Sonia Shiel: The Dangers of Happy

Thursday 10 June – Saturday 10 July 2021
Sonia Shiel, When We Are Big, oil on canvas, 100 x 120cm, 2021 | Sonia Shiel: The Dangers of Happy | Thursday 10 June – Saturday 10 July 2021 | Kevin Kavanagh
――― In venue ―――

Sonia Shiel’s paintings for The Dangers Of Happy depict the simplest of human endeavours – an adult climbs a tree with a child, neighbours navigate a large object between houses, somebody is arranging flowers. Fragility lurks in the urchin grey shapes, bare limbs, and uncanny translucencies that penetrate moments of hard-won connection. Glimpsed here, and shrouded in light – the action is always on the move, so that even the abiding seems to exist as a perishable and mysterious thing.

A short text by Chris Clarke curator at the Glucksman in Cork will accompany the exhibition.

Shiel’s paintings are often site-specific, life-size, and present whole landscapes to climb or traverse. Sometimes consolidated within installations that use scripted audio-work, performance, or video – Shiel’s paintings are framed, stuffed or folded and used variously as themselves, facades and props – revealing their own shape-shifting purposes. Having exhibited extensively, she has had recent solo exhibitions at Void, Derry; NCAD Gallery, Dublin, and The Crawford Gallery, Cork. She has been the recipient of the Tony O’Malley Award from the Butler Gallery and the Hennessy Craig Award from the RHA, and has received a number of Bursary and Project Awards from The Arts Council; Culture Ireland; DLRCC; SDCC, and the DCC. Her work features in several international, public and private collections, including the DLR Municipal Collection; the Arts Council of Ireland, the City of Frankfurt, the Glucksman Gallery and the Office of Public Works. Other residency and fellowship awards include the NCAD Gallery Incubation Residency; the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD, Dublin from 2016-18; the Art and Law Fellowship Program, New York; the ISCP, New York; HIAP, Helsinki; The Kulturbunker, Frankfurt; Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin; and the Leighton Artists Studios Residency at The Banff Centre, Alberta. She holds a BA in Fine Art/Painting from the National College of Art and Design and an MA in Visual Art Practice from IADT.

Sonia Shiel is an Irish visual artist, born in Dublin. In 2020, she completed an artist-in-residence project at Facebook, Dublin, and became a member of the Rua Red Artist’s Studio Program. Her work is supported by the Arts Council Visual Artist Bursary 2021. She has upcoming exhibitions at the Oonagh Young Gallery, and at the 6th Biennial of Painting, Zagreb, with Pallas Projects, in October 2021.

Image: Sonia Shiel, When We Are Big, oil on canvas, 100 x 120cm, 2021
Thursday 10 June – Saturday 10 July 2021
Kevin Kavanagh
Chancery Lane
Dublin 8
Telephone: +353 1 475 9514
Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 5pm
Admission / price: Free

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