As the Covid 19 restrictions are reduced slightly, Ballina Arts Centre will re-open on Monday 7th December. The venue will present, throughout the month of December, two exhibitions made in response to the Covid situation which has dominated much of 2020.  

Line & Place is an exhibition of contemporary drawing featuring the work of five Mayo artists – Conor O’Grady, Nuala Clarke, Gus Lynott, Val McLoughlin and Una Morris. 

Ideas of ‘place’ have been central to many artists’ work throughout time. And these ideas become even more interesting, complex and worthy of investigation during these strange Coronavirus times. But this is not an exhibition of ‘Covid’ drawings, rather it is a chance to slow down and spend time with works that offer a chance of exploring a little of the artist’s journey, as well as a selection of works that blur boundaries between drawing and other media. 

The artworks in this exhibition offer interpretations of ‘drawing’ in the broadest sense. Rather than thinking of drawing as a means to an end (i.e. a painting), these artists offer finished pieces that investigate mark-making using a range of unusual tools and materials alongside – or instead of – the more traditional pen, pencil and brush.  Line & Place was curated by Val McLoughlin and Una Morris and was originally part of the Ballina Fringe Festival programme and presented online. Now, art fans will get a chance to experience the exhibition in person.

Coming Together by Staying Apart is an exhibition of photographs taken by local Ballina family Paul, Gavin and Sophie Brennan. During the first lockdown (between March and July) they walked the streets of Ballina while many of us stayed home to keep our loved ones and most vulnerable safe, and saw the changes Covid had wrought on our town first hand. 

This exhibition shows, in images and words, how powerful those changes have been – images of isolation, fragments of hope, the contrast of bleakness and colour.  Now, as we gather once more, we can take courage and move forward to shape a brighter future for our town. Coming Together by Staying Apart was curated by local photographer Henry Wills, and was originally intended to be part of the Ballina Fringe Festival programme, but was unable to go ahead with the restrictions introduced in October.  

Admission to both exhibitions is free. Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-6pm; Saturday: 10am-3pm

Line & Place and Coming Together by Staying Apart runs until 21st December.

More info: www.ballinaartscentre.com

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