A new exhibition, “Dublin Finials – An exhibition of paintings by Niall Magee” has opened at the Irish Architectural Archive. This exhibition began life as a set of four still-life paintings of the most common cast-iron finials which decorate the railings of central Dublin. As the artist notes: ‘having finished these, and believing at the time that there were surely no more than a dozen varieties throughout the city, I thought it would be interesting to do a complete series. Five years later and countless days strolling through period streets of Dublin, I have completed 104 canvases detailing a vast wealth of design invested in these ornate objects.’
On the periphery of everyday vision, finials are everywhere in the city; their ubiquity is apparent but their individuality goes unnoticed. This exhibition is a personalcelebration by Niall Magee of their modest yet subtle contribution to Dublin architectural heritage.
Niall Magee graduated from DIT in 1994, specialising in sculpture. Since then he has been working in the areas of painting, sculpture and film. He has exhibited work in Drogheda and Leitrim and worked extensively on commission. As well as using traditional sculpture materials such as stone, wood, bronze and ceramic, Niall has been involved in working in the ephemeral materials of sand, snow and ice; this has led him to work in many countries including China, Russia and Germany. In 2002 he co-formed Duthain Dealbh to facilitate creating sand, ice and film projects. Projects of note by Duthain Dealbh include ‘Cool carvings’, a documentary broadcast on TG4 and at the Izmir International Film Festival, work for the BBC and the annual sand sculpture exhibition in Dublin Castle.