Dubai Landscapes

“Reflective Beauty”
Gulf News 20 Nov 2007

“A joyful celebration of the city’s lifeblood.”
Khaleej Times 12 June 2008

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Khaleej Times- City Times, Thursday, June 12, 2008

Niamh Cunningham’s artworks are a stunning evocation of life around Dubai creek

Vijay Dandige – contributor

 

She developed a special affinity for the creek of the city. She would wander down to the abra station from her BurDubai home and linger there, taking in the sights, colours and sounds of the place. She would hop onto an abra and cross the creek two or three times, along with the souk workers and other creek crossers. She was such a frequent presence that abra owners and souq vendors took to calling her “sister”.

But Niamh Cunningham was neither an ordinary abra- commuter not a camera –toting tourist. A painter of the city, she has immortalized the Dubai creek in a series of breathtaking evocative paintings. The smoke belching, chugging abras ferrying commuters from one bank to the other. The gentle ripples across the creek water. The melee of seagulls swooping down to devour crumbs thrown by a bystander. The soft evening light casting shadows across the buildings – a stunning sense of place and time. A joyful celebration of the city’s lifeblood.

Her rendering of the serene splendor of the Dubai Creek is currently on display at the Grosvenor House Hotel at Dubai Marina. Titled Al Khor and Beyond, the exhibition, from which continues till June 15, features about 20 big and 15 small canvases, containing the creek series as well as landscapes of the Emirates.

This is Cunningham’s second solo exhibition in Dubai. In November her first exhibition titled In Vivo- The Creek Series was showcased at Art Attack Gallery in Jumeirah. In reviewing her work, art critic Mohammed Al Jazairi said “ A journey between two shores is what is addressed in most works by Niamh Cunningham. Water is ever present and people are almost always crossing the creek. These two features give the work an existential and philosophical dimension. It is as if she is summarizing the philosophy of life by borrowing the framed, in more ways than one, scenery and somehow producing a metaphorical substitute about the trip where all passengers leave one shore to go to another. It is this shore, her subjects’ destiny, where the artist finds a safe and secure spot from where she can work and observe. What gives the paintings their allure is the skirting around fate rather than directly dealing with it. The journey, not the destination, the passage, not the arrival. A moment seized, opportunity awaits, expectation looms”

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Cunningham started painting in school where her teachers encouraged her to continue. But she didn’t take it up seriously until she came to Dubai five years ago, after staying in England, South Africa, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

She came to Dubai with her journalist husband and her son. “Dubai is a vibrant place. I have somehow found myself here. I know what I should do with my life and it is a valuable knowledge” she said.

She became fixated with the creek when she used to take her son there. “It reminded me of previous locations, I used to live in Hong Kong and I loved the harbor. Around Dubai Creek such a grand sense of life, far removed from the clinical malls. It just seemed such an authentic place” she said. “Also doing a series of paintings about something helps you learn about it, whether it’s the subject matter or the technique. And I’ve learnt quite a lot from that place.”

To get the sense of place, she said, she has set aside a day every week during winter to go down there. “Often I was not very productive at all and I would just walk and observe, noting things down. I often made verbal notes on visual scribbles, particularly if I didn’t bring my colour pencils” she explained. “There are times when the place looks purely magical. The creek is a vibrant place of life, an affirmative symbol of life. It is the magic of the place and particular moments that I have tried to capture.” Her landscapes in contrast, portray a sense of solitary expanse, some just touched by the narrative of progress.

Cunningham has also participated in public art projects of painted sculptures displayed about Dubai such as the Arabian Horse and Flight of the Falcons, projects organized by Artworks. She is also excited about certain new developments in the city. “I think the creek makes Dubai special. And now they are bringing waterways around the city. And I really look forward to working on those waterways,” she said.

She pointed out that this affinity for local area has had an impact on the rest of her life. “In this new era of environmental awareness I believe it helps me make better lifsstyle choices that are greener” she said. “I now need to find a way to help make this a little more accessible through my work”  She also has a big dream  to go off to the Amazon and paint there. “ I really need to grasp environmental issues in a useful way and I will strive to get there.”

Cunningham said she was glad that she became fascinated by the creek because it pulled her into this commitment to explore relationships with place and location. Painting gives me the opportunity to be sincere and put aside the cynicism of contemporary life” she said. “But I think maybe even a bigger reason is that when I’m working I have this knowledge that I am not wasting my time. It’s a simple and positive affirmation of what I do”.

 

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Niamh Cunningham- Bio 。。。个人简介-倪芙瑞莲
Link to newspaper coverage -Carlow Nationalist (click on image)

In Her Eyes, F&E 100x100cm acrylic on canvas, 倪芙瑞莲Niamh Cunningham 2019

Recent ‘China-Ireland’ exhibition Shanghai Nov 29th 2019

China Ireland exhibition at MUSEu&m, Shanghai , opening Nov 29th

Current Sculpture project HongFangzi ShaWan Sichuan
‘Whirls in the Old’ in New York at the exhibition ‘1919’

1919-Whirls in the Old Terezin acrylic on canvas 30x30cm Niamh Cunningham 2019

Gobi Heaven Art Festival August 2019

Participating in the International Artists program for this exciting event in the Gobi Dessert

Group Exhibition , Hamilton Gallery , Sligo, Ireland
Granary Art exhibition SiShui Shandong June 2019

Granary Art Exhibition SiSHui , Shangdong June 2019 click on image

Swim Duck Video …30 sec clip of original work recently shown at Bloomsday event at Embassy of Ireland Niamh Cunningham 2019
clip from Swim Duck video Niamh Cunningham 2019

Clip from 'Swim Duck' Video by Niamh Cunningham 2019

Group exhibition in Sishui, Shangdong 正在展出

Granary Art Museum , Sishui, Jining , Shandong

April /May 2019 in Budapest 近期展出匈牙利

Currently showing in Budapest Aprli- May 2019

Wandering Rocks series of portraits 游岩系列
Talk on James Joyce at Bookworm with prof Fu Hao 乔伊斯座谈会
Aritst Talk on James Joyce at Beijing Bookworm

Talk on James Joyce at Bookwork Beijing April 2019

RTE interview on preparing for upcoming group exhibition 2 min clip
Web Of Fabulous Grass – Sucrose Series Click on image for Artist Profile English &简体中文
Artist talk at Beijing Geely College Dec 11th 2018
Map and Territory project Nov -Dec 2018 at Beijing Geely University
Map and Territory

Map and Territory

Current Events 正在展出

 

即将展出:

*2019年11月装置中国—红房子首届国际户外装置创作营在乐山沙湾红房子开营 …开始阶段

 

正在展出:

2019年11月”中国 爱尔兰  MUSEu&m , 上海

 

最新动态:

*2019年11月装置中国—红房子首届国际户外装置创作营在乐山沙湾红房子开营 …开始阶段

 

*2019年8月*Gobi Heaven- August 戈壁。天堂-八月

*2019年7月”1919″ 爱尔兰  Sligo -Hamilton Gallery  

*2019年5月“胜日寻芳“ 山东济宁市泗水等闲谷艺术粮仓美术馆

*2019年4月-5月在匈牙利首都布达佩斯

*2019年4月”奥德赛——回归”群展2019年4月13日在东岳美术馆开幕。

*2018年11月-12月“地图与疆域”国际艺术邀请展 北京吉利学院

*2018年11月-12月“纸上·至上”展览,韩国光州市立美术馆北京创作中心

*2018, 10月中欧国当代艺术全球巡展·上海

2018, 9月-10月“纸上·至上”展览,沈阳市拓•空间,

2018, 6月-11月诗人叶芝日,爱尔兰,斯莱戈(SLIGO),汉密尔顿艺术画廊

*2018年8月 淮阴艺术馆提名展,淮安市

*2018, 8月 “纸上·至上”展览, 鄂尔多斯,

*2018 , 6月30日 济南“国际抽象艺术展”

*2018 , 6月17 日 纸上•至上2018 在青岛,

*2018 , 5月20 日存在-国际女性艺术展,湖南长沙,

*2018 , 4月21 日延缓的时间,4月21日-29日,红门画廊,798艺术区

*2018 , 4月20 日 挖掘,,和画廊,来鹏高尔夫俱乐部

*2018年4月-12日 挖掘, , 展览,悦美术馆,北京798艺术区

*2018年2月-3月深圳观澜版画艺术区,5个星期驻地项目

*2018年1月28日-3月3日,《红&果》,流浪美术馆融空间,新年主题艺术展,北京中关村融科资讯中心

*2017年12月,中外视觉艺术湖南展,湖南长沙梅溪新天地梅溪书院.

*2017年12月末至2018年1月末, 《时间之外》主题艺术展, 北京中关村融科资讯中心

*2017年12月, 形质与叙事, 形质与叙事, 东岳美术馆

 *2017年12月,广州新造当代艺术中心,纸上·至上 纸艺作品群展.

Upcoming Exhibitions

* Sculpture project in HongFangzu , Shawan, Sichuan , begining phase Nov 2019

Current Exhibition

*China Ireland exhibition at MUSEU&m, near the Bund , Shanghai, Nov 29th 2019

*1919 – Group Exhibition (Hamilton Gallery) in New York, Irish Consulate

*1919 – Group Exhibition Hamilton Gallery , Sligo , Ireland July – September

Recent  exhibitions:

*Gobi Heaven Art Festival , Inner Mongolia , August 2019

*A piece of Cotton Paper  9th floor gallery Songzhuang June 15th

*”Winning the Day ‘ Granary Art Centre,  SiShui , Shandong, May – June 2019

*Beyond the form of Art , Wick Art Centre , Budapest, Hungary may 2019

*Odyssey The Return ; group exhibition at Dong Yue Art Museum, Beijing  in April

Map and Territory Art IRRCA at Beijing Geely College Nov 20- Dec 20 2018

*Thousands of Sprouts, an experimental online exhibition – by Elizabeth Ross  Nov 2018

* On Paper Supreme, Gwangju Art Museum Beijing Creative Centre Songzhuang Nov- Dec 2018

*China Europe Internaitional Contemporary Art Global Tour Shanghai Oct 2018

*An Irish Airman foresees his Death – Hamilton Gallery Sligo, Ireland June – Nov 2018

*On Paper Supreme, Extension Space, Shenyang, Liaoning,  Sept 16th – Oct 21st  2018

*Artist Nomination Exhibition, Huaiyin art gallery, Huai ‘an shi, Jiangsu, July-Aug 2018

*On Paper Supreme, Ordos Culture and Art Centre , Inner Mongolia , Aug 17th – Sept 10th  2018

*International Abstract Art , ChungChuen College, Jinan, July 2018

* On Paper Supreme, QingDao , Tiantai Art Centre, June 2018

* Existence , International Feminist Art Exhibition,  Mezzi Bookstore Art Space , Changsha

* Excavations 20 April-4th June  He Gallery, Golf Club.

*’Mortgaged Time’ 21st- 29th April at Red Gate Gallery , 798 Beijing  April 21st

*’Excavations’ 12-18th Enjoy Museum 798,  Beijing   preview 5 pm 12th April

* 5 week residency at Guanlan Printmaking base , Shenzhen (Feb-March 2018)

*Lunar New Year theme exhibition “Red Fruit” showing at Raycom IT centre, Zhongguancun,  28th Jan continues to March 3rd, organised by RoveArt , supporting the Female Protection Fund.

*Chinese & Foreign Visual Arts Hunan,  at the Meixi Academy Book Complex, Changsha Dec 26th to Jan 26th 2018.

* ‘Beyond Time’  Raycom IT Centre, Zhongguangcun, Beijing Dec – Jan 27th  2018

*”Qualitative Phase and The Narrative” Beijing Film Academy Triennial Exhibition at Dong Yue Art Museum, Beijing, curated by Li Zhen till Dec 18th 2017…………………………………………….

 

-.On Paper Supreme made its final exhibition for 2018 in Beijing Songzhuang opening Nov 16th
Group exhibition Hamilton Gallery, Sligo Ireland,
Hamilton Gallery Sligo - Lonely Impulse 2

A response to WB Yeats poem 'An Irish Airman Foresees his Death'

Group show Oct 27th Shanghai Bund 27 The House of Roosevelt House , the Bund Shanghai
Recent ‘At your Leisure’ Summer exhibition Jiangsu “悠游“——淮阴艺术馆
exhibited in Jinan curated by Ma Yi Ying
With curator Guo Zhen at the opening of Existence in Changsha , exhibition continues till end of July 2018

和策展人郭桢在开幕式《存在》

简体中文Artist Interview & Profile for the Art Project ‘Existence’
Group exhibition at Red Gate in April 2018 focussing on antiwar poet Ingeborg Bachmann
Niamh Cunningham 'Bachmann Girl' 2017

Artwork for poster is 'Bachmann Girl' 100x100cm Acrylic on Canvas by Niamh Cunningham 2017

Excavations showing at Enjoy Museum 798 April 2018

Excavations , a cross collaborative exhibition showing contemporary art by Chinese and Irish artists , showing in Enjoy Museum, 798 , 2018.4.12

Very honoured to have Irish Ambassador Eoin O’ Leary visit Chinese New Year exhibition “Red & Fruit”

Irish Ambassador Eoin O'Leary with subway paintings at Raycom Centre exhibition Feb 2018

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