The First Days of an Art World

Install view of ‘The First Days of an Art World’, 2021.

The First Days of an Art World‘ is an exhibition of work by 10 local artists who have taken over a vacant retail space in Dublin City. The title of the show takes its name from an essay by renowned art critic Jerry Saltz, which comments on the art world’s existence in the age of a global pandemic.

'The Last Days of the Art World… and Perhaps the First Days of a New One Life after the coronavirus will be very different'...   Jerry Saltz, Vulture, April, 2020.

Install view of ‘The First Days of an Art World’, 2021.

The exhibition was set to take place in late September 2020 but was postponed as Dublin entered into another lockdown. The exhibition was then set to be featured in the Circuit Arts Festival in Galway City in October 2020, however, this too was postponed. It was not until December 2020 that Circuit had their first physical exhibition, ‘Circuit One’, which featured a selection of artworks from ‘The First Days of an Art World’. Now as Dublin is starting to reopen, the full exhibition of work, curated by Neil Dunne and Robyn Carey, has returned to its original location on Aungier Street in Dublin.

‘Censored’, Spray Paint on Wood Panel, 60×80 cm, ACHES, 2019. Photo Credit: First Days.

Aches is a Dublin based visual artist and internationally recognised street artist. With a background in graffiti and having studied at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Aches has gone on to create work across Europe, Australia and the United States. His signature style of RGB pixelations are seen here in his typographical work.

‘Tipping Point’, Acrylic, Concrete with Drift Wood on Canvas, 30×35 cm, Aoife Scott, 2020.

Aoife Scott is a Dublin based artist who had studied at NCAD and the Royal College of Art in London. Her work predominately focuses on the environmental impact of a consumerist society. Her thought-provoking artistic practice is showcased in this exhibition with 3 mixed media works using a variety of raw materials such as concrete and driftwood.

Left ‘Sceillic’, Right ‘Bolus’, Spray Paint on Wood, 50×50 cm, Colm Weakliam.

Colm Weakliam (aka w/out) is a visual artist based in Dublin who had studied at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) in Dun Laoghaire. His artistic practice includes sculpture, installation pieces and murals. His painted work plays with notions of depth and perspective as seen in the 2 geometric works presented here.

‘Wires’, Oil on Canvas, 60×80 cm, Eileen O’Sullivan.

Eileen O’Sullivan is a Dublin based painter who had studied at NCAD. Her 3 pieces in this exhibition feature her unique approach of portraying abstract scenes of familiar environments through the visual language of painting.

Left: ‘The Vision’, Gouache Oil and Wax on Fabriano, 70 x100 cm, Eleanor McCaughey. Centre: Mixed-Media Sculpture, Plaster and Fleece, Eleanor McCaughey.

Eleanor McCaughey is a visual artist living and working in Dublin. Having studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), she has gone on to exhibit her work internationally. Her unique approach involves the creation of multi-textured art objects, which are often then translated onto canvas and paper.

‘Factory Flowers’, Spraypaint and Ink Jet Toner on Birch Ply, 86×122 cm, Gary Merrin.

Gary Merrin is a Dublin based artist and designer who studied at NCAD. His artistic process pays homage to his design background through the tonal qualities of his work and the reference to screen-printing. His large piece in this exhibition showcases his signature style of photographic mixed media work.

‘Untitled (Structure IV)’, Acrylic Polymer and Spray Paint on Canvas, 90×130 cm, Neil Dunne.

Neil Dunne is a painter and printmaker based in Dublin, and is one of the co-curators of this exhibition. Having graduated from NCAD, Neil has gone on to produce expressionist works on the subject of the urban environment which have been exhibited nationally and internationally. His 2 pieces in this exhibition combine the visual aesthetics of abstract forms and graffiti writing.

‘It All Happened So Fast’, Acrylic on Canvas, 100×100 cm, Robyn Carey.

Robyn Carey is a Dublin based printmaker and painter who studied at NCAD. She is one of the co-curators of this exhibition and presents a work in her signature abstract style – combining bold colours, fluid textures and geometric forms.

‘Celeb’, Oil on Canvas, 60×59.5 cm, Shane Berkery.

Shane Berkery is a Dublin based painter. Having graduated from the NCAD, Berkery went on to have his work shown in various exhibitions and included in the Irish State Art Collection. His painting style harmoniously blends highly detailed realistic forms with abstracted compositions and vibrant colours.

‘Baby Baby’, Acrylic, Oil Paste and Sakura Paint Stick on Canvas, 75×100 cm, Sophia Vigne.

Sophia Vigne is an artist based between Dublin and Wicklow. Having studied at NCAD, she has gone on to have a diverse artistic practice ranging from portrait photography to abstract painting. Her 2 pieces in the exhibition are an abstract explosion of bright colours.

‘The First Days of an Art World’ is running from 17 – 24 June at 19/19A Aungier Street, Dublin 2. To see more of ‘First Days’ visit their Instagram.

To see more of each of the participating artists: