Community of Faces.

August 30 - October 4 2003

Crawford Municipal Art Gallery presents "Community of Faces" by Robert Ballagh.

The exhibition brings together Robert Ballagh's most intriguing portraits, which span the artists' long career and his ongoing exploration of personal and public issues.

Central to the exhibition is the showcasing of Ballagh's new portrait of his late colleague and sometimes mentor, the artist Michael Farrell (1940-2000).

The collective exhibition of portraits form links with both Ballagh and Farrell's artistic ideologies, some of which have never been on public view before, such as the portrait of Gerry Adams. Other familiars of the Irish cultural landscape appear, such as Oscar Wilde and Parnell.

Through his practice, Ballagh has always been connected to the contemporary moment. He "experiences the historical past as an unstable ideological site where there are matters to be settled" Ballagh's engagement with contemporary and historical issues is reflected in a style of painting once coined "photo-realism". However, within the artist's expansion of his impeccable technique, the potential for the symbolic and the abstract is endless.

The self-portrait appears also among the myriad of faces, playing a role such as voyeur or trans-historical visitor, occurring in the unexpected manner that you might find in a Valazquez or a Goya.

A full colour catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Brian O'Doherty "Robert Ballagh's Community of Faces"