The Fota Lichens Project

926 August 2005

A new environmental installation by Mara Adamitz Scrupe,to be exhibited at Fota House and Arboretum, in cooperation with the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery and the Sirius Arts Centre, Cork, Ireland

June 2005, Cork, Ireland – The Fota Lichens Project, an installation featuring transparencies of native Irish lichens photographed at the Fota Arboretum and accompanied by live specimens in glass terrariums will be on view at Fota House and Arboretum from August 9 – 26, 2005. Mara Adamitz Scrupe is known for her environmental projects growing, collecting, documenting, and reintroducing native and heirloom plants. The Lichens Project is made possible by support from The Sirius Art Centre, The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, and The National Sculpture Factory, Cork, Ireland, with funding provided by The Irish Arts Council. A color catalog of the exhibition, which includes essays by James Elkins and Paula Owen, will be available.

The installation will include ten large, detailed and richly colorful photographic transparencies of lichen specimens in biomedical light boxes, accompanied by hand-blown glass cloches containing living lichens. Each image and corresponding specimen will be identified with the lichen species’ name, its status (common, endemic, threatened, endangered, species of special concern), and its significance as a bioindicator for gauging air and water pollution. Printed materials describing the ecological significance of lichens, and their usefulness for assessing environmental conditions will also be made available free of charge to Fota Arboretum visitors.

James Elkins writes of her work: “Mara Scrupe’s work is exemplary environmental art: she does not worry the art content, but the environmental message. Her work is driven by commitment to environmental issues, and the art follows. She dares to write about the “potential for service to society” and other such notions — daring, I would say, to be identified with right-wing conservative hopes for a more moral and ethical art. It is possible, she thinks, to speak “conscientiously and responsibly” to one’s audience, and even to educate that audience. In this exhibition the photographs are art, and so is the entire installation, but those are the vehicle: what matters is what you can learn from what you see, and what you can then do with that knowledge.”

Mara Adamitz Scrupe was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She lives and works in Washington, DC and on a farm in rural Virginia. She currently holds the Barbara L. Bishop Endowed Chair of Art, Longwood University, Virginia, and has exhibited her projects nationally and internationally at Grand Arts (Kansas City), The Aldrich Contemporary Arts Museum (Connecticut), Harvard University, Europos Parkas Open Air Museum (Vilnius, Lithuania), and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (Taiwan). She has completed numerous research fellowships including artist residencies at USF Verftet/Stiftelsen Kulturhuset, Bergen, Norway; The Baltic Sea Residency Network, Konstepidemin, Goteborg, Sweden; and The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland and the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire.

The Fota House and Arboretum, a historic nineteenth century Irish great house surrounded by magnificent gardens containing rare plant species, is located on Fota Island just outside Cork City, Ireland. The House is open Monday – Saturday, 10:00AM – 5:00PM, Sundays and Bank Holidays from 11:00AM – 5:00PM and is easily accessible from Cork City on the local commuter train. For more information please contact Anne Boddaert at The Crawford Municipal Art Gallery at Telephone: +353.21.4907857, and Fax: +353.21.4805043, and Email: or Sarah Iremonger at The Sirius Arts Centre at Telephone: +353.21.4813790, and Email:

MARITIME PAINTINGS OF CORK An Exhibition at the Headquarters of the Port of Cork Company

18 May until 29 July 2005

Long famed for its safe anchorages and aesthetic beauty, Cork Harbour has been a favourite subject of artists since the eighteenth century. Crawford Municipal Art Gallery and Port of Cork Company, in celebration of Cork's designation as European Capital of Culture 2005, present an exhibition which draws together all the historical strands to tell the story of Cork Harbour from the seventeenth century to the present day.

The exhibition includes paintings, engravings and maps, as well as documentary material and artefacts from the Port of Cork Company collection, the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, the Irish Naval Service, Cobh Museum and private collectors.

The exhibition is being held in the Cork Custom House, the head office of the Port of Cork. Built in 1818, the building was designed by William Hargrave for the Cork Harbour Commissioners at a time of rapid expansion of port activities. In 2005, the port is again experiencing sustained growth.

As well as documenting the history of Cork Harbour, it is hoped that this exhibition will prompt discussion and reflection on the future development of the harbour in terms of industry, recreation and the preservation of the natural environment.

A full-color catalogue (240 pages) has been published to coincide with the exhibition. It is available from the Port of Cork Company and the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery.

The exhibition runs from Wednesday 18 May until Friday 29 July
at the Headquarters of the Port of Cork Company, Custom House Street, Cork

Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 12 to 5 pm, Sat: 11 to 4 pm

Admission is free

On Reflection, Modern Irish Art from the 1960's to the 1990's A Selection from the Bank of Ireland Collection

6 August–1 October 2005

The Bank of Ireland Art Collection is strongest in terms of acquisitions made between c. 1969 and c. 1985. Of particular interest is the theme of Irish artists encountering and adapting different artistic movements taking place internationally and the relationship of International Modernism to an Irish situation.

The narrative will start with Norah McGuinness, founder of the Irish Exhibition of Living Art (IELA) in 1947, bringing a flavour of the School of Paris to the Dublin Art scene, In the late 1970’s IELA exhibitions were often held in the Bank of Ireland offices on Baggot Street [fact check] Artists such as George Campbell and Patrick Collins developed this, exploring a type of lyrical abstraction, still rooted in the landscape. A more assertive large-scale reaction to Modernism and Pop Art is evident in the work of Michael Farrell and Robert Ballagh. Artists such as James Coleman are also represented in the collection. Tapestries by Louis le Brocquy and Tim Goulding will add colour and diversity to the exhibition, as will sculptures by F. E. McWilliam and Gerda Fromel.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 6 August until Saturday 1 October 2005 at the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork


12 August–1 October 2005

I Want To Be You examines the phenomena of the bouncy castle, its components and how its bizarre architecture – why a castle? – has become a  familiar object in today’s society. Deconstructing the materials of a bouncy castle with lo-tech materials Murphy creates a playful, emblematic installation in the Project Room which reflects Murphy concerns.

Clive Murphy’s practice constantly considers ideas relating to the position of the individual in terms of an increasingly ‘mass’ oriented environment, exploring themes of alienation and desire within this context. Through a combination of humor, pathos and incongruity he infiltrates commercial, urban and visual literacy in order to deconstruct rhetorical systems and prepackaged aspirational frameworks in an effort to carve out some sense of human space. Working in a characteristically lo-fi manner using materials and techniques that exist quite far down on the artistic food chain he strives for ends greater than the sums of their parts in an effort to elevate and democratise.

Clive Murphy is currently exhibiting in Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2005) and the Off-Site exhibition at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin organised by Pallas Studios (2005). He has been awarded a residency in New York by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland commencing in October of this year and has recently been selected to attend the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s International Residency Programme.

Dawn Williams
Assistant Curator
Crawford Municipal Art Gallery
Emmet Place
Cork  Ireland
T: +353 (0) 21 4907853
F: +353 (0) 21 4805043

“Figure & Ground - Rembrandt to Mondriaan” Landscape and People in Netherlands Art 1520-1920

14 February–2 April 2005

Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, in association with PM (Project Management Group) and in celebration of Cork's designation as European Capital of Culture 2005, will present an exhibition which brings together 60 watercolours and drawings spanning four centuries and including the works of Dutch artists including Rembrandt van Rijn, Piet Mondriaan, Jan van Goyen and Heindrick Avercamp. Exhibition dates are February 14 until April 2 2005.

Figure and Ground – Rembrandt to Mondriaan, is drawn from collections at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Chatsworth House and from other leading collections. The exhibition explores how Dutch artists, while separated by three centuries, are united by recurring themes, common values and concerns. The exhibition is a unique opportunity for the Crawford Gallery, Cork and Ireland. This is the first time that most of these drawings will be seen in Ireland.

The title Figure and Ground has two meanings. The first is literal, in that this exhibition sets out to document the lives of ordinary people in the Netherlands, who for centuries have worked hard to create and protect their own land. The travails of seventeenth-century labourers, inn-keepers and fishermen are documented in a direct way by artists, who were often eye-witnesses of the scenes they depicted, The clear and pragmatic vision of Hendrick Avercamp, Jan van Goyen, Esaias van de Velde and van Ruisdael is sometimes influenced, but rarely overshadowed by the academic conventions of French and Italian art.

Perhaps more than any other Dutch artist, Rembrandt van Rijn demonstrates an economy of means in his drawings, an ability to suggest a road or line of trees, with just a few strokes of the pen. The balance Rembrandt achieves between representation and abstraction, sketching figures adroitly but also letting pen and ink determine their own path, suggests the second, parallel theme of the exhibition. This examines the way in which artists, particularly in the twentieth century, moved beyond the conventions of perspective space and the illusion of depth, ultimately dissolving the distinction between foreground and background - between ‘figure’ and ‘ground’.

Located in the heart of the city, the Crawford Municipal Art Gallery is a critical part of Cork’s cultural and tourism infrastructure, welcoming over 200,000 visitors a year.

PM is an international provider of professional services in project and construction management, engineering design and technical consulting. Headquartered in Ireland with 1,100 employees, PM has offices in Cork, Dublin, the UK and Poland



For further information and visuals contact:
Anne Boddaert (Exhibitions Officer)
Crawford Municipal Art Gallery
Emmet Place Cork Ireland
T: +353 21 4907857

Motivational Deficit

14 November 2014–
17 January 2015

Michelle Browne
Brian Duggan 
Anthony Haughey 
Aaron Lawless 
Orla McHardy
Eoin McHugh
David Sherry 
Sonia Shiel

Motivational Deficit... at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork features the work of eight contemporary Irish artists, whom within their art-making practice have marked the pervasive nature of how recession and austerity has crept, and sometimes smashed, into our lives. 

The works in the exhibition, created within the last five years, offer an antidote to the phenomenon of motivational deficit* - the perceived public disaffection with political and social engagement - where society's relationship with the governmental policies that controls contemporary society is perceived as externally binding not internally compelling. 

Motivational Deficit...comes together at a time when according to government and market led sources, supported by the media, Ireland is on the cusp of new economic growth. The works in the exhibition can be viewed as a set of markers which are both a critical response and a reminder in considering how to move forward from the particular set of socio-economic circumstances Ireland currently resides. Motivational Deficit... also asks if there is appetite to reconsider the overall system to prompt what lessons can we bring forward to quell the acceleration, crash and systemic failures of the Celtic Tiger and beyond....
*Simon Critchley, Infinitely Demanding. Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance (2007), Verso, London & New York.

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