Thank you to Cristín Leach and The Sunday Times for this wonderful review of Cathal McGinley’s new exhibition Ealain ón gCladach — Art from the Shore. The exhibition finishes on Saturday 31st August.
Cathal McGinley’s outstanding show offers a masterclass in how to fill a wide-open, high-ceilinged gallery space with art. McGinley grew up in Magheroarty, looking out onto his ancestral family home of Inis Bo Finne (Inishbofin). The island, population 11, provided the impetus from which this heartfelt show springs. The work is the result of a three-year residency, during which the artist lived both on the mainland and on the island off the Donegal shore. A hut constructed from folded leaflets holds the centre of the room while all around the walls and floor are landscape drawings and paintings, sculptures, and films. One moving image is projected on a ceiling-hung pleated paper structure. McGinley engages with and alludes to the beauty, power, and fragility of the place in ways that reflect on wider human, societal and global issues. His found-object sculptures (Eadail Gan Usaid) are mostly made from plastic rubbish washed in from the sea. McGinley’s repurposing of such detritus offers a meditation on regeneration, obsolescence, and the endless determination of the human spirit, even when faced with finding new ways to survive, and thrive, on the edge.
Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, closed Sun and Mon, Tues-Fri 9.30am-5pm, Sat 11am-5pm, 074 9129186