marking the time, in splashes and drips and floods of pigment. From the start of the series to the end, these studies progress from faint mark making to blocked out circles where no marks can be seen. Studying these, I reflected on how they were analagous to how we humans have left our mark on the earth - from barely a trace to virtual obliteration of anything that is sensitive to our presence. Reading around this led me to consider the ..read more
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