The Molesworth Gallery

Gabhann Dunne


Gabhann Dunne, The flower's pilgrim, oil on gesso panel, 15 x 20cm



Gabhann Dunne, The first invasion, oil on canvas 100 x 150cm



Gabhann Dunne, Ailbhe's ghost, oil on gesso panel, 18 x 24cm



Gabhann Dunne, Clover's relic, oil on gesso panel, 18 x 13cm



Gabhann Dunne, Lone bee, oil on gesso panel, 13 x 18cm



Gabhann Dunne, The bull's bride, oil on gesso panel, 30 x 40cm



Gabhann Dunne, Hare, oil on gesso panel, 18 x 13cm



Gabhann Dunne, A tern's reversal, oil on gesso panel, 24 x 18cm



Gabhann Dunne, Gobnait's relic, oil on gesso panel, 15 x 18cm



Gabhann Dunne, Fringed sandwort, oil on gesso panel, 10 x 15cm



Gabhann Dunne, Immram, oil on gesso panel, 10 x 15cm



Gabhann Dunne, King of birds, oil on gesso panel, 13 x 18cm



Gabhann Dunne, The gate, oil on gesso panel, 20 x 30cm


The Flower's Pilgrim
October 9th - 31st, 2015



___The Molesworth Gallery is delighted to present The Flower’s Pilgrim, an exhibition of new work by Gabhann Dunne. The starting point of the work is an old Irish folk story, according to which the soul leaves the body in the form of a bee when a person dies. Hence, the recurring motif of the bee - or ‘the flower’s pilgrim’ - an insect intensely relevant today because of the phenomenon of colony collapse. The bee is the principal pollinator of plants in Ireland, an integral part of the country’s fragile eco-system, but the gradual elimination of meadows from the Irish countryside is removing one if the insect’s main sources of food.

___A residency the artist recently undertook in Bull Island under the auspices of Dublin City Arts Office drove him to examine environmental choices and how they impact on our sense of place and future. “If we are to preserve our island habitat,” Dunne believes, “we have to make particular environmental choices that aren’t always of immediate benefit. There’s not only a profusion of animals in danger of being pushed out of the country, there are others that are coming in. It’s a flux, but ultimately it’s our choice as to what stays and leaves.”

___These issues are explored in the work, whether directly or obliquely. Topographical features, figures, buildings and animals emerge from a richly-opaque ground, conjuring a hauntingly-beautiful parallel world. He uses this romantic landscape to critique the marginalization of animal spaces, often appropriating and re-working found imagery to complement his invented narratives. The limpid colour palette in the paintings give them a visionary, almost poetic quality.

___The work is informed by a broad spectrum of authors, social commentators and ecologists, such as John Gray, Mark Rowlands and Emma Marris. Painting is not used analytically but rather to interrogate how different forms or techniques can be used with each other to create tension, power and the sacred. While the themes explored in the work may seem portentous, there is humour here too, along with compassion, contrition and a desire to protect.

___Gabhann is a former winner of the RDS Taylor Art Award and the Hennessy Craig Scholarship at the Royal Hibernian Academy. He was described by Cristín Leach - writing in The Sunday Times in May, 2015 - as ‘one of the best Irish painters of his generation’.


___Click here to read a review of Gabhann's previous exhibition at the LAB from The Sunday Times Culture magazine



Master of Fine Art, National College of Art and Design, 2011
BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Dublin Institute of Technology, 1997

Solo Exhibitions
2012 The Wavemaker’s Vision, Rubicon Gallery, Dublin
2009 The Outermost House, Cross Gallery, Dublin
2006 Kisaeng, Alternative Entertainments Gallery

Selected Group Exhibitions
2014 Winter Group Exhibition, The Molesworth Gallery
2004-2014 RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin
2013 40/40/40 (celebrating 40 Irish artists from the Office of Public Works managed State Art Collection), Central Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid
2012 None went mad... none went away, Rubicon Gallery
2011 The Fold, a group show with Diana Copperwhite, Mark McGreevey and Sheila Rennick, Visual, Carlow
2011 Something is happening down at the zoo, Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin
2010 Connections, Rua Red Gallery South Dublin Arts Centre

2011 Taylor Art Award, RDS National Student Art Awards
2009 RHA Hennessy Craig Scholarship Award
2009 Whyte’s Award for Painting, RHA Annual Exhibition

Selected Collections
Office of Public Works, Axa Insurance, XL Group

May 2015, Cristin Leach, Magenta Honey, The Sunday Times
June 2014, Cristin Leach, The art of storytelling, The Sunday Times
Aug 2012, Gemma Tipton, Painting's not dead, it's just hard, The Irish Times
Feb 2012, Susan Morrell, The crossing at Roscommon, The Sunday Business Post
May 2011, Cristin Leach, The Fold, The Sunday Times
May, 2011, Gemma Tipton, Carlow’s Visual joins the Fold, The Irish Times
May 2011, Art Forum, The Fold
Oct 2009, Aidan Dunne, Possibilities of performance anticipated, The Irish Times



« Return to Exhibitions Home      Back to Top