• Martina Galvin: Cubus

    11 March – 23 April, 2017

    The Butler Gallery was delighted to present Cubus, an exhibition of new sculpture by Martina Galvin.

    Martina Galvin’s work is involved with form and spatial awareness and can incorporate photography, installation, drawing and sculpture. The basic physical and conceptual elements in her work are light and colour, relating its dual physical presence as both strong and delicate at the same time. Her ardent passion for colour originates from her earlier painting background.

    Galvin presents evolutions of earlier sculptural works alongside a body of new work developed specifically for the Butler Gallery. This new work explored the use of industrial materials that includes painted steel, wood and acrylic. The installation titled Cubus was a series of repeated geometric forms painted in a range of dynamic colours. These immense squares stood directly on the floor and as a result forced the viewer to confront them according to their own, material existence. They invited us to contemplate space. Through them we returned to the purity of this simple revelation, that they, like us, inhabit space, disrupt space, contain space, define space, contextualize space and bring order to space. Despite their simplicity, they’re infinitely complex in their ability to challenge and engage us.

    The use of linear acrylic rods in many of the other works in the exhibition acts as a conduit to radiate light, line, colour and intricate shadow, all fundamental elements of her work. Galvin is interested in the ethereal, transient and sublime nature of light, its colour, and the many phenomena light creates all around us.

    The painter Paul Klee is noted for saying ‘drawing is taking a line for a walk’. Galvin successfully delivers this objective in a sculptural way using an economy of means that is wonderfully realised in the works that make up this exhibition.


    Martina Galvin completed a BA in Painting at NCAD and an MA in Fine Art Practice and Theory at Cardiff College Of Art, Wales, funded by a British Council Scholarship. Galvin has been exhibiting since the 1990s. She has travelled widely and been invited to exhibit in numerous large site-specific events in Finland, Australia, Qatar, Israel, Germany, Italy and New York. Galvin has had solo exhibitions at Pallas Projects, Dublin, Wyscodnia Gallery, Lodz, Poland and Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin. She has participated in many group shows nationally and internationally including Pallas Projects, Dublin; Rua Red Gallery, Dublin; Braid Arts Centre, Ballymena; the Glucksman Gallery, Cork; Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin; Sculpture in Kells, Kilkenny; and “Fractures, Lines and Light” at the Red Stables, Dublin.

    Galvin has been the recipient of numerous awards and bursaries from the Arts Council, including an individual award for her 5-year photographic project on the interior of Aldborough House. In 2015, Galvin received a significant Visual Arts Bursary Award for the development of her practice. She is included in many significant public and private collections. She is currently working on a commission for the interior of the UCD Sutherland School of Law, funded by McCann FitzGerald. Martina Galvin has a studio at The Independent Studios in Dublin where she lives and works.


    Anna O’Sullivan

    With thanks to the Arts Council for essential annual funding and to the OPW, Department of Social Protection and Kilkenny Local Authorities for additional assistance.


    Martina Galvin and Bairbre-Ann Harkin : Cubus from Culturefox.tv on Vimeo.