Warm welcome for Scottish artist
THE driving rain of a chilly October evening couldn’t cool the warm welcome awaiting Scottish artist Ryan Mutter to Drogheda last Thursday, for the launch of Amergin Artists’ new collection.
The gallery space in Southgate centre was the venue, and scores of people braved the elements to attend, not only to see the talents of family and friends, but to spy some of the visiting artist’s magnificent work.
“I’m delighted to have been asked back to launch the new collection, and I have a great relationship now with Eugenia Whelan and the other members of the collective, so they always make me feel very welcome,” he said.
“I had a great look around the gallery earlier on today, and there is some amazing talent on display, especially considering they are all amateur.”
Ryan is no stranger to the town, having visited on a number of occasions, as well as exhibiting in Clogherhead and raising funds for the RNLI there.
Indeed, alongside some of his amazing gritty depictions of the shipyards and shipbuilders of Glasgow, the audience saw some stunning paintings of ships docked in Drogheda port and a jaunty impression of the trawlers on a sunny day in Port Oriel harbour.
“Aye, a lot of people comment that it is unusual for me to use so much colour,” he says with a smile, his Scottish burr adding to the humour.
“It was in the height of the heatwave during the summer, and I thought, come on, do something different, and maybe it will be the start of a whole new style.”
Mutter was born 1978 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and studied at the Glasgow School of Art where he graduated in 2001.
Since becoming established, he has accumulated many awards and has been invited to exhibit his work all over Britain.
Ryan has built up a formidable reputation as a powerful contemporary painter of industrial and maritime subjects, who can count Billy Connolly as one of his fans.
It is his usual style of stark and arresting paintings that has made him world famous, but he still took time to talk to a group of young artists from primary schools around the town who are just starting out on their artistic journeys.
Eugenia said she was honoured as always to have Ryan visit, and was thrilled with the turnout at the launch.
“We have a wonderful display too from our own artists and we welcome anyone to drop in and see what we have on offer,” she added, her own paintings being particularly eye-catching.
“We have styles and prices to suit all tastes and pockets – especially with Christmas coming – or else just come in to enjoy the peace and quiet and have a chat.”
Audrey Smyth, Eugenia Whelan and Carmel Plummer at the art exhibition opening by Ryan Mutter.. Right: Ann Mullen, Patricia Smith and Marie Reilly
Mary and Joe Lawlor at the exhibition by Ryan Mutter at Southgate.
Artist Ryan Mutter and Ciaran Whelan at the exhibition on Thursday.
Michael Keogh at the exhibition by the Amergin artists