Visual Arts

The aim of Riverbank Arts Centre’s Visual Arts Programme is to put the arts at the heart of Kildare life and people at the heart of the arts.

The Visual Arts programme works with professional artists in a range of art forms from the established media of painting, sculpture, photography and printmaking to moving image, new media, live art, design and architecture.

Exhibitions, projects, and events are selected and curated in-house by invitation and through an open selection process. Open Call’s for artists are published online, and through our various social media channels.

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Past Events › VISUAL ARTS

September 2015

The Box of Make Believe

Saturday 5th September, 2015 - Saturday 7th November, 2015
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
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Free

Step inside our Children’s Gallery this autumn and find yourself transported into a series of miniature, imagined worlds. Welcome to The Box of Make Believe - an exhibition for young people and curious adults that celebrates the creativity, ingenuity and magic of set design. Before the set you see in a play ever gets built, it is first imagined on a much smaller scale, as a beautifully designed model. These miniature sets are often works of art in themselves and…

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The History of Play Exhibition

Saturday 5th September, 2015 - Saturday 3rd October, 2015
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
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Free

Artist Eamon O’Kane will transform the entire Mc Kenna Gallery into an interactive installation inspired by the educational play objects devised by educator and inventor of Kindergarten Friedrich Fröbel. For the artist, parenthood sparked this interest in merging real life with his art practice, looking at the interplay of art, architecture, design and education. The installation comprises educational play materials known as Fröbel Gifts –colorful spheres, cylinders, and tubes. These “gifts” are used for unlocking creativity at an early age…

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October 2015

Kildare Notebook Project

Monday 12th October, 2015 - Monday 19th October, 2015
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
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Free

The enchanting Kildare Notebook Project is a regular 'must see' event in the Riverbank Arts Centre Visual Arts programme. The collection now extends to 200 notebooks made by writers, film makers and visual artists from all over the world. Each notebook is a standard A5 Moleskine notebook, but that's where the similarity ends. Artists have written, drawn, torn, manipulated, painted, constructed and deconstructed notebooks, making them into bespoke art objects in their own right. Each notebook has been kindly donated…

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November 2015

Inside Outside: An Exhibition by Isobel Egan

Thursday 5th November, 2015 - Tuesday 22nd December, 2015
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
Free

Riverbank Arts Centre presents Inside Outside, a new exhibition of work by ceramic sculptor Isobel Egan. Isobel has developed this series of wall mounted ceramic sculptures evoking themes of space, stillness and containment. Her aim through the sculptures is to pique the curiosity of the viewer and invite them to explore initially hidden aspects of the pieces. Inspired by space and architecture, she works with porcelain as the intrinsic characteristics of the material, its translucence and delicate paper-like quality enables…

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The Creative Well Presents: Artist Talk – Doireann Ni Ghrioghair

Monday 30th November, 2015 - 19:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
Free

Doireann Ni Groighair holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art in London. Solo exhibitions include After the Excess, Basement Gallery, Dundalk 2009. Her work is included in the special collection of Chelsea College of Art Library and The University of Ulster’s Permanent Collection; as well as private collections worldwide. Doireann's work seeks to undermine and subvert heroic monumental architecture and sculpture. Precision and exactness are disrupted with playfulness and pleasure and the monuments are denied their…

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December 2015

Inside Outside: Artist Talk with Isobel Egan

Friday 4th December, 2015 - 19:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
Free

Artist Talk with Isobel Egan, Frances McDonald and Alice Casey and Cian Deegan Join us for an evening of artist talk, inspired by Isobel Egan’s Inside Out Exhibition and the Year of Design 2015. Inside Out: Isobel Egan will discuss how her work draws parallels between the physical and the emotional aspects of life. Material Matters: Frances McDonald, will examine the changing role that ceramic art plays in contemporary art practice. Constructing Space through Pattern: Alice Casey and Cian Deegan…

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Joy to the World

Saturday 5th December, 2015 - Tuesday 22nd December, 2015
Free

An exhibition celebrating festive traditions from around the globe. This intimate exhibition comprises beautifully hand crafted Nativity scenes made from wood, precious metals, felt and even bread dough, alongside other seasonal artefacts. Now in its eight year, the collection includes items donated from consulates and embassies in Ireland and abroad alongside pieces specifically sourced for this exhibition. More than 30 countries are represented in this charming exhibition which will enchant both children and adults and provide an insight into the…

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Joy to the World Exhibition Launch

Saturday 5th December, 2015 - 13:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Join us for mince pies and other tasty treats for the official launch of Joy to the World on Saturday 5th December at 1pm. This intimate exhibition, curated by Susan Boyle,  comprises beautifully hand crafted Nativity scenes made from wood, precious metals, felt and even bread dough, alongside other seasonal artefacts. Now in its eight year, the collection includes items donated from consulates and embassies in Ireland and abroad alongside pieces specifically sourced for this exhibition. More than 30 countries…

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January 2016

Uchronia: An Exhibition by Sinead McDonald

Thursday 7th January, 2016 - 10:00 - Thursday 18th February, 2016 - 17:30
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

'Uchronia refers’ to a hypothetical or fictional time-period of our world, in contrast to altogether fictional lands or worlds. A concept similar to alternate history but different in the manner that uchronic times are not easily defined' – Wikipedia. These images form a series of real and alternate self-portraits, investigating how decisions, accidents, and circumstances can change us utterly. How do the things we do send us on different trajectories in life. How can something as trivial as a poster…

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Juniper: An Exhibition by Shona Shirley Macdonald

Saturday 9th January, 2016 - 10:00 - Tuesday 16th February, 2016 - 10:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

This fantastical exhibition by artist Shona Shirley Macdonald combines two atmospheric and richly detailed visual stories. The first is ‘Juniper’, which is a series of illustrations, depicting the protagonist Juniper and her companions searching through peculiar and threatening landscapes, trying to make sense of their world. First exhibited in Limavady, Northern Ireland in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, this is Shona’s first solo show. The second story is stop-motion animation ‘The Forest of Cake’, following the curious Grub…

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Sinead McDonald – Artist Talk

Friday 22nd January, 2016 - 19:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Uchronia and the Tachyonic Antitelephone both draw from Sinead's experience of grief and shame following the death of her son in 2000. She often uses her practice to explore this and other difficult and personal events, and has contributed to the First Fortnight mental health arts festival in the past, making two large scale pieces exploring public perceptions of mental health. Sinead will be joined by Eithne McAdam, visual arts curator with First Fortnight, for an informal discussion on these…

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Visual Arts: Juniper Opening

Saturday 23rd January, 2016 - 14:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Join us for a launch on Saturday 23rd December at 2pm – there will be a guided tour, illustration activities and treats. This fantastical exhibition by artist Shona Shirley Macdonald combines two atmospheric and richly detailed visual stories. The first is ‘Juniper’, which is a series of illustrations, depicting the protagonist Juniper and her companions searching through peculiar and threatening landscapes, trying to make sense of their world. First exhibited in Limavady, Northern Ireland in the Roe Valley Arts and…

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February 2016

Deadly Moons and Marvellous Mars Exhibition

Saturday 20th February, 2016 - Friday 1st April, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

With Deirdre Kelleghan The Deadly Moons and Marvellous Mars exhibition is a celebration of the wonder of the celestial bodies that lie beyond our skies! Deidre Kelleghan is an Astronomer, Artist and Educator. She invents and enacts creative workshops to help children understand our solar system and space exploration. Over the course of two of these workshops at Riverbank Arts Centre, Deirdre and the participating children will create a series of artworks inspired by their explorations of moons, Mars and…

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Éamonn Ó Modhráin 1881 – 1954 A Revolutionary Journey – Exhibition

Sunday 28th February, 2016 - Friday 18th March, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Kildare County Council Decade of Commemorations presents: Road to Rebellion - Éamonn O’Modhráin, Kildare and the 1916 Rising The O’Modhráin Private Collection Revealed Exhibition Launch and lecture on Éamonn O’Modhráin on Sunday 28th February Launch 7pm Lecture 8pm by Robert Doyle. Discovered by chance by family member Robert Doyle, Athgarvan in 2010 while clearing out an attic, the O’Modhráin family’s documents and personal effects are a collection of historical items which give a unique insight into Irish nationalism at a…

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April 2016

Visual Arts: Little Stories Little Prints

Thursday 7th April, 2016 - Saturday 30th April, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Little Stories Little Prints is a 1916 Commemorative Visual Arts Project through the medium of Printmaking. The project was devised and coordinated by Pamela de Brí in collaboration with the Leinster Printmaking Studio in Clane. She was assisted by Margaret Becker, Director and Manager of the studio. Fifty Printmakers from eight Printmaking Studios around Ireland accepted an invitation to participate in the project, which aims to create awareness of little known events or incidents during or around the time of…

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Visual Arts: Ciarán Burke A Tree for a Scoodoo

Friday 8th April, 2016 - Sunday 22nd May, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Two projects by Ciaran Burke, oneTree365 and Scoodoos celebrate the beauty and importance of trees. oneTree365 documents one year in the life of a tree, 365 photographs of a grey willow growing on a quiet country lane in Mayo. On that same lane the first Scoodoo appeared. Twig and branch sculptures are representations of individual Scoodoos, tree spirits that are reaching out to humans for their help to save the planet and their message is simple; ‘We need more trees!’…

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May 2016

‘In Courage’ An exhibition of artwork by contemporary Irish artists Maria McKinney, Pat Curran, Doireann Ni Ghrioghair and Mary Fitzgerald

Tuesday 3rd May, 2016 - Friday 27th May, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Curated by Bairbe Sámh, Mary Crowe Trueman and Petrina Hanlon as part of the Creative Well Curation Project 2016. This Exhibition is free and open to the public. McKenna gallery is an art gallery situated down stairs at the Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge. It is free admission and open to the public. All welcome to come in and have a look!!! The curation project is an exciting new adventure in visual art in Kildare, bringing together a group of participants…

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The Creative Well: Drawing Workshop

Thursday 5th May, 2016 - Saturday 7th May, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Free three-day drawing workshop for adults: 10am to 1pm on 5th- 6th and 7th May 2016 People will all levels of ability are welcomed as the workshop is aimed at beginners and at those who have experience! Over three days’ artist Dominic Thorpe will bring participants through many fun exercises that introduce and explore various exciting ways of drawing, for example: expressive drawing, observational drawing, representational drawing and gestural drawing. On Friday the 6th we will work with a professional…

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The Creative Well: Printmaking Workshop

Thursday 12th May, 2016 - Saturday 14th May, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Free three-day printmaking workshop for adults: 10am to 1pm on 12th - 13th and 14th May People will all levels of ability are welcomed as the workshop is aimed at beginners and at those who have experience! Over three days’ artist Emma Finucane will bring participants through the monoprint, and drypoint printmaking process. Drypoint is one of the simplest forms of Intaglio printing, the artist works directly on to the plate to create scratched surface that can then be printed…

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Artist Talk: Printmaking in contemporary art, Ireland

Monday 16th May, 2016 - 10:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

The Creative Well presents: Artists Emma Finucane, Louise Peat and Chloe Brennan in discussion on practice and printmaking in contemporary art, Ireland. 10am – 1pm. Monday 16th May, Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge County Kildare. Artists Emma Finucane, Louise Peat and Chloe Brennan will talk about their practice and open up questions about contemporary printmaking in Ireland today. There will be open discussion between the artists and audience, chaired by Carolann Courtney (Arts and Wellbeing specialist in Kildare County Council) Artists…

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Visual Arts: Orla Barry Otherworldly

Friday 27th May, 2016 - Monday 4th July, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

Orla is a painter whose work embraces the beauty of the natural world expressing its atmosphere of magic and enchantment. Inspiration for this exhibition has come from her most recent residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre. The fairytale aspect of the centre’s building and interiors and surrounding scenery appealed to Orla’s style of work and resonate with the essence of her paintings as their own individual mystical worlds. Orla Barry is an artist based in Bridge Street Studios, Dundalk. She…

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June 2016

Visual Arts: Gay Brabazon Ulysses

Thursday 2nd June, 2016 - Sunday 26th June, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

In an attempt to approach the un-approachable and go where the faint-hearted don’t go, Brabazon opened a pot of Quink ink, took a deep breath and dipped into James Joyce’s famous novel. 18 small images emerged and like a scattering of wedding pence, they invite you to take what you can catch and perhaps use it to enter the great adventure that is Ulysses. Gay Brabazon is a Curragh based visual artist. She studied at the National College of Art…

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July 2016

Visual Arts: Eoin O’Malley Borderland

Friday 8th July, 2016 - Saturday 30th July, 2016
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

The essence of Eoin O’Malley’s work as a painter is the energy he transmits in all of his images. Eoin’s source material is often found in the mountainous landscape around his home in Baltinglass Co. Wicklow but also in looking at astronomical phenomena and images of the world as seen from above. The title work of this exhibition ‘Borderland’ reflects the place he has arrived in his journey as a painter and also alludes to his ambition for the future,…

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Meet the Artist: Eoin O’Malley

Saturday 16th July, 2016 - 11:00
Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street
Newbridge, Ireland
FREE

The work in Eoin O’Malley's exhibition Borderland illustrates how much he has achieved in the past eight years since starting to paint with in 2008. In this behind the scenes presentation Eoin will show a short film about himself and his journey as an artist, demonstrating how he paints holding his brushes in his mouth. Then the audience will be given an opportunity to try mouth painting themselves, might not be as easy as you'd think!

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