Art and edibles

ARTIST Aidan Butler is currently exhibiting in The Gallery at Mountmellick Library and those interested in viewing his work have the chance to do so until the end of April.

ARTIST Aidan Butler is currently exhibiting in The Gallery at Mountmellick Library and those interested in viewing his work have the chance to do so until the end of April.

Aidan is a self taught artist and as well as doing a lot of drawing as a child, also painted intermittantly in the 80’s and 90’s, occasionally doing a commission or designing theatre posters. Aidan said that the more he painted, the more confident he became, and after getting a solo show in Bank of Ireland’s Art Centre, followed by a state commission for Ennis Hospital, both in 2001, he decided to apply for professional artist status under the artist exemption scheme, which he obtained in late 2001.

Aidan has had several solo exhibitions since 2001, and numerous group exhibitions. Recently in 2007, 2008 and 2010 he had work accepted into the Royal Ulster Academy’s annual exhibition in Belfast.

Aidan said of his work that he tries to keep his paintings spontaneous, and not give up every secret at first viewing. “I frequently don’t know what I’m going to paint when I approach a canvas, and after applying some paint a picture may suggest itself to me. It’s at this risky stage where the painting is made or not. Mostly it works at some level, and I have the beginnings of a painting, and somrtimes it’s a disaster and I scrape off the paint and start again”.

Aidan added that he loves the sensuousness of thick paint, and the way it catches light. “As the paint layers build up, the layer underneath affects the layer above and one gets unexpected results. I enjoy this way of working as I don’t know what’s going to happen next, and the skill is in recognising if I have achieved that enigmatic quality I always strive toward”.

The exhibition will run in The Gallery until the end of this month. Aidan will be back in the library for a painting demonstration on Tuesday April 24, after a succecssful session earlier this month. The workshop will run from 10.30am until 12.30pm and from 2pm to 4pm. Participants must bring their own easel and paints for the workshop. Booking is essential and both events are free.

Elsewhere in Mountmellick Library, as part of the Bealtaine celebrations they are inviting people to take part in their Eat a Book contest, which is part of the annual worldwide Edible Book Festival. All people have to do is simply create an edible book.

Entry is free. The only rule is that the item entered must be edible and must not require refrigeration - so no icecream please! It must be inspired by a book in some way – through shape or content. It can be a pun on a title, refer to a scene or character, look like a book, or just have something to do with books.

All entries should be brought to the library between 9am and 10am on Friday May 4. Judging will commence, tea will be drank and most importantly cakes will be eaten. This year’s judges are a tough culinary lot, comprising Eunice Burns from The Rose Room Bistro, Maggie from Maggie’s Sandwich Bar, Nora O’Reilly from Nora’s Cake Shop and the manager of Super Valu, Mountmellick. Prizes will include lunch vouchers for all of the above cafes and sumptuous edible goodies from Supervalu. For more information contact 057 86 44572.