Ulrike Crespo’s West Cork ‘Rainflowers’ at Blue House Gallery, Schull

FOLLOWING the current show by gallery artists entitled ‘Islands’, Blue House Gallery continues its summer programme with a solo exhibition of ‘Rainflowers’ by photographer Ulrike Crespo, while the upstairs gallery features work by textile artists Julia Zagar, Christina Jasmin Roser and Sukey Sindall. Ceramacist Kathleen Standen’s work will also be on show. The exhibitions run from 16 May – 5 July, with the opening at 6pm on Friday 16 May.

Ulrike Crespo is a German photographer whose West Cork home of 25 years is her inspiration, and more, provides the raw material for this fascinating photographic project. Using a unique process of her own devising, Ulrike takes flowers from her beautiful garden and, using an old office machine, composes colour photocopies that are put outside where the rain is allowed to break up and mark the image in ways that are unpredictable and painterly in effect.

Ulrike constantly checks these developments until the image provides the visual qualities she requires; they are dried, scanned and reproduced as large prints of stunning impact and beauty. Despite the time-based nature of their creation, the immediacy and physicality of these works provoke a visceral response to the ephemeral nature of flowers, and the way in which they evoke recognition of the delicate balance of growth, maturity and decay.

Ceramacist Kathleen Standen’s vessels are made of coloured porcelain with organic additions, which she cuts, breaks and sometimes re-joins to create work that resembles fragments of the West Cork coastal landscape. Rock strata, water in its various moods and wild flowers, together with tools of the fishing trade such as floats, buoys and winches, are just some of the influences reflected in her textures, colours and glazes.

Julia Zagar has created a ‘garden’ of fantastic blooms that reflect the glory of the natural world and focus on the sheer exuberance of what she sees around her. Using textiles as a painter would use paint, she layers and hand stitches to provide depth, tone and shading, playing with patterns and colours, and rejoicing in the splashes of magic that happen unexpectedly when patterns collide.

Christina Jasmin Roser is a felt maker who is passionate about this ancient craft and fascinated by the process of manipulating loose wool fibres with only soapy water and her hands to transform them into a sturdy material. Her exhibits in this show will include garments incorporating elements of print and made from a single piece of felt without the use of scissors, needle or thread!

Sukey Sindall is inspired by the beauty of West Cork, and combines the textures, colours and patterns of reclaimed fabrics such as chiffons, organzas, silks, and cottons to evoke the captivating essence of the natural environment. Using an applique technique she has developed herself, the fabrics are cut, placed onto calico and hand-stitched into place in a process both exciting and rewarding.

Jo Howard has always been drawn to the textures and patinas of salvaged textiles and this is usually the starting point of her creations. From her travels around the world she has collected materials ranging from exquisite hand-stitched saris to woven rugs from hill tribes in India and since returning to Ireland has been collecting  old woollen blankets in order to preserve this piece of textile heritage in the pieces that she creates.

For more information about the exhibitions, please visit www.bluehousegalleryschull.com