Linenhall artist residency named in honour of Veronica Bolay
The Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar announced the appointment of Bryan Gerard Duffy as artist-in-residence last week for a new residency which will see the artist develop a site-specific artwork in the building.
The four-week residency has been named the Bolay Residency in honour of visual artist Veronica Bolay who sat on the Board of Directors for a period spanning 13 years. Bolay, who passed away earlier this year, was an avid supporter of the arts and is remembered fondly and highly respected by all at the Linenhall. She is remembered for her contribution to the artistic community in Mayo and for her kind and generous nature amongst her peers.
‘Gracious, kind, warm and generous are the words that are repeated again and again in our own conversations about Veronica as we knew her not just for her distinguished career as a visual artist but as a friend and supporter to the team here for many years,’ said Director, Bernadette Greenan. ‘We believe that the Bolay Residency, in its support of an up-and-coming artist, will allow us to commemorate Veronica as she should be in the years to come.’
Former Linenhall Director, Marie Farrell, who worked with Bolay for many years said: ‘Veronica Bolay was a great artist and she was also a very fine human being. In her many years of voluntary service as a member of the Board of the Linenhall Arts Centre, her gentle, firm presence always ensured the work of the artist was at the centre of every decision made. I think it's fitting that the Linenhall honours her by ensuring that, once again, the work of the artist is at the core of this Residency.'
Bolay was an acclaimed visual artist and a member of Aosdána and the RHA Gallery. Her work formed part of a pioneering 1978 exhibition of women artists held in the Project gallery in Dublin where she exhibited with, among others, Camille Souter and the late Mary Farl Powers. She showed regularly at the Hallward, Rubicon and Paul Kane galleries. Alice Maher says of her work: ‘The ‘quiet poetry’ of her work is often written about, but it is the singular focus and absolute dedication she had to her own personal visual language that I think of. She never once passed up an opportunity to help or encourage a younger artist, and this residency aims to fulfil that legacy in the best way possible, by providing time and space for an artist to focus solely on their work.’
The Bolay Residency will take place at the Linenhall over a period of four weeks with Duffy developing a personal reflection on events during the lockdown, his family legacy with Duffy’s Photography (1912), and a conversation on the importance of the arts as a survival (protective) mechanism during this period. The work will adorn two walls in the building with the intent to further initiate dialogue around visual arts in the building and to stimulate visitors and staff in considering the space in which they exist.
The residency will run until September with a launch of the artwork set to take place later this year.
Pictured at the official opening of the Exhibition "Reclaiming the Serpent" by Caroline Hopkins Conloon Castlebar in the Linenhall Art Centre Castlebar, from left: Veronica Bolay, Sean Ó Healaí, Caroline Hopkins, and Cllr Blackie Gavin, Mayor of Castlebar Town Council. Photo: © Michael Donnelly 2005