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Exhibit A: Nothing's too square when Eilis is around - Sophie Gorman reviews Wall & Plinth in The Irish Independent

Eilis O'Connell 'The Square Inside'

Eilis O'Connell 'The Square Inside'

Twisting and turning, light bounces off its reflective curves and it resembles a tear drop fallen out of this blue sky.

Derry artist O'Connell uses a wide range of materials in her work and the results range greatly in scale, but all share developing themes of geometry, archaeology and architecture.

And this distinctive sculpture features in a major exhibition of contemporary sculpture, 'Wall & Plinth', opening next Thursday at Dublin's Peppercanister Gallery, www.peppercanister.com.

O'Connell is just one of a number of important artists on display and her piece will be joined by works by the well-respected likes of Sonja Landweer, Carolyn Mulholland, Graham Gingles and Robert Janz, who will be exhibiting cast bronze versions of one of his delicate mixed-media figures. Work will vary from the figurative, by John Behan, Breon O'Casey and Robert Janz, to the abstract, by Michael Warren.

This show will also have the premiere outing for two major pieces by succesful Argentinean artist Adolfo Estrada.

And the gallery will be exhibiting the work of two Irish artists for the first time; established ceramicist Deirdre McLoughlin and budding sculptor Sharon Lynch.

Heaney's Tribute To Basil's Earthy Works - Basil Blackshaw HRHA And Carolyn Mulholland RHA Reviewed By Ciara Ferguson In The Irish Independent

THERE IS something about Basil Blackshaw's paintings that makes you covet them, something that touches the core of childlike imagination and wonder.

Northern Irish artist Blackshaw is an original, one of our greatest painters whose personality and work, by extension, exudes integrity. He is a romantic in the high sense, whose understated brilliance is not measured by success in a fickle art world, though he has this, but by his own uncompromising standards.

His emotionally intense subjects are supremely self-contained, from Josie's Pony to Jack's House to a lone sheep, to mysterious nudes or mischievous angels. Incidentally, Jack is Basil's five-year-old step-grandchild whose drawings inspired part of this show.

Seamus Heaney , who opened the show at the Peppercanister Gallery, beautifully describes Blackshaw's work as the earth and its creatures, its game cocks and blood horses, its green sward and its glary sheughs, its imaginative writers and its sexual beauties, its lurchers and its loved ones all these things have been richly basilised, as it were, blackshawed into pigment, turned into an element that is as rich as the muddy banks of the Bann valley and as recognisable as Basil's own gleeful personality.''

In addition to those already mentioned, three glorious still lifes on board hang side by side and are painted with what look like musical notes or hieroglyphics.

Showing alongside Blackshaw is fellow Northern Irish artist Carolyn Mulholland. Mulholland's well-thought-out sculptures, mainly in bronze, have an idiosyncratic quality. An unusual four-foot bronze sprouting flower is reminiscent of the rarity of the cactus that flowers for a day, and her bold incongruous group of figures is also arresting.

* Basil Blackshaw HRHA and Carolyn Mulholland RHA show at the Peppercanister Gallery, 3 Herbert Street, Dublin 2, until July 15.