Teeling Whiskey x Hang Tough: Dublin Is Exhibition

‘Dublin Is’ Exhibition is a collaborative showcase between Teeling Whiskey and Hang Tough Contemporary that celebrates Dublin by showcasing 20 Dublin based artists from the Hang Tough Contemporary Gallery. This is an exhibition that explores what Dublin means to the artists and the works are an interpretation of feeling, memories, love, connection or whatever ‘Dublin Is’ to each artist. Exhibiting artists have shared this meaning through their own practice. Dublin is so many things to everyone, this exhibition shares what Dublin is to the artistic community.

The exhibition was launched in the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Newmarket Square in Dublin in 2022 and due to it success resulted in a permanent placement in the Distillery. In keeping with Teeling Whiskey’s social sustainability efforts a portion of the proceeds went towards local Dublin Charity, Shannon’s Hopeline. The works produced by local Dublin artists can be seen in the Teeling Whiskey Distillery and tell the journey of Dublin, it’s past, present and future.

Starry Plough – Sean O’Rourke

“The Starry Plough is a symbol of the working class is rooted in the experience of the working people in Dublin. The Plough can be seen throughout the city in the form of statues, plaques and flags. Its origins can be traced back historically to the Irish Citizen Army, an organization that was initially formed to defend strikers against police brutality during 1913 lock-out, and subsequently took part in the 1916 rising. The Starry Plough flag was revealed in 1914 and was adopted by the ICA and later became attached to other social movements, particularly regarding working-class struggles. During the 1916 rising the flag was raised above the imperial hotel, which was the property of the old rival of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union, William Martin Murphy. Considering its origins, this is significant as it signals links back to previous movements the ICA’s intentions in the rising.”

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Safe and Guilty – Kurt Opperman

Kurt is a visual artist living and working in Dublin. His interests draw on the history of painting and the processes involved in constructing an image. Colour and Form play a certain role in the creation of his works

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Orbital – Neil Dunne

“I wanted to use abstraction to explore the liminal space, to decipher, or complicate the matric in whiskey I was trying to resolve. Forms, Colour, and Balance all come into play when building this world on board. When asking myself what Dublin Is? I returned to the current concept of engaging through a vivid conversation of oil, paint, and artist. I tried to find balance amongst the forms, embracing architecture and the vocalization of the street and meandering of our journeys all play a fundamental role in defining Dublin”

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Through The Looking Glass – Paul McGrane

Paul takes inspiration from past and personal memories about family and places he spent time in while growing up. Through painting, Paul uses colour, shapes and motifs, The outcome leads to vague imagery of landscapes and interior patterns that seem both familiar and otherworldly

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Machnamh – Mary Martin

Machnamh, translating as wonder, reflection or contemplation, depicts a landscape inhabited by figures who are present and absent. In response to what Dublin Is to the artist, Martin reflected on the surreality of returning to her native Dublin, A realm where ambiguity and the unknown triumph and where time no longer makes sense as she resonates with her past selves. In Machnamh she creates an otherworld, where despite the familiarity of landscape reality has been warped.

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Stinger & Healer – Hazel Coonagh

“This piece draws on the nostalgia of growing up in Dublin and nivagating the duality of a hard and soft environment. This is depicted through natural elements that trigger memories of my adolescence. Nettles and a large dock lead are stitched through the empty spaces of the figure, filling in lapses of consciousness and recollection. As kinds we spent a lot of time outside, whether out on the street inventing games, or devising adventure and exploration in our local park by the Tolka. We took full advantage of the outdoor spaces available to us and they would us may a life lesson along the way. Nettles were everywhere. They were symbolic of caution and areas that were ‘out of bounds’ (i.e. exactly where kids want to check out). A brush with the stinging leaves was like a wright of passage. Particularly bad versions of which were swapped amongst friends. My neighbour taught me that where there were nettles, there were dock leaves close by. We would track them down and wrap the big, gentle soothing leaves around our arms and ankles and continue on. Today, I can’t look at a bush of nettles and not bee flooded with memories from 90’s Dublin.”

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Boy Looming Out of Window at Night – Fergal Styles

“Boy Looking out of Window at Night is an image charged with the sentimentality, melancholy, and moody introspection I associate with the suburban landscape of my childhood”

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The People Make the Place – Ciara Lee

“Returning home to Dublin after years living abroad has given me fresh eyes. I am experiencing the city now as a new exciting place, full of possibility. The good natured, easy going attitude of the Irish is a rarity in the world and should be treasured”

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Shape Salad – Ellen Duffy

Ellen’s work ‘Shape Salad@ abstractly explores what Dublin Is and the juxtaposition of how it looks vs. the internal political chaos. A gesture starts a conversation of relationships that take place within the confines of the surface’s edge and interplaying layered shapes, textures and colour. It is a container of expression and a series of moments in time. Black borders sandwich in layers of vibrant, chaotic shapes and gestures. It is an expression of what Dublin can feel like at times. It is home, it is a sense of pride and belonging along with a feeling of frustration and hopelessness in what this city is becoming

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Brutal Recollection – Robyn Carey

“It’s a piece remembering my love for Dublin’s Central Bank Building and its brutalist architecture, which formed the basis of my NCAD textile design degree collection in 2015. I chose this because this body of work was probably the first time I considered myself an artist, and also the first time I found my own style as an artist. Although it’s always evolving, my work still comes back to this first starting point, texture, geometric shapes, pattern, a sense of movement and abstracting the world around you combined with your thoughts and feelings. I wanted to revisit this work now as a painter, and give a sense of a dream like memory, looking back to that experience and how it affected the way I think, create and make work. My memory, in general of this time and most memories is a little hazy and askew, there are always very strong visuals and feelings but the timeline and some details are often missing or imperfect. I wanted to bring that across in the painting and the title is in direct reference to this also”

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Persistence – Saoirse Groves Murphy

“Created as a reflection on the persistent feelings of nostalgia that occupies the liminal spaces of Dublin City, certain streets and building with their unchanging shapes have held their integrity as sites of passage to earlier childhood memories.”

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T-Shirt Weather – Kevin Flynn

“My ‘Dublin Is’ piece is based on a real man I saw in my estate in Ballyfermot. The man had a parrot and his shoulder and a dog by his side and was completely unselfconscious. Dublin and especially Ballyfermot has always felt slightly surreal to me and full of colour, this painting was created to represent that feeling”

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Dublin is a Group Effort – Carl Hickey

“Space and the captured by filming the world around me on my phone. My work depicts everyday life and differs from situation to situation. Translated from recordings to paintings, the instinctive decision to first capture something is then set in stone”

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Car Park -Brid Higgins Ni Chinneide

This church car park is near where I grew up and not far from where I currently live. The church shown here, with its dominant dome, has been significant in my life. In Dublin spaces that are designated for one thing are often used for another, the church car park is now a commercial car park, but it also functions as a recreation area and even a temporary home for some people. The dome of the church came from Glasgow, but it was intended for a church in Russia. I like how all of this reflects the haphazard way in whiskey cities evolve”

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Golden Hour – Eileen O’Sullivan

“Since I made this painting, construction has started on the site shown in Dublin 7. The wooden hoarding, that was so beautifully lit up at golden hour,  has been replaced by a stronger, more practical, metal fence, cranes spin high and the building has been demolished. Dublin, for me is a place where I can practice art, it has a vibrant art culture. The constant changing and development of land or older buildings is something that I notice a lot in my circles of creative friends and colleagues. Artists often use buildings at the stage before redevelopment for studios. I think that’s why I wanted to paint this hoarding and old building – to document and reflect on the feeling of rapid change in Dublin at the moment.”

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Lane Behind the Flats – John O’Reilly

The Current work describes pedestrian walks around infrastructures built to support vehicles. Imposing monolithic-like environments of asphalt and concrete, of fuel tank farms, carparks, edge lands, and motorwatys. Without official architectural represent daily activities, perhaps daily future alteration or demolition.”

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Here and There – Matthew Coll

“Here and There depicts an everyday moment aiming to evoke a sense of experience of ‘Being’. Combining elements of chance, spontaneity and control to pursue a simultaneous harmony and conflict between points of representation, distortion and abstraction. Inspired by how our attention tends to flitter between areas of focus, whilst the peripherals remain out of reach”

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Obendientia Civium Urbis Felictas – Alastair Keady

“The heraldic motto of Dublin is about as wide of the mark as you can get Dublin citizens were never inclined towards obedience, even at their happiest. The burning castles’ meaning are debated. Including the metaphorical suggestion that the flames represent the zeal of Dubliners. I opted to lean into the idiosyncratic branding of the city, but formally guided by the proportions of the canvas. I’m old enough to remember the skyline of the city without the chimneys. That they are now redundant heritage artefacts, and popular contemporary brand of the city just reinforces that the city is an ever-evolving reflection’s of the people who live here, and their unmediated engagement with their city”

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Autumnal Scene – Kevin Judge

“Dublin One Euro and Twenty Seven Cents, September 17, 2022. Somewhere along Camden Street”

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Dublin is Day Dreaming – Zsolt Basti

Basti is a Hungarian painter who has been living and practicing in Ireland since 2005. During this time, he has masterfully developed and honed his craft, resulting in a unique and instantly recognizable style that truly captivates his observers. Basti graduated with a BA in Fine Art from the  Insitution of Art, Design, and Technology Dun Laoghaire. He has exhibited in galleries such as the RHA, Pallas Projects and the United Art Club. His Paintings have been included in art collections by the RCSI Anatomy Room, IADT, as well as numerous international and national private collections.

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The exhibition was launched in the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Newmarket Square in Dublin in 2022 and due to it success resulted in a permanent placement in the Distillery. In keeping with Teeling Whiskeys social sustainability efforts a portion of the proceeds went towards local Dublin Charity, Shannon’s Hopeline. The works produced by local Dublin artists can be seen in the Teeling Whiskey Distillery and tell the journey of Dublin, it’s past, present and future. Book a tour of the award-winning Teeling Whiskey Distillery to see them for yourself.

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