Exhibition – Luke McMullan, "Those who wander...", New Paintings | 11-31 July.

Exhibition – Fran McCann, New Paintings | 5 - 26 September, 2014.

Exhibition – Bernard Canavan, New Paintings | 21 November  – 10 December, 2014.


 "Those who wander...", New Paintings | *11 – 31 July, 2014.

Luke McMullan




Galway based artist Luke McMullan’s introduction to art came about from writing graffiti in the 90s; it was then that he adopted the pseudonym ‘Stix’.

Through his self-taught artistic journey he has discovered that his ideas and mental images, difficult to describe with words, are most easily expressed and communicated through his use of visual art.

He hopes that those who view his art don't feel constrained by the titles of his paintings but rather ‘explore their meaning in your own imagination’. Although he doesn’t paint on walls anymore, graffiti is the foundation of the art he makes today.  He always looks forward to completing each new piece of artwork, experiencing its evolvement in the creative process, assured that someone will continue enjoying it.

An exciting collection, Luke’s first solo exhibition outing, will be held at the Kenny Gallery, Liosbán, Tuam Road, Galway this summer.

*The exhibition runs from Friday 11th July for three weeks, but there will be an official launch by Noeline Kavanagh (Artistic Director, Macnas) on Thursday 17th July at 6.00pm.


Opening hours:  Monday – Saturday, 9.00 – 17.00hrs - all are welcome.


'Pink' (c) Luke McMullan, 2014

Luke McMullan, “Pink”, Acrylic on Canvas, 30x20in © 2014




New Paintings | 5 - 26 September, 2014.


 Fran McCann


Born in Belfast in 1945, Fran McCann grew up in a large working class family. From an early age he displayed a remarkable talent for drawing and his first piece which was drawn at the tender age of five is still exhibited in his old primary school. He learned a trade as a bricklayer but his real passion was for art, this became manifest in every aspect of his life.

Fran is a great lover of music and this has provided much of the inspiration he needed for his own work. Musicians such as Jazz legends Myles Davis, John Coultrane, Barney Kastle and Kenny Burrell have been a big influence on him, as have Pink Floyd, The Chieftains, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Ray Charles and especially Van Morrison. Morrison is a very special influence as he too grew up in the same era and surroundings as Fran and indeed they shared many special days together playing music in Belfast in the early 1960's.

Fran's first solo exhibition was held in The Kenny Gallery in 2005. The exhibition contained a series of musical images, smoky, atmospheric, cool confident, full of movement and colour. The rest of the show was made up of a series of journeys of the imagination.

Fran McCann has developed a highly personal and recognisable style, producing paintings of enormous energy and passion.

He is versatile, and constantly experimenting, and has produced work in pastels, oils, watercolours, wood, clay, as well as working in graphic design, animation and commercial advertising.

An artist with considerable depth, he has exhibited many times not only in Ireland, where his work continues on long-term display at the Kenny Gallery in Galway, but also abroad: in Australia, Italy, Turkey and Germany; he has also been awarded many prizes, among which, recently, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Art Exhibition “Traces of Memory” held in Ferrara in November 2008 and the Michelangelo Buonarroti Award presented to him in Lecce in December 2008 by the Brindisi “Italia in Arte” Cultural Association.

“Although he studied for a short period under such a great master as John Luke, McCann has preferred to follow his own personal path without being restricted by rules dictated by specific studios. Guided by an ardent and inventive sense of creativity and endowed with technical ability and innate talent, over the years he has been able to develop an individual and personal pictorial language through which he expresses his imagination and interprets his emotion; spurred by his inner world but also by the real world which is present all around and fascinates him, this results in compositions in which the formal elements of colour and music combine with great force and energy.

In his paintings Fran McCann creates particular atmospheres in which the traces of his Celtic and, possibly even more so, his musical culture shine through powerfully and intensely, and from which he draws amply to create subjects bathed in atmospheres, fragmented by backgrounds of colour quickly applied with the spatula, that give rise to suggestions and rhythmic colour vibrations. The artist himself loves to point out how the musical component, fundamental to his life since an early age, has become an essential element to a deep understanding of the vibrant and intensely moving effects of his art. Indeed, it is easy to hear musical notes from artists such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Van Morrison and many others, drifting out from his studio in Gort.

We cannot help but be drawn by the mystical and spiritual dimension of Fran McCann’s works that project us inside the artist’s inner, personal world but, driving us beyond the aesthetic reading and towards the sphere of spirituality, lead us also to confront our own intimate feelings and emotions in a fascinating dialogue with the unconscious.

The thick impasto colour, the quick brush mark that defines the contours of his subjects, the rhythm that pervades his works, all contribute together to create results of great charm, so that from the background onwards we are on a pictorial journey full of diverse sensations and vibrant emotions.” 

Text: Paola Trevisan


 (c) Fran McCann, 2014

Fran McCann, Towards High Street, Galway, Oil 18x14in



New Paintings | 21 November  – 10 December, 2014. 


Bernard Canavan 

Bernard Canavan’s paintings are figurative and deal with Irish and emigrant life; in particular of the make do life of Irish people in the UK in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  In this exhibition, which could be described as social realism, we see the pain of women and men, girls and boys, leaving home for an unknown destination for the first time and records the change they felt moving from rural Ireland to the big anonymous atomised city. We see the indignity of the boat train, the apprehension of the new arrivals, the harshness of the building sites, the limited horizons, the crowded pubs where men went ‘home’ to drink their dinner, how big men were worn down. This was a different world where men did not always look after themselves, a world of subbies, piece work, being ‘on the lump’, of tunnels and motorways, of smokey dancehalls, of isolation and sometimes of heroic lives.

Bernard Canavan grew up in Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, in the 1950s. Illness prevented school attendance, but he read and drew pictures at home. He emigrated to England in 1959 with his father and worked in the usual unskilled emigrant labouring jobs on construction sites and in factories. He returned to work in Dublin as a graphic artist with a display and advertising agency before finally settling in London as a free-lance illustrator for most of the 1960s underground press: Oz, International Times, Cyclops, Black Dwarf and magazines such as New Society, Peace News and Tribune. He had two solo art exhibitions in London and won the Lowes-Dickenson medal and scholarship to Europe followed by a State Mature Scholarship to Ruskin College Oxford 1971-3, where he read for a Diploma in Social Studies, and after that a degree in ‘Politics, Philosophy and Economics’ as Worcester College, Oxford. 

Image (c) Bernard Canavan, 2012 

Bernard Canavan, 'Pub Lodgings', Oils on Canvas, 2012 


Since then Bernard has taught Irish and European history at various London colleges and has had a number of solo and mixed shows in Britain and Ireland: 
May 2003 'The Backward Glance'  at the Irish cultural Centre, London
November 2004 'Nurses and Navvies: Remembering the 60s London Irish' also at the centre.
March 2006 'Over the Water' an exhibition of paintings at The Gallery, Willesden Library 
March 2007 'Scenes from a Receding Childhood' Longford County Library  
June 2007 'Ireland and the Irish' exhibition at the Excel Centre, Tipperary Town
October 2007   'Ireland and the Irish' an exhibition on Irish identity at Cork City Library
November  2007 'The Streets of London' at the London Irish Cultural Centre Gallery.
February 2008 ‘Encountering the Future’ at the Dublin City Library and Archives, 
March  2008     Exhibition of paintings on the theme of  Irish Identity at the London City Hall.
November  2008 ‘The Faithful Departed’ at the Irish Cultural Centre, London
September 2009 ‘Changing Times’ Dublin City Library and Archive 
March 2010  ‘Emigrant Ireland’ Seven Gallery, Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds 
July 2010 solo exhibition at Environmental Summer School and Arts Festival, Lanesboro, Co Roscommon opened by Brian Keenan.
March 2011 Solo exhibition of paintings at the Irish Club Tudor Street, London 
May 2011 ‘Pictures of A Vanishing Ireland’  Laois Bealtaine Festival, Portlaoise, Co Offally. 


2009-2010 ‘The Quiet Men’ A touring exhibition of paintings by five Irish artists at the Pitshanger Gallery, Ealing opened by Fergal Keane, the ‘Celtic Fringe’, Liceo de Noya,  Santiago de Compostela, Spain  (2009), and Villanova University Art Gallery Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA (2010). 
My work in public collections: Limerick University;  Ruskin College, Oxford; Longford County Council, Libraries Department; and in many private collections. 
They have also been the subject of the film documentary ‘Half Lives’ in 2009 by Anna Bowman which was premiered at the Tricycle Theatre Kilburn;  and featured on Ireland’s TV3 Channel, in a two part documentary, ‘The Forgotten Irish’ broadcast in 2010 and repeated in 2011.


Other events, to be announced…

including Kennys offering for

Heritage Week (August),

and for Culture Night (September).


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