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McKenna Gallery reopening with PORTAL by Tina Claffey

Riverbank Arts Centre is reopening our McKenna Gallery on Tuesday, 8th June to present PORTAL an exhibition by Tina Claffey, an award-winning nature photographer who has exhibited in the US, Botswana, Zambia and throughout Ireland.

Tina Claffey loves to get ‘lost’ in the bogs, eskers and wetlands of Ireland with her macro lens. This solo show takes the viewer through a portal to other wondrous worlds that coexist with us. Lichens become enchanted forests, mystical goblets appear that are fit for otherworldly kings and queens. This beguiling photography exhibition will allow you to immerse yourself in ancient watery worlds that defy your sense of reality, while appreciating this ancient Irish wilderness you are exploring.

“The title of my exhibition ‘PORTAL’ is a reference to the Irish for bog ‘portach’, and also for its reference as a portal or gateway to another world. I specialise in close up, or ‘macro’ photography, which forces me to slow down, and truly observe the tiny flora and fauna within the living carpet of the bog. Macro photography removes our sense of scale, allowing our imaginations to wander and become lost within this living carpet. Each of the images in my show aims to reveal tiny portals to the magical other world within the bogs that coexist with us within this ancient wilderness.” Tina Claffey

For many people, Covid lockdown prompted or reignited an interest in nature and our immediate surroundings. While PORTAL is primarily aimed at adults, young people with an interest in nature will be utterly enchanted by Claffey’s micro world, which captures details rarely seen by the human eye.   Some details from Tina Claffey’s photos below give a sense of the work:

“For months nature has been our best friend, keeping us company while we were isolating and avoiding busy urban spaces. Forests, bogs and fields  have replaced galleries and museums – we could immerse ourselves in their magical and soothing worlds while waiting for our lives to get back to normal. Our natural surroundings offered us a great sense of connection with our locality, as we couldn’t travel far. Tina’s photography brings us even closer to nature, allowing the miniscule and micro worlds that we often don’t notice, to enfold us and surprise us with their immense beauty and strangeness. Being immersed in nature helped us survive and sometimes even enjoy the isolation we all had to endure.  I really look forward to welcoming our audiences back to our gallery and I would encourage everyone to stop by and experience PORTAL especially during June Fest.” Alex Rosiak

PORTAL by Tina Claffey opens on 8th June and runs until 30th July, 2021. 
The McKenna Gallery at Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge is open 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday.
Admission Free. 

Limited edition prints can also purchased (framed or unframed) – see this list for more details

When visiting Riverbank Arts Centre, please note the following:
Please adhere to all COVID safety guidelines, including wearing a face covering as all times.
Only 5 people can be admitted to the McKenna Gallery at any one time, so please be patient.
The Cafe at Riverbank Arts Centre is currently closed (our bathrooms are open, however!)