Threads: A new virtual gallery project

An explosion of visual treats await Cork’s public this June as Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Service launches ‘Threads’, a new online exhibition by artists Helen Condon, Elena Koyovenko and Mary Murphy.

Recognising the importance of the arts Cork County Council has responded to the current restrictions on movement and indoor gatherings by facilitating 3 online exhibitions.

Part of the mission of the Council’s Arts Service is to support artists and promote engagement with the arts. The Council have facilitated this in the past by hosting exhibitions in Council owned spaces. ‘Threads’ represents the Council’s continued commitment to this mission and to finding ways to adapt to the evolving situation regarding Covid 19. Three video exhibitions have now been made available on Cork County Council’s YouTube channel (

To mark the opening of the exhibition the Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Ian Doyle said,

“The COVID 19 pandemic has brought change to every part of society. Its effect on artists has been particularly hard, changing the normal exhibition and performance opportunities from which they showcase their work to the public. This situation has, however, also generated new and imaginative solutions, an example of which is this new exhibition in an online format replacing what would have been an exhibition at our Library Head Quarters gallery. It gives me great pleasure to launch this new virtual gallery, to commend the artists for their work and the hard work and innovation of everyone involved in bringing this exhibition to the people of Cork County”

Cork native Helen Condon brings her unique ability to view a setting with fresh eyes and to infuse a painting through vivid colour with its true essence to her Threads Exhibition.

Speaking of her work, Helen states:

“The feel of a place, a moment, or something special gives me such pleasure.”

Ravensberger, the jigsaw puzzle maker recently commissioned Helen to create a painting of Kinsale in order to print the image onto Jigsaws in early 2020. Her work is incredibly detailed and heartfelt. Helen’s art features in many collections both at home and abroad and can be purchased throughout the year in Galleries and through her Etsy shop online.

Originally from the Ukraine, Elena Kotovenko has been living in Ireland for the past 18years. Inspired by sublime Irish countryside, Elena likes to wander in places that are abandoned by people and claimed back by nature. Her work is always textured and three dimensional. Her other preferred style of painting is very similar to pointillist artists and is always executed with a vibrant palette of colours.  However, her style of painting is always evolving and in constant state of experimentation with materials, media, colour and style. Her recent pieces are dramatic and are more representative of the steampunk movement. She also runs children’s art classes from her garden studio as well as wine and paint nights for adults in various locations across Cork. More information is available on her facebook page; kotovenkoart.

Mary Murphy, full time Artist and owner of the well known Mary Murphy School of Art based in Carrigaline, is among the top five Fiber Portrait artists in the world today.  Mary explores the human form in many mediums and techniques, from oil and acrylic paint to ground breaking Fibre Art methods withher ‘Threads’ exhibition featuring both. Trudi Van Dyke, an Independent Fine Arts Curator, writing in Fiber Art Now Publication noted how Irish artist Mary Murphy:

“She is original and possesses superior skill, but most of all she is compassionate toward every person that she portrays in her work. She has expanded beyond her beginnings in textile design to master an individualized technique.”

Mary’s paintings are smooth as glass, flooded with the azure underwater, sun tanned bodies floating in a tranquil environment which both mesmerise and calm the senses. More information on art classes for all ages or information on her artwork is available



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