Concerning The Other – Project Launch – 22nd May 2017



The concept for this curatorial project is that in these days of uncertainty, conflict, mounting racism and intolerance, artists can take a lead in promoting diversity and showing concern for minorities and for refugees from areas of conflict. The curators believe that a collaborative project where artists must respond to and take account of each other’s work is particularly relevant at this time.

Ten selected artists have been invited to develop an initial image which will then be emailed on to the next artist in the group. The second artist will respond to it by working over it or manipulating it in some way and then emailing it on to the third artist who will also respond to it and pass it on. The process will continue until each of the ten artists have worked on each of the ten images.

This will be a very creative and engaging experience for the artists involved, each gaining a lot from encountering and engaging with the varied working methods and creative processes of the other artists. The outcome will be 100 collaborative artworks, each piece constituting a new artwork at each stage. High quality prints of the final 10 artworks will be printed as well as a selected number of ‘in-between’ prints. This selection will be exhibited in a curated exhibition at the Olivier Cornet Gallery in September 2017.

Each artist has also been asked to exhibit an individual artwork for the exhibition – either a newly developed piece or an existing work, in any medium, responding to the theme of Concerning the Other or in response to their collaboration in the project.

Crowd funding is also a part of the project, an element which is there to primarily raise awareness for the project as opposed to raising a large amount of finance. The main costs of the project will be the printing of the final artworks for exhibition.

We chose Fundit.ie, an Irish online organisation, and the project launched there on Tuesday, 9th May. Here is the link : 


Have a look at the awards. It would be wonderful if you could join us in this project by pledging your support for the work of 10 artists. You’ll also get a real insight into the creation of the collaborative works.

The curators plan to tour this exhibition to other venues in Ireland and internationally.

Invited Artists participating in this project: Brian Fay, Claire Halpin, James Hanley RHA, Joanna Kidney, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Miriam McConnon, Kate Murphy, Ben Readman, Gail Ritchie and Susanne Wawra.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ConcerningtheOther

Above: Initial Images from Gail Ritchie and Susanne Wawra

Citadel Series: Fort Leavenworth at Elevation – Winter Group Show at Olivier Cornet Gallery until 29th January


Fort Leavenworth I – II, Oil on Gesso, 37cm X 57cm, 2016

The two paintings above are from the Citadel Series of paintings I began working on in 2016 – in this series of  paintings, images and locations are isolated from source and context like sets and props suspended in time through paint without context as to their significance as elements in a complex narrative of our contested history. Rendered in a dreamlike aesthetic as if viewed through the lens of a surveillance drone, the indefinite liminal locations of three notorious whistleblowers were explored – Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Edward Snowden in a Moscow airport and here above Fort Leavenworth the military prison where Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment for leaking diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, one of the largest breaches of classified material in US history.

In a timely development and welcome decision – today Barrack Obama in the last days of his presidency has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence. She had been scheduled to be released in 2045 and now will be released on 17th May 2017. President Obama in his final press conference said Manning had served a tough prison sentence and that “justice had been served”.


The exhibition Elevation – Winter Group Show at Olivier Cornet Gallery has been extended to Sunday 29th January.


Olivier Cornet Gallery
3 Great Denmark Street, Dublin 1
Opening hours:
Tues to Fri: 11am to 6pm (till 8pm on Thursdays)
Sat & Sun: 12 noon to 5pm
Closed on Mondays (or viewing by appointment only)

FB: Olivier Cornet Gallery
Twitter: OC_Gallery





Elevation – Winter Group Show at Olivier Cornet Gallery – Opening Sunday 18th December at 3pm


Olivier Cornet Gallery at VUE Art Fair at the RHA – 3rd-6th November


Olivier Cornet Gallery is participating at VUE – Ireland’s National Contemporary Art Fair will take place at Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin from Thursday 3rd November to Sunday 6th November 2016.

18 of Ireland’s leading contemporary art galleries will participate in this year’s fair, representing some of the best-known names in Irish visual art.

Galleries participating in Vue 2016 include Cross Gallery, Molesworth Gallery, Stoney Road Press, Hillsboro Fine Art, Green on Red, Eight, Peppercanister, Graphic Studio, Fenderesky, Kevin Kavanagh, Gallery of Photography, Solomon, Olivier Cornet, Gormleys, Jonathan Ellis King, Gibbons and Nicholas, Oonagh Young Gallery and Art Box.

Ireland’s most talented visual artists will compete for the biggest prize in Irish contemporary art at Vue 2016. The €5,000 Vue Contemporary Art Prize presented by Savills will be awarded to the artist who has produced an outstanding body of work in the last year or made some other substantial contribution to the visual arts in Ireland.

Olivier Cornet Gallery and its artists will be presenting a themed group show for Vue 2016 inspired from the very famous poem ‘Elevation‘ by French poet Charles Baudelaire who in March 1866, 150 years ago, suffered a massive stroke and that year marked the end of his creative genius. He was to die a year later. The poet inspired so many other artists of his generation, poets, musicians and painters like Manet.

Artists: Annika Berglund, Hugh Cummins, John Fitzsimons, Jordi Fornies, Conrad Frankel, Bradley Gray, Claire Halpin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Miriam McConnon, Yanny Petters, Kelly Ratchford, Freda Rupp and Adrienne Symes.

Opening hours are 6-8pm on Thursday, November 3, 11am-8pm on Friday, November 4, 11am-7pm on Saturday, November 5, and 12-6pm on Sunday, November 6.

VUE Art Fair                        http://www.vueartfair.ie/

Olivier Cornet Gallery      http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/


Drawing Installation and Video Projections at Olivier Cornet Gallery until 2nd October

Last weekend of Glomar Response – my solo exhibition at Olivier Cornet Gallery. Alongside the new series of paintings  there is a stop-frame animated video – Drone Test – a drone flight test created using a semi-autonomous drone constructed by the artist using micro-aviary which is the study of the flight patterns of birds informing the current development of micro semi-autonomous surveillance drones.

There is also a drawing installation site-specific and integrated with the Georgian architecture of the Olivier Cornet Gallery which references an ancient Greek painting contest…

According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, Zeuxis and his contemporary Parrhasius (of Ephesus and later Athens) staged a contest to determine the greater artist. When Zeuxis unveiled his painting of grapes, they appeared so real that birds flew down to peck at them. But when Parrhasius, whose painting was concealed behind a curtain, asked Zeuxis to pull aside that curtain, the curtain itself turned out to be a painted illusion. Parrhasius won, and Zeuxis said, “I have deceived the birds, but Parrhasius has deceived Zeuxis.” This story was commonly referred to in 18th- and 19th-century art theory to promote spatial illusion in painting.

Olivier Cornet Gallery, Denmark Street, open this weekend:

Saturday 12.00-5.00pm

Sunday 12.00-5.00pm


Glomar Response Solo Exhibition at Olivier Cornet Gallery continues until 2nd October



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My solo exhibition Glomar Response opened at Olivier Cornet Gallery on 11th September with a great crowd of assembled artists, friends and family. Brian Fay, Artist and Head of Fine Art at DIT officially launched the exhibition and both eloquently and insightful responses to the new work. See images above.

The exhibition continues at Olivier Cornet Gallery until Sunday 2nd October.

Olivier Cornet Gallery
3 Great Denmark St, Dublin 1
+353 (0)87 288 7261

Opening hours:
Tue-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat-Sun 12-5pm, Monday closed, by appointment only.

About the exhibition title: GLOMAR RESPONSE
In United States law, the term Glomar Response refers to a “neither confirm nor deny” response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The Glomar Explorer was a large salvage vessel built by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for its covert Project Azorian – an attempted salvaging of a sunken Soviet submarine in 1974. Aware of the pending publication of a story in the LA Times, the CIA sought to stop the story’s publication and devised the “Glomar Response”. So as not to divulge to the Soviet Union either what the CIA knew or did not know, the response read: “We can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the information requested but, hypothetically, if such data were to exist, the subject matter would be classified, and could not be disclosed.”. The original text was written by Walt Logan (pseudonym), Associate General Counsel at the CIA.The Glomar Response precedent still stands, and has bearing in Freedom of Information cases today.
“Glomar” is the abbreviation of Global Marine, the Howard Hughes company commissioned by the CIA to build the Glomar Explorer.


The Lashkar Gah Drive-in – Claire Halpin/ Madeleine Hellier at Sculpture in Context 2016

Sculpture in Context 2016

8th September – 21st October 2016

National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9

Experience art beyond the museum wall when Sculpture in Context takes up residence in the National Botanic Gardens. Follow the sculpture map to discover art everywhere; flowering in the herbaceous borders, hanging from the trees, floating amongst the water lilies and appearing out of the undergrowth.

Delighted to have been selected for Sculpture in Context 2016 in collaboration with my sister Madeleine Hellier. Our artwork this year is The Lashkar Gah Poppy Field Drive In installed in the Plants for People section of the Curvilinear Range.

The Lashkar Gah Poppy Field Drive-In

The building of the Kajaki damn on the Helmand River in Afghanistan was the biggest engineering project in Afghanistan. It was built by American companies in 1951 during the Cold War to help Afghanistan modernise and bring the country into the US sphere of influence

The capital – Lashkar Gah became a model town, built to American designs with electric lights and tree lined avenues and became known as “Little America in Afghanistan”. The Americans brought their families, swimming pools, Santa Claus and the Lashkar Gah Drive-in movies. As Afghanistan experimented with modernity and technology, a great future seemed within touching distance.

However the bitter lake created from the rise of the water table behind the Kajaki dam, an unexpected consequence of the dam’s construction, and the increasing salinity of the soil in the surrounding agricultural areas allowed one crop in particular to thrive and flourish in the saltier earth – the opium poppy. And thus Afghanistan became the largest producer of opium poppies in the world – a very beautiful plant on the outside but whose innards produce a lethal substance, a cash crop for terrorist groups and a threat to global security.

This artwork recreates The Lashkar Gah Poppy Field Drive-In and surrounding poppy seed heads in resin, the colour of poppy resin in reference to its ominous history. Visitors to the Botanic Gardens will encounter this artwork as a curious sculpture comprised of somewhat contradictory elements – beautiful poppy heads cast from clear resin and amber coloured resin overhanging a model of a drive-in, installed in context amongst the tropical plants providing a natural backdrop and amphitheatre for the work.