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Current exhibition

VAULTS: Kathleen Standen | Tomb 

04 April – 04 May 

Opening reception 04 April 5.30-7.30pm 

 

Lavit Gallery is pleased to present a presentation of ceramic sculptures and vessels by Kathleen Standen, as the first in a series of installations utilising and responding to the unique architecture of our vaults.   

In the early 1800s, two vaulted spaces, which are located off the main gallery, were once used to burn a type of smokeless coal, as part of the malting process carried out in the building. The resulting hot air was directed to the floors above where malt was raked to assist in its drying. Since the complex was converted to artistic use in 1999 the vaults have been host to a multitude of art installations and displays as well as being used as a retail area. Using the spaces for displaying art is not without its challenges but it is intended that a new curated selection of installations will work with the space and its features.  

Kathleen Standen makes ceramic sculptures and vessels that allow her to explore colour and texture. The ever-changing patterns of weather in Southwest Ireland, together with rock strata, moving and still water, and wildflowers are just some of the influences which are reflected in the textures, colours and glazes in her work. Her pieces range from small sculptures and vessels to large sculptures for display in gardens.

Standens large urn and bowl forms have qualities that are reminiscent of archaeological ceramics, perhaps from a culture that is yet unknown to us. For the installation ‘Tomb’ the vaults are reimagined as a repository for ancient funerary vessels. Using lighting and different degrees of grouping and isolation theinstallation challenges traditional modes of display for craft objects, instead providing a suggested reading and interpretation of the body of work as a whole. 

 

Kathleen Standen, Standing Stone 2

Kathleen Standen, Standing Stone V

 

 

Kathleen Standen was born in London in an Irish artistic family. She studied Marine Biology at Bangor, University of North Wales, and then went into a career in teaching. Having held a long-term interest in ceramics, she left teaching and enrolled on a degree course in ceramics at the London Metropolitan University. Since graduating in 2005 she has been selected to exhibit in group shows in Ireland, USA, Germany, Belgium, China, Greece and the UK. Highlights of her career include:  joint winner of the Contemporary Ceramics Award 2010 by Millcove Gallery, Castletownbere ; a  solo exhibition in the West Cork Art centre in May 2011 titled , Ebb & Flow;.  Representing  Ireland in a residency at the FuLe museums in Fuping, China in 2011;   recipient of the Sculpture prize in Blarney Castle Gardens Sculpture exhibitions 2013 and 2014, and her work is permanently on display in the gardens;  Bloomsbury published, as part their  New ceramics Series, Additions to Clay Bodieswritten by Kathleen Standen  which was released for sale in May 2013. It was also published by The American Ceramic Societyfor sale in the U.S.A, and also translated and published in China. 

 

 

Alan Meredith | Quercu

21 March – 13 April 2024

Opening reception Thursday 21 March 5.30-7.30pm. Guest speaker: Roger Bennett, woodturner and writer

Curated by Stephen O’Connell

Quercu – the oak – brings together a new body of work by Alan Meredith, on the occasion of his first solo exhibition in Ireland. The exhibition draws together separate, but related, ideas that the artist has been exploring in his practice for several years and reveals, if not the culmination of them, then certainly an advanced continuation and heightened expression of these ideas. 

Oak is important.  As if predetermined, the artist grew up at The Oak, the location of his ancestral farmlands in County Laois, and it is here that his studio and workshops are now based. The Oak is the site of making.   

It is also the dominant material in much of the artist’s work. The Residual Geometry series is hewn from a single tree that grew at that very same site. It is resurrected here as an interconnected body of furniture that closely echoes the form of its source material and is reflective of that place of origin. 

The Curio Cabinet series is a dramatic reinterpretation and rendering of a quotidian form. Encompassing work on a diverse scale, a point of reference interestingly discussed by Stephen Tierney in the essay that follows, the cabinets range from the monumental to the compact, and reflect the artist’s success in realising sculptural pieces that confound and delight the viewer. 

The Dearcán vessels are amongst the most recognisable of Alan’s work and are perhaps the most emblematic of his continued dialogue with the material, testing its strength and limitations. Following the Golden Fleece Special Award last year, we are excited to present the artist’s new large-scale pieces with their signature innovative folds.  

Oak is also significant in terms of heritage and tradition, both national and artistic. Conscious of this, Alan Meredith carries forward a particular tradition of artists, craftspeople, and sculptors, realising forms inherent in their material. The body of work shown here represents Alan’s steadfast pursuit of these forms, always striving to realise a sense of optimal balance. This exhibition offers a moment for the artist to pause, after the arduous expenditure of time and energy, and for us, the audience, to reflect on his journey thus far and to wonder where yet it might go.  

Stephen O’Connell, gallerist and curator

 

 

Alan Meredith, Residual Geometry Quercus I, Residual Geometry Quercus II

 

 

Alan Meredith began working with wood from an early age, his work to date straddles the boundaries of contemporary craft, sculpture and architecture and has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Graduating with a Masters in Architecture from University College Dublin in September 2015, Alan currently works from his studio in County Laois, imagining and creating one-of-a-kind and speculative pieces for both public and private clients. Completed projects include; one of a kind furniture, public space design, and a collection of sculptural wood-turned vessels. Recent Awards include; The Golden Fleece – Special Award 2023, while Alan’s work was Exhibited at ‘Collect’ – The Leading International Fair for Contemporary Craft and Design, London and at ‘Salon’, Park Avenue Armory, NYC 2022. The work is stocked in numerous galleries in Europe and the United States. Alan is a member of the Design and Crafts Council Ireland – Portfolio Critical Selection for 2021/22 and the Homo Faber Guide.