Cecilia Danell


Mise en scène – Cecilia Danell and Eamon O’Kane

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Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris

17th September – 31st October 2021

Centre Culturel Irlandais is delighted to present Mise en scène, a joint exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculptural works by Swedish artist Cecilia Danell, who is based in Ireland, and Denmark-based Irish artist Eamon O’Kane. Both explore encounters with landscape. Their approaches upend romantic notions of nature as untended wilderness by drawing attention to human activity, be it in the shape of decaying remnants, architectural constructions or treasured trees. Places become imbued with artifice in a dialectic relationship with the environment which these works represent in all their theatricality.

Irish Culture Night 17 September,
5.30pm: Artist Talk
6.30 – 8pm Opening reception
8pm Gig in the courtyard with Cecilia Danell’s band A Lilac Decline (featuring Cecilia Danell, Brian Kelly and Keith Wallace)

Exhibition from Saturday 18 September – Sunday 31 Oct 2021


RHA Annual Exhibition Award winner and shortlist

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I’m really delighted to be the recipient of the ESB Moran Award and Silver Medal for an Outstanding Artwork in the 190th RHA Annual Exhibition. The award is kindly sponsored by ESB Networks Ireland in memory of painter Sean Keating.

In the Birch Plantation, oil and acrylics on canvas, 95×130 cm, 2019.

I am also honoured to be one of five shortlisted artists for the RCSI Art Award in association with the Irish Times. Past winners of the award include Remco de Fouw (2016), Miranda Blennerhasset (2017), Amelia Stein (2018) and Mary A Kelly (2019). I am shortlisted alongside Dominique Crowley, Colin Martin RHA, John Rainey and Niamh Smith. The award winner will be announced in December. The RCSI Art Award was established in 2016 to celebrate the common heritage of RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland) and the RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy) and the long-standing association between art, medicine and well-being.

Link to view the RHA annual exhibition online: 190th RHA Annual Exhibition viewing room


Arts Council acquires ‘The Octopus Salt Lick’ for their collection

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I am delighted to announce that the Arts Council of Ireland have recently acquired ‘The Octopus Salt Lick’ from my August solo exhibition at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery for the Arts Council Collection. www.artscouncil.ie. The Arts Council Collection has been acquiring exceptional works of Irish art for 58 years and counting. It is one of the most important collections in Ireland. Because the Arts Council aims to support artists as well as engage the public, all of the pieces are being collected while the artists are still alive and working.

‘The Octopus Salt Lick’ – oil and acrylics on canvas, 120×120 cm, 2019.


Swab Barcelona Art Fair 1st – 15th October 2020

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Kevin Kavanagh presents Cecilia Danell, Diana Copperwhite and Vanessa Donoso-Lopez.

Swab Virtual Edition 2020 www.swab.es

The protection of Swab participants is our top priority, and therefore, exploring formats and ways to respond to the new reality, we proudly present an exclusively digital edition.

Swab has created a 3D virtual environment through which visitors can walk the corridors of the Italian Pavilion as if they were at the physical event, and can do so through any mobile device or computer, without having to leave home. Immersive technology and artistic quality are two of the distinctive qualities of this new edition which, from October, will be accessible to everyone via a free, international App.

At the same time, for the second consecutive year, Swab will have online coverage of Artsy, which will present the artistic proposals of the edition on its digital platform.

As this is an extraordinary edition, Swab 2020 will be held over two weeks, from 1 to 15 October 2020, and up to 70 international galleries will take part.


I set a Bait for the Unknown – Kevin Kavanagh (solo exhibition)

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‘The Light Falls’ – oil and acrylics on canvas, 130×170 cm, 2019.

6th – 29th August, Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm.
The artist will be present in the gallery from 12-7pm on Thursday the 6th August.

Cecilia Danell’s paintings are organic, magically playful and densely rich; however, they are also curiously geometric and linear, working off layers of constructed plains and improvised riffs. The artist understands the weight of colours and their manual application. She has been experimenting with different coloured grounds, underpainting the canvas in washes of pink, blue and green. These ghosts of colour infiltrate the atmosphere and character of her depicted scenes. Here and there, we observe references to photography, echoing the distortion of snapshots, demarked by blue borders. Moreover, there is a filmic quality to her paintings, as if she is using the richly saturated hues of early Technicolor to destabilise ‘the real’. Like celluloid film, coated with a light-sensitive gelatin emulsion, Danell’s painted layers find joy in the luminous material properties of oil paint. Diluted mineral spirits seep downward and into the warp of the canvas, resisting sections of thick impasto, rendered in seemingly effortless brushstrokes. Pushing the paint around, wet on wet, occasionally hard and dry, she senses the paint itself, its plasticity, flow and reticence, as it changes from pigment to pigment. Rather than building up the composition in full layers, she works on small sections, preserving and abstracting the drips, with this dappled under-painting becoming another colour map. Borders mark the interrelationship of colour and form, revealing contractions that echo the artist’s deep reading of place. Danell has the confidence in her work to make seemingly counterintuitive decisions. She is making new discoveries as she proceeds, and these are evident in her painting.
Extract from the text ‘I set a Bait for the Unknown’ by Sarah Searson.

Recent exhibitions include:’In a Landscape’ (solo) at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Dublin (2019), ‘Winter Wanderer’ (solo) at Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2019), ‘Futures – Series 3 Episode 2′ at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), Dublin (2018), BEEP Painting Biennial, Swansea, UK (2018), ‘The Last Wilderness’ (solo) at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon IE (2017) and Galway Arts Centre IE (2017). Residencies include Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (2020) and the Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale, Norway (2016). She was a 2017 recipient of the Arts Council Next Generation Award and has received several Arts Council Bursaries and Project Awards as well as the Visual Artists Ireland & Suki Tea Art Prize (2019) and the Wexford Arts Centre Emergence Award (2011). A publication on Danell’s work with an essay by Sue Rainsford was launched in March 2017. Her work is represented in the collections of the Office of Public Works, Trinity College Dublin, Kelly’s Hotel, Rosslare, Wexford County Council, Galway County Council and Motala Municipal Council, Sweden as well as private collections in Ireland, UK, Sweden and Norway.

Kevin Kavanagh
Chancery Lane
Dublin 8
+353(0)1 475 9514


Lockdown Series – online exhibition

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Kevin Kavanagh Gallery are running a series of online exhibitions in the viewing room on the gallery website. From the 20th May – 2nd June I will be showing a series of notebook watercolours made at home during lockdown.



London Art Fair 22nd – 26th January 2020

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Kevin Kavanagh Gallery will present work by four gallery artists at the London Art Fair, Islington in January. They are Cecilia Danell, Joe Scullion, Stephanie Deady and Margaret Corcoran.
You can find Kevin Kavanagh Gallery at booth P19 in the Art Projects section of the fair. For further information see the London Art Fair WEBSITE.


Our Choice Our World – Dunamaise Arts Centre

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‘Our Choice Our World’ opened in Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise Co. Laois on Friday 4th of October. The exhibition was curated by young students of 5th and 6th class from Scoil Bhride Primary School in Mountrath Co. Laois. These young creatives selected art works from Kevin Kavanagh’s new Store Room feature on the gallery’s website. There was great discussion and debate before the students came to their final selection. Topics of interest included landscape, place, animals and the environment and this is reflected throughout the exhibition.
The exhibition runs until the 9th November.

Thanks to Dunmaise Arts Centre, Laois Arts Office and Creative Ireland Laois for funding the exhibition and making the project possible.

Selected Artists: Dermot Seymour, Stephen Loughman, Paul McKinley, Kathy Tynan, Nevan Lahart, Ulrich Vogl, Cecilia Danell, Oliver Comerford, Diana Copperwhite, Paul McKinley, Sonia Shiel, Robert Armstrong and Michael Boran.

‘January Stream’ Cecilia Danell.


Skylight 47 poetry magazine

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I was recently invited by the editors of West of Ireland-based poetry magazine Skylight 47 to be featured artist for issue 12 of the magazine and I was very happy to accept. It was launched on the 8th September and features my painting ‘Inside a Shadow’ on the front and back cover as well as a few more of my paintings throughout the magazine. Issues are on sale through their website and are also available from Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway and Books Upstairs, Dublin.


Centre Culturel Irlandais & Arts Council

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I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been awarded a 2 month residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and The Visual Artists Ireland Suki Tea Art Prize which funds the residency. I can’t wait to live and work in the centre of Paris and view lots of art. Thank you to Centre Culturel Irlandais, Suki Tea and Visual Artists Ireland for the opportunity!

“Visual Artists Ireland and Suki Tea are delighted to announce Cecilia Danell as the winner of this years Suki Tea Art Prize.

As winner of the Suki Tea Art Prize Cecilia will have a two month, fully-funded, artist residency at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, including flights, accommodation, studio space, a monthly stipend, and superb networking opportunities. The prize aims to provide artists with an opportunity to respond to a new environment and develop new work.”

I’m also very happy to have been awarded a 2019 Bursary from the Irish Arts Council which will fund my work for the coming year. I look forward to getting stuck into new work and research after a busy few months of exhibitions and am very grateful for the support!


In a Landscape – RHA (solo exhibition)

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14th March: Opening Reception 6-8pm.

27th March: Ashford in Conversation, Cecilia Danell and writer Sue Rainsford

Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA)
Gallagher Gallery, 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland

Gallery Opening Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 11am – 5pm
Wednesday LATE opening: 11am – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5pm



Eyes peeled – eight artists to watch in 2019

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I’m delighted to have been named by critic Cristin Leach as one of eight artists to watch in 2019.

Read the full article at: https://www.rte.ie/culture/2019/0129/1026177-eyes-peeled-eight-artists-to-watch-in-2019/


Winter Wanderer – Kevin Kavanagh (solo exhibition)

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Kevin Kavanagh Gallery
Chancery Lane,
Dublin 8, Ireland.
+353(0)1 475 9514.

Opening hours:
Tues – Fri 10.30 am – 5.30 pm
Saturday 11 am – 5 pm

(Sunday & Monday Closed)


Claremorris Gallery

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Artist Wife



Futures Series 3 Episode 2 – Royal Hibernian Academy

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Island Life – Westport

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Kevin Kavanagh Gallery offsite.

25TH October – 25th November 2018
Custom House Studios & Gallery
Westport Quay

A conversation with some of the artists will be held on Thursday the 25th October at 5.30pm.

Sonia Shiel, Nevan Lahart, Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Kathy Tynan, Aileen Murphy, Marcel Vidal, Stephanie Deady, Stephen Loughman, Lesley-Ann O’Connell, Cecilia Danell, William O’Neill, Pat Byrne, Salvatore of Lucan, Robert Armstrong, Mark Swords, Dermot Seymour, Julia Dubsky and Joe Scullion.

Island Life will have it’s second outing later this month in Custom House Studios Gallery, Westport. The exhibition will include some new works by previously exhibited artists as well as the addition of Nevan Lahart, Aileen Murphy, Dermot Seymour, and Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

Painting exists in an increasingly sophisticated visual world that sometimes seems to have a diminishing interest in the possibilities of paint. Island Life is concerned with the idea that, within the medium of paint there are opportunities for the individual to question the situation we live in and the resources we share. The paintings in this exhibition address the human condition and each of the artists suggests the capacity of the medium of paint to encompass both personal and universal concerns.


BEEP Painting Biennial

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I’m delighted to have been selected to exhibit in the 2018 Beep Painting Prize exhibition at Swansea College of Art, Wales. Part of the city-wide Beep painting Biennial. Judges for this year’s prize show were Andrew Stitt and Sue Williams. Launched in 2012, beep (biennial exhibition of painting) is a contemporary painting prize drawing artists from all over the world. Beep supports imaginative and vibrant practice in contemporary painting & returns with an expanded programme of satellite painting led exhibitions, residencies and symposiums around the main prize show in partnership with Swansea galleries and educational organisations.


Kevin Kavanagh Gallery

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Summer Group Exhibition 2018
5th – 28th July
Opening Reception Thursday 5th July at 6pm

Sonia Shiel, Kathy Tynan, Marcel Vidal, Mark Swords, Salvatore of Lucan, Joe Scullion, Robert Armstrong, Julia Dubsky, Lesley-Ann O’Connell, Pat Byrne, Stephen Loughman, Cecilia Danell, William O’Neill and Stephanie Deady

Island Life comprises work by artists who are making and showing paintings at the moment. It is intended as a celebration of where painting is at now in Ireland, with a mixture of emerging and more established artists.

Painting exists in an increasingly sophisticated visual world that sometimes seems to have a diminishing interest in the possibilities of paint. Island Life is concerned with the idea that, within the medium of paint there are opportunities for the individual to question the situation we live in and the resources we share. The paintings in this exhibition address the human condition and each of the artists suggests the capacity of the medium of paint to encompass both personal and universal concerns.


Video Interview

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I was interviewed by Alison at AMW Visual last summer about art, music and the importance of creativity.
The interview premiered on West of Ireland cultural site An Áit Eile yesterday.


Fragmented Shore – Cúirt Festival of Literature

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Narrating Self, translating the Other

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Image: ‘Summer Finds’ – Cecilia Danell

Galway Arts Centre is delighted to present a group exhibition featuring artists from Engage Arts Studios

Maeve Curtis, Simon Daly, Cecilia Danell, Deirdre Deegan, Brenda Flannery, Noelle Gallagher, Michelle Hill, Séamus Keane, Hilary Morley, Angela O’Brien, Ilaria Pellizzaro, Jane Queally, Avi Ratnayake, Vicky Smith, Ruby Wallis

Opening 6pm Friday 5 April 2018
Gallery 1, Galway Arts Centre
Until 19th April.

Galway Arts Centre is delighted to present works by artists from Engage Art Studios Galway. The exhibition is a snapshot of current studio practices, research themes and experiments in medium by 15 of the 25 members of the studios, located in Middle St and Francis St in Galway City.
While each artist has an individual practice and set of processes, they are interested in the nature of creating artworks in an age of mass image-based media where often time the image that represents an event, person or place becomes its own entity with its own truth and value, separate from reality and original source.



The Hermione Exhibition 2018

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I’m delighted to have been invited to show work in the annual Hermione Exhibition at Alexandra College, Dublin for the third year in a row. It is curated by Aisling Prior and the line-up is great, so go and see it if in Dublin!

I’m showing two paintings, one of them being the brand new: ‘On Falling’ – Oil and acrylics on canvas, 45×60 cm, 2018.


Dublin Art Book Fair & Abridged Wormwood

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I have a painting featured in the current issue of Abridged Poetry/Art Journal 0-51 Wormwood.
Abridged is based in Derry, Northern Ireland and the issue was launched at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast on the 2nd November. You can read it online :here: or pick up a copy for free in select art venue on the island of Ireland.

I am also delighted to have my recent publication ‘The Last Wilderness’ selected for the Dublin Art Book Fair by gallerist Oonagh Young. The Dublin Art Book Fair runs at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios during Dublin Gallery Weekend 23rd-26th November with a launch at 6pm on the 23rd. My publication is also available to buy on the :contact: page of this website.


Next Generation Bursary Award

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I am delighted to announce that I am one of the recipients of the Arts Council Next Generation Bursary Award 2017/18.

The purpose of the Next Generation bursary award is to support a group of promising artists across all disciplines at an early but pivotal stage in their career. Recipients will receive €15,000 and will also take part in a collective week-long residential programme at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in spring 2018.

I look forward to developing my practice over the next year and am very grateful for the support.


Platform Arts, Belfast

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Opening Reception Thursday 5th October 6-9pm. Exhibition running until the 20th October.


Facing West – Boyle Arts Festival

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I was invited by curator Paul McKenna of the McKenna Gallery in Omagh, NI to show a piece in ‘Facing West’, the main exhibition at Boyle Arts Festival. Over 100 established and emerging artists are featured in the exhibition, including John Behan, Brian Bourke, Bernadette Kiely, Mick O’Dea, Hughie O’Donoghue, Ann Quinn, Dermot Seymour, John Shinnors, Micky Donnelly, Eilis O’Connell and Amelia Stein.

The Exhibition was opened on the 20th July by Minister for Culture Heather Humphries and is running at King House, Boyle, Co Roscommon, until the 18th August.


The Dock Video Interview & Shannonside FM Interview

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A video where I talk about my current exhibition at The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland.

Cecilia Danell, The Last Wilderness, at The Dock from THE DOCK ARTS CENTRE on Vimeo.

I was also interviewed by Amanda Jane Graham for the Arts Hour on Shannonside FM. It was broadcast on the 7th June but you can listen back to it here:


The Dock Arts Centre Solo Exhibition

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Opening Reception 2nd June at 6pm followed by a free gig in the Dock theatre space featuring Rusted Rail label acts A Lilac Decline (Cecilia Danell), Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon and Loner Deluxe. A Lilac Decline will be joined on the night by Sofia Ek who’s coming over from Sweden. She made the soundtrack for and assisted on the shoot of the film ‘Tonight at the Magic Theatre’ which features in the exhibition.
More info at www.thedock.ie


Irish Times review and publication

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I’m delighted with the feedback I’ve been getting on my exhibition ‘The Last Wilderness’ which is showing in Galway Arts Centre until the 20th of April. It’s my most ambitious work to date and was made possible through an Arts Council project award and through working with several different people. The ones that I’d like to give a special mention are Sue Rainsford who wrote the beautiful essay ‘and the trees, too, were melting’ for the publication on my work that was launched on the night of the opening and who also opened the exhibition. Sofia Ek, who made the soundtrack for my film ‘Tonight at the Magic Theatre’ and who was also my assistant on the film shoots in Sweden. Noel Arrigan and Gabriel Henry who made the photo lightboxes for me, which turned out to involve a lot more work than first anticipated. Padraig Cunningham at Pure Designs who designed the publication, it’s really beautiful. Eoghain Wynne, the Galway Arts Centre technician who worked tirelessly with me on the time consuming install and of course Maeve Mulrennan, head of Visual Arts at Galway Arts Centre.

The hard work has paid off as I got a 5 star review from Aidan Dunne in yesterday’s (28/03/16) Irish Times:

There’s a continual, telling play on the line between realism and artifice in the paintings. The implication is it’s a line that is necessarily crossed once an artist picks up a paintbrush. For underlying Danell’s work is her proposition that: ‘In a postnature future, the human mind will be the last wilderness.’ In a nice touch, the film projection, in which the provincial theatre features, is flanked by a minimal theatrical set of laser-cut plywood trees. A landscape of the mind. And a terrifically effective one, too.”

Read the full review :HERE:

I gave an artist talk last Saturday the 25th March which was very well attended, which I’m also delighted about. I showed images and talked about my Norway residency, the film shoots in Sweden and the overall process of making this body of work.

Photo by: Maeve Mulrennan.

The publication on my work with the essay by Sue Rainsford is available to purchase from the front desk of Galway Arts Centre and will also be available when the show tours to The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon in June. For anyone who can’t attend or who would like a copy now I’ve made a limited number available to purchase through the contact page on this website, which you find :HERE:


The Last Wilderness

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You are all very welcome to the opening of my solo exhibition at the Galway Arts Centre at 6pm on the 10th March.

“The starting point for this body of work was a residency at the Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale, Norway in early 2016 and Danell’s proposition: “In a post-nature future, the human mind will be the last wilderness”. Influenced by Jungian psychology, existentialism and Utopian/Dystopian science fiction, Danell’s work uses landscape as a metaphor for the exploration of the human psyche. By experiencing and documenting the Scandinavian landscape on foot she explores ideas about wilderness and solitude and how the yearning for an authentic life may be no more than a construct. She has previously used the theatre as metaphor for constructed reality by presenting objects with the surreal quality of being made in the likeness of something, yet falling short of true semblance. Here she has expanded on this further by shooting a film in a Swedish provincial theatre and moving the theatre props out into the landscape. Theatre sets are further referenced in the gallery space through a large-scale forest installation which compliments the film piece.

The exhibition will coincide with the launch of a publication on Danell’s work with a commissioned essay by writer Sue Rainsford. The Last Wilderness is supported by a 2017 Arts Council Project Award.”

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