Fine Art Exhibition is a Family Affair
A Father and daughter artistic team from County Roscommon are the creative forces behind a new exhibition which has opened at Hyde Bridge gallery in Sligo.
‘Earth and Water’ is an exhibition of painting, photography and installation by James and Sally Maidment from Keadue, and seeks to convey and explore their fascination with skill, place, identity and experience.
Both artists are graduates of the Fine Art department at IT Sligo. Sally graduated with a diploma in Fine Art from the former Sligo RTC in 1999, while dad James was conferred with an honours degree in Fine Art in 2016.
Father & daughter team James and Sally Maidment are both Fine Art graduates of IT Sligo. Today, Sally works as visual artist through a range of media including: drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, animation and film-making. She has comprehensive experience working in the arts, higher education, community and health sectors.
‘I am very excited to have this opportunity to exhibit with my dad and to display our individual responses to shared interests side by side,” said Sally. “This will hopefully provide the visitor with a unique opportunity to reflect on achievement and skill.”
While both studied Fine Art at IT Sligo at different times, they did attend art classes together in the 1980s. “I’ve drawn and sketched all my life,” says James.
“After a lifetime following various career paths, I finally had the opportunity to follow my dream and attend art college at IT Sligo where I graduated with a BA (honours) in Fine Art (painting) last year.”
Three generations of the Maidment family
Through a series of portraits and installation elements. James’s work focuses on a group of men he worked with in rural Sligo, hedging & ditching the roads in the late 1980s.
“I believe that there is no better way to measure a man’s character, than to work alongside him,” he explains. “The exhibition pays homage to the men’s physical skills and their stories which reflected their deep connection to and understanding of the locality, its history and inhabitants.”
Sally’s photographic work for the exhibition documents the final training session of a young team of rowers from the Bormla rowing club in Malta, where she previously lived for a time. The young rowers trained daily to defend regatta titles won by their fathers and grandfathers.
Both artists have a deep respect for manual skills that are developed over a period of time, and the fruits of joint endeavour that are manifested through the efforts of each group of men, at different stages of their lives.
The contrast between the younger men on the brink of manhood and the difficult choices that people make – and the older gentlemen who have experienced the highs and lows that life provide the central theme for the exhibition.