New exhibition is ‘worth a gander’

A new exhibition in the ‘Worth a Gander’ gallery in Drumshanbo is just that.             The gallery is located in a restored Church of Ireland school in Drumshanbo run by Helen Speckenbrink, a talented artist herself. She and her husband Erik, who manages the Lough Allen Hotel, have lived in Ireland for over 20 years, the last few in Drumshanbo.             The new exhibition will be opened by artist Sandra Vernon, well known for her pen and ink drawings and colourful lights, on Thursday 17th May at 7.30 pm. The majority of the work in this exhibition is inspired by the environment, the sense of tranquillity one gets from the Irish landscapes and our rich heritage. Among the artists showing for the first time in Leitrim are Honor Hales, Roisin Duffy and Bernie McAdam.             Honor, from Dublin and now living in Portlaoise, works in a variety of media including handmade papers, liquid enamels and canvas, allowing her to express herself freely using subjects from landscape, flora, fauna and the fantastical. Her collection of small trees, figures and colourful fish really has to be seen. Bernie is a native of Ardee in Co. Louth and has just returned there from Dublin. Themes such as environmental issues are a favourite topic but she likes to stimulate this visual dialogue in a humorous way, hence the appearance of forlorn looking cows and sheep in strange poses. Her work comes in a run of limited edition prints, which makes them extremely collectable.             Roisin, originally comes from Co. Cavan and now lives in Co. Monaghan. The landscapes she paints come from her own fertile imagination or from the memory of a place rather than the place itself. Her work also captures the bright innocent charm of a fairytale, so enjoy indulging your inner child while contemplating Roisin`s evocative pieces.  Two new craftworkers are also exhibiting, Maeve Coulter, originally from Cavan, produces a unique range of fashion accessories using traditional and contemporary feltmaking methods and Stephan Farnon from Benburb of Mhacha Pots which exude warmth, tenderness and a tangible confidence in their ability to function.             New artists to the gallery, but well known in their own right, are Rachel Quinn with her handbuilt ceramic pieces, full of character and originality; Malachy Costello, primarily a landscape painter, his work is based on the terrain of north Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo. Another new artist, Cathy Kelly recently returned to family roots from Monaghan paints beautifully soft and evocative landscapes.             Other artists who exhibit regularaly at Worth a Gander are Brigid Birney; Keith Richardson; Sandra Vernon. Sue Hill, Erika Marks; Brigid Beemster; Katy Wilson and more.             The exhibition will be opened by artist Sandra Vernon on Thursday 17th May at 7.30 pm at Worth a Gander Gallery, Church St, Drumshanbo. Everybody is welcome, if not on the opening night, then during the following weeks. For more information, contact Helen at (087) 2871480 or Sandra (071) 96 25276.