Sean Kelly Gallery is delighted to announce our forthcoming exhibition: callum innes|colm tóibín, water|colour. The opening reception and book signing will take place on Wednesday, December 15th from 6-8pm. Both artists will be present.
For the first time in the gallery’s history, we will mount an exhibition that will focus on a collaborative project between an artist and a writer. Works on paper by the Scottish painter, Callum Innes, will be exhibited alongside text by the Irish writer, Colm Tóibín, excerpted from a short story (inspired by Innes’s watercolours) that was specifically commissioned by the gallery.
The gallery introduced Innes and Tóibín in February 2010. A long-time admirer of Innes’s work, Tóibín spoke at length with Innes about the artist’s watercolours during their initial meeting. They subsequently continued their conversation at Innes’s studio in Edinburgh this summer. As their creative connections became apparent and their friendship grew, the gallery asked Tóibín to write an essay in response to Innes’s works on paper, a request that led to Tóibín’s powerful short story water|colour. After reading Tóibín’s text, Innes created a new body of watercolours based on it. The resultant exhibition will include this new “block” of 101 watercolours by Innes and excerpts from Tóibín’s story.
Innes’s new works on paper are comprised of ethereal squares of complexly layered colour painted on paper with the dexterity and sensitivity for which the artist has become known. The visually charged edges of the squares reveal glimpses of the individual colours in their pure form, giving the viewer an understanding of how the layers interact to create the finished work.
Tóibín’s water|colour tells the story of Nora, a middle-aged housewife struggling with the recent death of her husband and its effect on her family. Tóibín elegantly weaves a poignant tale of loss, depression and, ultimately, the promise of healing, placed against the backdrop of the unique colours of the Irish shoreline. The exhibition will afford a rare opportunity to see Tóibín’s original writing journal in which he committed to paper the first draft of his ideas for the story.
A full colour, 232-page book, which includes reproductions of all of Innes’s 101 watercolours as well as Tóibín’s text, will be published in conjunction with the exhibition and will be available for sale in early December. Innes and Tóibín have agreed to sign copies of the book at the opening reception.
Additionally, six unique, signed, hand-bound books, each of which includes five original watercolours by Innes and the newly commissioned story by Tóibín, will be available. Each book is named after one of the principal characters in Tóibín’s water|colour and is signed by both artists.