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Vacant Spaces

An exhibition of Paintings

By David Ryan

October 24th - November 3rd

Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

The Doorway Gallery is delighted to host an exhibition by David Ryan, entitled, Vacant Spaces, on Thursday, October 24th between 7-9pm at Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Rathfarnham.

David Ryan is an outsider artist who works out of various squats around Dublin. His current projects include several series of oil paintings. 

He also participates in festival builds and is a committed member of the infamous Irish Underground piano bar crew at Glastonbury, and the Bog Cottage at Electric Picnic..

He has been painting continuously from a young age and is currently refining his own techniques in photo-realistic oil paintings. Previous to this his recent work had focused on disused spaces and dereliction before moving into documenting the spaces of Grangegorman ‘Squat-City’ in Dublin.

David was born in Dublin in 1986 and initially raised in Donegal. His father worked globally in telecommunications and as such was well traveled by his teens, and had been exposed to a variety of different cultures. David began painting scenes centered on sunsets and sunrises from the different places he had been. It was not long until many friends and family had paintings or murals on their walls.

His first exhibition was organised in a hotel in Dun-Laoghaire at nineteen, and began exhibiting work in galleries a year later. Money never motivated David whatsoever. He preferred to use his art for those around him and scoffed at all forms of idolatry. Professionally he had began training as an electrical apprentice, a plumber, began an art portfolio course, left it to be a special effects technician, trained as a C.A.D technician and even began an education in sustainable-construction, as he considered these useful skills in what was to him a corrupt and plastic world. Stone, steel and timber can all be found in David’s store of materials.

In his late twenties David discovered Grangegorman and was introduced to various sub-culture groups active in Dublin and saw the good work they were doing both there and abroad. He abandoned his own personal development to work alongside those building lives with next to nothing, putting his many skills to good use. The professional painting picked up when he saw that it was indeed a viable outlet for helping others, and dedicates each project to a particular cause, group or person. Up to late 2017 he had worked primarily with salvaged acrylic on breadboards given by bread-truck delivery drivers. Now a friend helps David to build his own large canvasses and he is refining his use of oils in order to begin work on his next two projects.

David Ryan is exclusive to The Doorway Gallery and we are looking forward to launching him at Nutgrove shopping Centre as part of the Arts Festival. David work can be bought through the gallery after the festival is over on November 3rd.

Also on view for the duration of the Arts Festival we have Michael O’Doherty’s circular pieces on display around the shopping centre. Michael O’Doherty is a Dublin-based contemporary visual artist, who has recently completed a degree in Fine Art Painting at NCAD.

wing from his previous experiences in design and construction, Michael’s work is inspired by metropolitan overcrowding, and in particular by the architectural overload and traffic congestion that largely characterises these densely populated environments.

In response to the current housing crisis in Ireland, Michael has begun to explore how dead spaces can be reinvented and utilised to their maximum potential. Consequently, his latest works incorporate aspects of two cutting-edge design trends –Transterior and Japandi – which draw much of their dynamism from approaches to living that bring the outdoors indoors and the indoors outdoors.

To bring his interior artworks outdoors, and vice versa, Michael’s latest collection uses weatherproof materials, such as pressure-treated woods and high-end marine paints, to create an array of artworks, which range from affordable and simplistic floral designs to more complex and sophisticated architectural designs and sculptures.

As part of the Arts festival we have feature photographer, Gerry Balfe Smyth. Gerry’s photographs document a life in the inner city flat complex, Teresa’s Gardens in the Liberties area. The pictures, inspired by and endeavoring to capture the spirit and resolve of the people in this once- massive public housing project, built in the nineteen fifties and neglected for generations.

The images were taken over a seven-year period, before regeneration had begun highlighting the struggle to stay alive, to be clean, to endure, another reminder that social integration and inclusion must be accompanied by economic investment for it to have a chance. The pictures are the last breath of a vibrant community before it is finally laid to rest.

Gerry studied Photography at DIADT in Dublin before working as a photographic assistant to Perry Ogden & Bruce Weber. He began developing his own personal projects while living in New York & London, working in medium format and polaroid photography.

His work is inspired by ‘Real people’ giving a voice to those on the margins, exploring social & cultural themes, in particular groups of people that share a common identity.

Reception Details:

Date: Thursday, April 4th

Time: 6 – 7.30 pm

Guest Speakers: 

Writer & Poet, Colm Keegan

T.V & Radio presenter, Brent Pope

Architect, Paddy McNeill MRIAI

Refreshments Served & Music