Crowded Thresholds opens at Luan Gallery this Summer

Crowded Thresholds will open at Luan Gallery on 14th July 2020 following its successful opening run as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2019. The exhibition was presented at Farmleigh Gallery in partnership with the Office of Public Works (OPW) and will run until September 2020 in partnership with the Luan Gallery. Luan Gallery is located in the heart of the midlands and is Athlone’s contemporary visual art gallery. The Gallery is dedicated to promoting a dynamic contemporary visual art programme and features work of both established and emerging artists from the midlands and beyond. Luan Gallery features an exhibitions programme of both contemporary and traditional art.


Crowded Thresholds is an exhibition which presents thought-provoking pieces across applied art, design and visual art. Curated by Fiona Mulholland, the exhibition coincides with the centenary of Freud’s essay, The Uncanny, and explores ‘emotional geography’, generating a fascinating visual interplay between authentic storytelling and artistic expression.


This intriguing group exhibition displays objects by established and emerging practitioners – all of whom are based in Ireland or linked to this country – that are connected by a desire to make the invisible visible and have a fundamental interest in traditional processes and materials. Reflecting on what Freud termed ‘The Uncanny’, the psychological experience of something as strangely familiar, Mulholland is interested in how psychoanalytic concepts overlap with the creative process. From traditionally made jewellery pieces that address the concept of humanity to ‘voluptuously illustrated’ silk scarves and reimagined Rorschach inkblot tests, the artists and makers straddle the threshold of disciplines and languages; practices are blurred, with old and new tools utilised, all working to express the very essence of human agency.

Fiona Mulholland, Crowded Thresholds curator, comments: “I was particularly interested
in objects with specific functions and associations which have then been ‘turned inside out’ by the maker, imposing private and psychological qualities on them. The exhibition explores effects of the subconscious in the creation and response to these objects of material culture. Bringing together a disparate set
of influences, from popular culture to the avant-garde; surrealism to realism; social cultural issues to the body at a microscopic level, Crowded Thresholds ultimately embraces our humanity.


Louise Allen, Head of Innovation and Development of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, added: “At the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny, our aim is to build a dynamic exhibitions and events programme that showcases traditional skills along with contemporary practices and includes touring opportunities in order to engage new audiences and extend our reach throughout Ireland and abroad. Crowded Thresholds is an exhibition of extraordinary objects produced by immensely talented designers and makers who are pushing the boundaries of innovation, creativity and expression. Following its successful run in Kilkenny and Dublin, we are delighted to present this stimulating and inspiring exhibition in the stunning surrounds of Luan Gallery.


Admission is free and is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm and Sunday 12 – 5 pm

Further information is also available atdccoi.ie and athloneartsandtourism.ie