Making Marks with Markievicz-Part 2. Early October 2020.

At the commencement of our Making Marks with Markievicz group sessions, Lucina Russell, Arts Officer with Kildare County Council contacted us imparting some exciting news and a question! There was a budget available in the Kildare Municipal Art Collection fund to purchasing a new artwork…would our group like to select and suggest an new artwork to purchase for the collection? What answer would you give if you were asked that question?

So Settles the Night by Emma Stroude

Sometimes I have the habit of saying Yes and then worry about how I am going to carry out the new task I have taken on. Well, I did have a few fleeting thoughts about how a newly established group of 13 people might work to view, discuss and agree on a single artwork of choice.

We booked a local bus company to take us to the Kildare Gallery in Carton House where Emma Stroude’s solo exhibition entitled Curious was just completing its run. Our first field trip. We got off to a somewhat late and eventful start that early morning leaving Naas (on Friday 18th October) to select this work. Curious was a beautiful colourful exhibition with a variety of about 18 artworks, I think perhaps they were all oil on canvas

Some of Emma’s previous works were installed in the hotel itself and on the long corridor which runs between the gallery and the main reception area, possibly another 7 works. Having left the gallery we continued on this art trail to view all of her works on show, Emma’s last image was installed in the Kitchen Bar area.

Then it was time to have some coffee and scones, which were truly delicious, as we chatted about the works in order to select an outstanding favourite. We agreed on our number one and selected a second choice as an alternative to put forward to Lucina in the Arts Service. Our first choice was The Red Flag 2019, oil on canvas. Dimensions 50cm x 50cm and second was So Settle the Night 2019, oil on canvas. Dimensions 40cm x 100cm.

An exciting and eventful trip on many counts. We got word a few weeks later that Kildare County Council Arts Service had in fact purchased both of our selected works. There was a great sense of connection from the group to Emma’s work. I wonder if we get to select and host an exhibition of works at the end of this project, will one of Emma’s be chosen?