Island Life – Westport

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

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

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.

Narrating Self, translating the Other

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

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

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

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.

Facing West – Boyle Arts Festival

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 Arts Centre Solo Exhibition

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

Irish Times review and publication

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

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.”

Hermione Exhibition 2017

I am happy to have been invited again this year to show work in the annual Hermione Exhibition at Alexandra College, Dublin, curated by Aisling Prior.
Below is a list of all of this year’s participating artists.

Claremorris Open Exhibition 2016

COE ’16 New Century Retro – A Selection of COE Prizewinners
Curated by Helen O’Donoghue, IMMA

The exhibition was officially opened by
Dr. Eimear O’Connor
on Saturday 17th September at 7.45pm
in the Town Hall Gallery, Chapel Lane, Claremorris
Preview 6.45pm – 7.45pm

Creative Wave, Galway International Arts Festival

I am participating in the exhibition ‘Creative Wave’ at Galway City Museum for Galway International Arts Festival.
The exhibition is curated by Austin Ivers and features students, graduates and staff from the GMIT Centre for Creative arts & Media and Letterfrack furniture college. ‘Creative Wave’ also features work by Blaise Drummond, EimearJean McCormack and Louise Manifold amongst others.

The show runs until 27 August, 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays). Sunday opening is from 12 noon to 5pm. Admission is free.

Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

I am delighted to have been asked by curators Peter Prendergast and Davey Moor to participate in ‘Veins’ at The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin. The Opening takes place at 5.30pm on Thursday the 7th July and the exhibition runs until the 10th August.

Featuring work by Susan Connolly, Cecilia Danell, Gemma Fitzpatrick, Helen Hughes, Riin Kaljurand, Eimear Murphy and Doireann Ní Ghrioghair

“Veins peels back the layers to reveal seven artists whose work is pitched variously, between painterly sculpture and sculptural painting, taking in anatomy lessons, the collective unconscious and the music of chance along the way.”
For more info visit the gallery website:

Doireann Ní Ghrioghair ~ Tower

Cecilia Danell ~ Journey to the Centre

Nordic Artists’ Centre Open Day

I am currently one of five artists in residence at the Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale. The centre is located in a small fjord community in western Norway. I have spent 3 weeks here, and am really liking it so far. I will be here for two months, until the 31st March.

We are having an Open Day on Tuesday the 23rd February from 4pm-7pm.

We each live in a self catering cabin with views of a mountain and a wood burning stove:

View of the village from outside the studio building:

Each artist is given a generous, identical studio space with panorama windows and there’s a wood workshop with a technician on hand each Monday/Tuesday.

The centre is currently accepting applications for their 2017 open call, so go on their website for more info.

Höstsalong 2015 Edsvik Konsthall

My painting ‘There are no Dark Waters Anymore / Det finns inga mörka vatten mer’ (oil and acrylics on canvas, 107×107 cm, 2013) has been selected for the annual juried autumn exhibition at Edsvik Konsthall, Sollentuna, Stockholm, Sweden.

150 artworks out of 1000 submitted were selected for this year’s annual exhibition which runs from the 24th October – 15th November at Edsvik Konsthall.

Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale

I am absolutely thrilled to have been awarded a 2 month residency at Nordic Artists Centre Dale in western Norway for next year. The centre is funded by the Norwegian ministry of culture and offers private living spaces and large studios at the purpose build centre for five international artists at a time. The 2016 residency programme will host artists from Norway, Sweden, UK, Italy, Mexico, USA, Germany, Ukraine, Tanzania, Colombia, Canada, Brazil and Switzerland. The artists will receive a stipend for each month to cover living costs and materials and a travel grant. My residency is scheduled to take place during February and March 2016.

I am really looking forward to the stay and to meeting the staff and other artists. The residency will give me a chance to immerse myself in the Scandinavian landscape, while continuing my research into how places impact on a person in a psychological sense, the relationship between the inner and outer and the difference between solitude and loneliness. The remoteness of the location calls for contemplation and a chance to live close to nature.

(images courtesy of