Gillian Lawler

Platform, 2020

Oil on canvas
60 × 60 cm

Lawler’s work is about landscape and memory and within this she explores the tension between the real and imagined. She explores her own unreliable recollections of human habitats, empty wilderness, abandoned settlements and uses an accumulation of references comprised of an imagined real as opposed to an actual real.

She uses abandoned places as backdrops, empty and laid bare, and these create a vista which allows her to imagine an alternative timeline or dimension. These places are like systems in flux, uncertain, with many of the elements simplified and create a perspective of nature reconstructed as a series of indefinite structures and conceptual visions of space, time and existence.

Current work draws on these previous themes while extrapolating ideas based on boundaries, edges, transitions and transformations. In recent paintings the canvas was split into two territories with a defined boundary line where forms crossed over, were transformed, dissolved, dispersed or absorbed. In many ways these territories became meditative spaces, allowing these changes to occur.

Of particular impact for her during this time was the grief she experienced upon the death of her mother in late 2017. Ideas on transformation and transition particularly resonated with her mother’s passing and the transformation of her body. Once again platforms and scaffolds appeared in her work and embodied that moment when her mother moved from this world to the next, representing her body in transition.

These accumulated experiences have haunted Lawler’s work and have led to an exploration of a place where the veil between this world and the next becomes thin and exposed. It captures an ephemeral quality, a fleeting moment which bears witness to a momentary leap of faith, and is suggestive of an inner world situated between the conscious and the unconscious.

Recent solo and group exhibitions include:The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin, There are intangible realities which float near us, formless and without words, solo 2020. 190/191st Annual Exhibitions at the RHA Gallery, Dublin 2020/2021. The Weber and Weber Gallery,This Entropic Order, curated by Valeria Ceregini, solo 2018. Difference Engine, Altern_nator, HDLU Centre for the Association of Artists, Zagreb, 2018. House Taken Over curated by Hickey + Hickey, The Sonorities Festival, Belfast 2018. Resort Revelations, Lynders Mobile Home Park, Portrane, Dublin 2018.

Lawler received the Graphic Studio Dublin Print Award 2019 where she was also invited to complete a residency at the Graphic Studio Dublin in 2019. She will hold another solo exhibition at The Weber and Weber Gallery, curated by Valeria Ceregini in January 2022.

Gillian Lawler is an Irish artist based in Dublin. She received a BA in Fine Art Painting from NCAD, Dublin in 2000. She has exhibited throughout Ireland and abroad including America, UK, Croatia, Poland, Spain, Holland and Italy.

Awards include the Graphic Studio Dublin Print Award 2019, the Open Selection Award at the Eigse Arts Festival 2009, the Hennessy Craig Award, RHA Gallery Annual exhibition 2007, the Whytes Award, RHA Gallagher Gallery 2007. She received Visual Arts Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland in 2009 and 2020. She was shortlisted for the Beers Lambert Contemporary, Thames and Hudson publication, 100 Painters of Tomorrow in 2013. She was recently included in the Arts Council of Ireland Collection 2020.

She is co-founder/member of the group Difference Engine, an evolving serial exhibition, and a model of autonomous artist curation, by artists Mark Cullen, Jessica Foley, Wendy Judge, Gillian Lawler and featuring Gordon Cheung.

6th Biennial of Painting
HDLU, Meštrović Pavilion, Zagreb


Curated by
Mark Cullen & Gavin Murphy

Colin Crotty
Mountain, Dream, 2021

Oil on linen
120 × 96 cm

Eithne Jordan
Mansion II, 2012

Oil on linen
150 × 200 cm

Eleanor McCaughey
Disturbed brains, 2021

Gouache and oil on paper
100 × 70 cm

Fergus Martin
Fire, 2021

Oil on aluminium
116 × 166 × 4 cm

Kathy Tynan
Deeke’s Diner, 2015/2021

Oil on canvas
70 × 70 cm

Mairead O’hEocha
Rathmines Church and Diner, 2018

Oil on Board
63 × 84 cm

Alison Pilkington
Shoreline Fantasy, 2020

Oil on linen
80 × 70cm

Brian Maguire
Apartments Aleppo, 2016

Acrylic on linen
290 × 270 cm

Colin Martin
Singles Archive, 2019

Oil on canvas
150 × 170 cm

Gabhann Dunne
Field Birds, 2021

Oil on board
100 × 100 cm

Gemma Browne
Unbreakable, 2020

Acrylic on linen
25 × 20 cm

Gillian Lawler
Platform, 2020

Oil on canvas
60 × 60 cm

John Lalor
Moment of Surrender, 2020

Oil on canvas
30 × 40 cm

Natasha Conway
Are we there yet, 2020

Oil on wood panel
Artist’s frame
53 × 63 cm

Orla Whelan
Against a Melancholy Moment (or Magic Carpet), 2020

Acrylic paint on plywood
240 × 140 cm

Oscar Fouz Lopez
Don't look back baby, 2019

Oil on canvas
100 × 120 cm

Stephen Loughman
Golden No 8, 2018

Oil on board
100 × 147 cm

Marcel Vidal
Grey, yellow, blue, 2020

Oil on linen
140 × 105 cm

Harry Walsh Foreman
Found 20 euro in Tesco car park and I taught what would Jesus do, so I turned it into wine, 2021

Acrylic paint on mdf wood
130 × 45 cm

Mark O'Kelly
High-Rise, 2021

Oil on Linen
190 × 150 cm

Patrick Graham
Lark Series: Landscape, 2020

Oil on canvas
180 × 360 cm

Salvatore of Lucan
Work, 2021

Oil on canvas
130 × 250 cm

Sonia Shiel
The Vertical, 2019

Oil on canvas, roller, wood and lapels
Dimensions variable

Sven Sandberg
The Chanterelle Robe, 2020

Oil on linen
71 × 56cm

Liliane Puthod
Container, 2017

Unfired earthenware, acrylic paint, spray paint
20 × 30cm

Forerunner (after ken isaacs), 2017

Wood, bolts, fabric
Dimensions variable based on 30 × 30 × 300 mm units

Sean Molloy
E.I.A., 2021

Oil & acrylic on panel
22 × 30 cm

Sean Molloy
Freiwild, 2019

Oil & acrylic on canvas
24 × 30 cm


About the Exhibition

Pallas Projects present ‘Dubliners’ – the international section of the 6th Biennial of Painting, Zagreb, curated by Mark Cullen & Gavin Murphy. The exhibition affords a unique opportunity to present together for the first time, an intergenerational grouping of painters who were born, bred, studied (and taught), or live and work in Dublin. The invitation to curate such a survey of contemporary painting presents a huge opportunity, and invites its own questions. It allows us to consider: what does it mean to present a national (or municipal) exhibition today? What does (or can) such an exhibition say about a city, its people? What does it mean within the expanded topography of contemporary art with its multiple and unlimited forms? What does such an exhibition say about artists (or painters) working together in a city. Can we trace traits of influence, exchange and conversation, of a ‘community of painting’, or is painting the ‘purest form of individualism’?


Saturday 23rd October, 5pm CET

Panel discussion: What is it to paint (in) a city?

Artist talk moderated by critic, curator and educator James Merrigan, with panellists Stephen Loughman, Colin Martin, Mark O’Kelly, Sonia Shiel, Orla Whelan.

Wednesday 27th October, 6pm CET

Dubliners Reel, curated by Eve Woods

A screening of film works by Irish artists, featuring: Anne Maree Barry, John Byrne, Michelle Doyle, Kevin Gaffney, Léann Herlihy, and Gavin Murphy.


Pallas Projects/Studios (founded 1996) is a not-for-profit artist-run organisation dedicated to the facilitation of artistic production and discourse, via the provision of affordable artists studios in Dublin’s city centre, and curated projects, exhibitions, exchanges, off-site projects, talks, resource programmes, and publications. PP/S are at the forefront of research, advocacy and support of artist-run practice in Ireland and across Europe. They are authors of the research project and publication ‘Artist-Run Europe’ (Onomatopee, Eindhoven, 2016), which included contributions from AA Bronson, Transmission Gallery, Triangle France, and Eastside Projects and featured essays, case studies, and an index of 600 European artist-run spaces – a second updated edition of which is due in 2022.

Pallas Projects/Studios is funded by The Arts Council
‘Dubliners’ is funded by Culture Ireland

About the Biennial of Painting

The Croatian Association of Artists (HDLU) established the Biennial of Painting in 2011. The Biennial’s aim is to survey and evaluate the local painting scene in the context of new European movements and explore, through comparison, the global position of the medium of painting. In this way, HDLU promotes the development of the visual arts by supporting and encouraging artistic creativity and excellence, and by conceiving and promoting international cultural exchange. Conferences, lectures and presentations are organised as part of a Biennial on the initiative of the organisers, to both educate and inspire. Traditionally two awards (Grand Prix and Young Artist Award) – extremely valuable from an expert artistic and financial point of view – are awarded to the most prominent artists and their work.

As well as presenting what is new in Croatian painting today, each edition of the Biennial engages with new and emerging tendencies in the medium of painting across various cities, regions and countries of Europe. In 2011, the guest city was Berlin (“I am a Berliner”, curated by Mark Gisbourne), in 2013 Vienna (“Vienna Calling”, curated by Theresia Hauenfels), in 2015 it was Gdańsk (“Exporting Gdańsk”, curated by Katarzyna Kosmala), in 2017 Prague (“Extended Painting Prag”, curated by Marek Schovanek), and in 2019 Leipzig (“Leipzig Connection”, curated by Mark Gisbourne).

HDLU is located in the famous Meštrović Pavilion in central Zagreb. It consists of three exhibition spaces: Prsten Gallery, Bačva Gallery, and PM Gallery. Its mission and openness aims to foster all expressions of creativity, from prestigious world premieres and biennials to grassroots movements, with the desire to inspire and motivate the public through art.

Biennial of Painting website