Utopia Ltd.

Friday 29 April – Wednesday 3 August 2011
Blaise Drummond: La Façade Libre (Live Forever in Perfect Health and Happiness), oil, acrylic and collage on canvas (2011) | Utopia Ltd. | Friday 29 April – Wednesday 3 August 2011 | Highlanes Gallery

A new exhibition of work opens at Highlanes Gallery on Friday 29 April 2011 at 6.00pm

Highlanes Gallery is delighted to announce the opening of Utopia Ltd.. The exhibition curated by two exhibiting artists Mary-Ruth Walsh and David Mabb and was first shown at Wexford Arts Centre earlier this year. Utopia Ltd. was selected for the annual Drogheda Arts Festival visual arts strand at Highlanes Gallery. The exhibition will feature additional new work from a number of the artists.

Utopia Ltd. explores the relationship between utopian ideas and commodification, bringing together artwork by Blaise Drummond, Brendan Earley, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, David Mabb, Lizi Sanches and Mary-Ruth Walsh. The seven artists’ work opens up a dialogue on the utopian within painting, sculpture, architecture, design and video. By rescuing, reclaiming, remapping and rebuilding, Utopia Ltd. suggests that utopian ideas persist in contemporary art, making a provocative demand on the viewer’s “capacity to produce social dreams of their own – as part of a moment of utopian praxis’.

The exhibition’s title Utopia Ltd. is a satirical echo of an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, Utopia (Limited) or, The Flowers of Progress (1893), in which a utopian colony is turned into a joint stock company. But it is also more immediately influenced by Matthew Beaumont’s book Utopia Ltd. Ideologies of Social Dreaming in England, 1870-1900.

An exhibition guide and programme of events will accompany the exhibition.

Utopia Ltd. continues until 3 August, 2011.

The exhibition will be launched as part of the official opening of the Drogheda Arts Festival on Friday 29 April at 6.00pm. All welcome.

Gallery admission is free, suggested donation €2.00

The curators:

David Mabb lives and works in London. His work investigates the social and political implications of the textile and wallpaper designs of 19th Century interior designer, writer and activist William Morris.

Mary-Ruth Walsh lives and works in Wexford and Dublin. Her work explores the heroic ideals of modernism through an investigation of the way people move, behave and inhabit architectural space.

The gallery programme developed by Highlanes Gallery includes a curator’s and artists’ talk for teenagers and adults, as well as drop-in sessions for families and special workshops for children as part of Drawing Day.

Highlanes Gallery, an exciting new state-of-the-art facility aims to be one of Ireland’s most important visual art spaces presenting a dynamic and diverse programme of temporary exhibitions and exhibitions drawn from the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection. The Collection dates from the middle of the eighteen century and is housed at the former Franciscan Friary Church in St. Laurence Street in Drogheda.

Highlanes Gallery receives revenue funding from Drogheda Borough Council and programme funding from the Arts Council.

The gallery will open on May Bank Holiday weekend:

Friday 29 April 10.30am – 5.00pm, reopen at 6.00pm for the official opening

Saturday 30 April 10.30am – 5.00pm

Sunday 1 May 12.00pm – 9.00pm to coincide with the Boyne 10K Run

Monday 2 May 12.00pm – 5.00pm

Image: Blaise Drummond: La Façade Libre (Live Forever in Perfect Health and Happiness), oil, acrylic and collage on canvas (2011)
Friday 29 April – Wednesday 3 August 2011
Highlanes Gallery
Laurence Street
County Louth
Telephone: +353 41 9803311
Admission / price: Free

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