7 Apr 2017 - 4 Jun 2017
Theresa Nanigian's trying to behave, at The Lab Gallery, Foley Street, Dublin 1. Photo: Ros Kavanagh
Venue: The Lab Gallery, Foley Street, Dublin
Room: The Lab Gallery
Sponsor: Drogheda Credit Union/ The Arts Council
Admission: FREE

Theresa Nanigian: just a bit extraordinary

trying to behave  7th April – 5th June 2017 at the Lab Gallery, Dublin

more than my choices  2nd November 2017 – 21st January 2018, Limerick City Gallery, Limerick

just a bit extraordinary 21st  September – 3rd November 2018, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, Co. Louth

just a bit extraordinary is a national tour of three distinct exhibitions by artist Theresa Nanigian who creates portraits of contemporary Western life. In her work Nanigian also uses the analytical tools of other disciplines such as sociology, economics, psychology and logic to explore expressions of identity across the human experience.

The tour begins on 7th April 2017 at The Lab Gallery, Dublin with trying to behave, an exhibition of photographs and a short video that observe the older patrons of the bi-monthly tea dances at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and the Macushla Dance Club in Dublin. Nanigian also displays wall text panels with anonymous responses selected from surveys she carried out with an even wider spectrum of older people.

While observing, filming, and surveying the ballroom dancers, Nanigian uncovered several dichotomies about this disparate group of individuals who share an ardent passion: composure and vulnerability; vivaciousness and feebleness; spirit and neediness; beauty and decline. 

This is followed by more than my choices, which considers the middle developmental stage of adulthood often preoccupied with earning a living. Unusually Nanigian chooses to explore this stage by documenting the vendors on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, California. The guardians of this ‘sidewalk circus’ are a diverse range of nationalities, ages, socioeconomic status and personal histories, who display an equally quirky spectrum of merchandise, entertainment and personal philosophy. more than my choices will open at The Limerick City Gallery of Art on 2nd November 2017, and draws on work from Nanigian’s California residency including text, photography, soundscapes and a ‘merchandise museum’. 

The final exhibition in the series just a bit extraordinary, combines elements of trying to behave and more than my choices with a survey of Nanigian’s first installment in her life cycle series titled not sorry, which was exhibited in 2014. not sorry explores an even earlier life stage through an intimate portrait of the Irish teenager and young adult. Here, the artist goes behind closed doors into the private territory of the bedroom and seeks to expose the genuine individual beneath the public persona. Taking its title from one of the responses to the same confidential survey, the exhibition combines the personal expression evident on the walls, floors and other surfaces of the bedroom with participants’ frank, and sometimes, brutally honest written expressions of their personal identity. just a bit extraordinary will open at the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda in September, 2018.

The just a bit extraordinary tour is curated by Aoife Ruane, Director of the Highlanes Gallery. The exhibition has received a Touring Award from the Arts Council and is sponsored by Drogheda Credit Union, Drogheda-Bettystown-Trim.

Highlanes Gallery, Laurence Street, Co. Louth

The Lab Gallery, Foley Street, Dublin 1

Limerick City Gallery of Art, Pery Square, Limerick

Theresa Nanigian’s Artist’s Website is





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