Nickie Hayden: Safe Harbour, with Robert Russell

Sunday 9 April – Sunday 7 May 2023
Nickie Hayden, Blue Web Spreading, oil on board with pencil and transfer print, 18x12cm | Nickie Hayden: Safe Harbour, with Robert Russell | Sunday 9 April – Sunday 7 May 2023 | Olivier Cornet Gallery | Image: Nickie Hayden, Blue Web Spreading, oil on board with pencil and transfer print, 18x12cm – a blue lighthouse with its beams spreading to the left and right; abstracted background

The Olivier Cornet Gallery is delighted to present Nickie Hayden’s second exhibition with us, this time in collaboration with Robert Russell. It is the culmination of four years of collaborative work by Nickie Hayden on the theme of sanctuary. Nickie’s current work focuses on guidance to a safe place.

These paintings explore the idea of guidance in its purest form. Like the building of a lighthouse, guidance should be a benevolent and altruistic act offering clarity and illumination. Sometimes people are our beacons, and their guidance is enough to bring us safely to port.

Nickie has asked her partner Robert Russell to collaborate with her on this exploration.

Robert has made sculptures that explore the motivation to make the signal fire, beacon, or sentinel, and the forms that are shaped by the dangers they mitigate. The colours of the light elements of the sculptures are chosen for people’s associations with them rather than for their real function.

Nickie Hayden has been a practicing artist for over 30 years. She was a director in the Black Church Print Studio and Graphic Print Studio Dublin. She was also on the steering committee of two major exhibitions, ‘Revelations’ in the National Gallery, and ‘Artist Proof’ in the Chester Beatty Library. Her work is in many collections such as, OPW, National Gallery of Ireland, and many more. Hayden’s materials are intrinsic to her practice. She works in oil and acrylic painting, sculpture, mixed media and installation. Some of her work has been highly interactive. For example, in the past she has involved the general public and various international and Irish poets with her work.

Nickie has worked with community and literacy groups, such as the SAOL Project and Career Paths for Adult Dyslexics, in various exhibitions. Hayden’s most recent exhibition was the ‘Ulysses Haiku Project’ in The James Joyce Centre. She invited a number of poets including Theo Dorgan, Paula Meehan, Patricia Ross, Rachel Hegarty and Stephen Fry to write Ulysses related Haiku. Hayden’s goal is to make art inclusive. She believes that art reaches the parts of us that are most sensitive- It can allow deep connections with the inner self and with those that we share the artistic exploration with.

As part of the Ulysses Haiku Project at the James Joyce Centre Dublin (2019-2020), Nickie invited Master Printmaker Robert Russell to create screenprints incorporating the poet’s Haiku. She created a Haiku wheel which became an interactive installation. The general public were encouraged to write Haiku which were later placed on the wheel. Inclusivity is an important part of Hayden’s practice. Nickie started collecting Haiku for the ‘Drawing on Joyce’ 2018 Bloomsday exhibition in the Olivier Cornet Gallery. She felt taking the smallest form of poetry and setting it against one of the loftiest books by James Joyce would be an intriguing exercise, which she hoped would blossom into something bigger.

Nickie Hayden joined the Olivier Cornet Gallery’s AGA group in 2019 and her first solo exhibition with us took place in November 2020. The show, titled Sanctuary, was inspired by the words of poet Peter Money. Nickie has also participated in many group exhibitions here at the gallery.

For more information, please visit her artist’s page.

Robert Russell lives and works in Dublin. He attended IADT, Dun Laoghaire from 1979 where he specialised in sculpture but also worked in painting and print, winning a prize for painting in the Taylor Art Competition in 1980. He also received the Alfred Beit Award and the Norah McGuinness Award before graduating in 1993.

Robert is Studio Director and Master Printer at Graphic Studio Dublin since 2007. He has collaborated with many artists guiding them through printmaking processes to expand their art practices and realise new works using printmaking techniques- etching, screen print, woodcut, lino-print, mezzotint, carborundum and photo intaglio.

His work is in many private collections and in the collections of The National Gallery of Ireland, The Chester Beatty Library and The British Library.

Image: Nickie Hayden, Blue Web Spreading, oil on board with pencil and transfer print, 18x12cm
Sunday 9 April – Sunday 7 May 2023
Olivier Cornet Gallery
3 Great Denmark Street
(beside Belvedere College)
Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 87 2887261
Opening hours / start times:
Tues to Fri: 11am to 6pm (till 8pm on Thursdays) • Sat & Sun: 12 noon to 5pm • Closed on Mondays (or viewing by appointment only)
Admission / price: Free

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