Robert Armstrong and Joe Hanly are two artists who have maintained active and progressive practices for almost four decades. As founders of Temple Bar Studios in 1983, both artists have held membership studios since that time, continuing through our re-development as Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in the 1990s, to the present day.
In addition to their artistic studio practices, Armstrong and Hanly also ran The Print Studio from Temple Bar Studios during the 1980s and produced many screen printed posters for exhibitions, plays and fundraising events throughout Ireland. The posters themselves were made at a time when digital design programmes (such as PhotoShop) were not widely accessible, so screen printed posters was a preferred method of promoting events and exhibitions, particularly with striking artist-designed layouts. The industrious environment of Temple Bar Studios, at the time still occupying a disused textiles factory, is reflected in the hands-on production of the posters. This involved making transparencies of artwork, typesetting text, exposing screens, as well as the complex layered printing process to blend colours and create repeating patterns. With backgrounds in graphic design and printing making, as well as expertise in painting, Armstrong and Hanly, were adept at conveying the tone and subject matter of other artists’ work, and at times would re-interpret the artists’ existing marks and techniques to add emphasis to those key aspects of their designs.
These posters, represented completely in this exhibition, were made to promote exhibitions by many artists with enduring practices including Cecily Brennan, Patrick Graham, Anita Groener, and Brian Maguire. The galleries and art spaces who commissioned the posters include cornerstones of the Irish arts community from the 1980s, such as Project Arts Centre, Crawford Gallery, Triskel Arts Centre, and Taylor Galleries, as well as important venues of the era that are no longer operating, including the Guinness Hop Store, Hendriks Gallery and Lincoln Gallery. These posters document a vibrant period in time of the visual arts community of Ireland during the early years of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios as an artist-run space.
Robert Armstrong is former Head of Painting at NCAD and has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally. His current solo exhibition at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin runs until March 9, and he will be artist in residence at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University during March and April.
Joe Hanly is former Lecturer in Fine Art at DIT and his work has also been exhibited globally and within Ireland. Hanly's impressive suspended and inverted tree installation was made in the Atrium Space in 2018, and will be re-created for an exhibition he is curating at the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, opening in May.
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios’ Atrium connects the public gallery to the individual artists’ private working spaces. Current TBG+S studio artists are invited to use the Atrium to test experimental work or exhibit ideas and artworks in progress.