The combination of literature and visual art created a feast for the senses at the launch of Hambly & Hambly’s summer exhibition at Dunbar House.

Entitled ‘L’ART POUR L’ART,’ the eclectic exhibition features work by over 20 artists from Fermanagh and further afield.

“L’art pour l’art is a french term, it was part of the artistic movement in France moving into the new period,” explained gallery owner and curator Ciara Hambly, when asked what inspired the title of the exhibition. “It’s all to do with art for arts sake, it’s a philosophy behind art where it shouldn’t be political, it shouldn’t have associations, art is a strong enough body in itself, standing by itself.”

She added: “I wanted it to be an exhibition that didn’t have a particular theme so it’s all different types of work, in all different mediums with quite a lot of abstract work, but there’s a lot of figurative work as well.”

On the night, guests could peruse the various gallery spaces at their leisure, admiring the artworks on display which included pieces by international award-winning sculptor Wolfgang Buttress, well-known for creating ‘Rise’ in Belfast, award-winning artist Rita Duffy, award-winning filmmaker and artist Pawel Kleszczewski alongside acclaimed local artists Michael Brown, Wojciech Wos and Brian Coulter, to name a few.

Alongside the opening of the exhibition, local writer Carlo Gébler launched his new book at the special soiree. Entitled ‘Aesop’s Fables, The Cruelty of the Gods,’ the book is a collection of short stories and features illustrations by artist Gavin Weston. A selection of Gavin’s illustrations adorned the gallery walls on the night, adding to the main exhibition. During the launch, Carlo gave a unique reading of his work, which was followed by readings of short stories from the book by Frank McCusker, Orla Charlton and Stanley Townsend.

Carlo commented: “What could be lovelier than reading one’s own work, and hearing one’s work read aloud (rather better it has to be said than one’s own rendition) by Frank McCusker, Orla Charlton and Stanley Townsend (all three brilliant performers on stage and screen) at the Hambly & Hambly launch at the end of June.”

He continued: “Oh yes, this was the high spot of my summer. The book in question was ‘Aesop’s Fables, the Cruelty of the Gods,’ an adult version of these ancient, rancorous, bitter tales about human stupidity and the venality of the Gods, which I have produced in conjunction with the artist Gavin Weston, and which is published by New Island in Ireland and Head of Zeus in England.”

“I live in Enniskillen so there was also the added pleasure, in the case of this event, that instead of having to drive to Kinsale or Bantry to find the public, I merely had to drive a few miles down the road. All round and in every way a perfect evening,” Carlo concluded.

Sharing a particular highlight of the night, Ciara said: “I would have said the exhibition itself.

“The visual art and then tying that in with the book launch, it was a really lovely occasion for tying literature and visual art together, with the obvious link that Carlo’s book has big, beautiful illustrations. That was the common ground.”

There were also readings by acclaimed artist and writer Laurence O’Toole, who introduced his latest collection for Hambly & Hambly on the night, along with a special introductory talk about her new works from artist Siobhan Cox-Carlos.

Running until the end of September, the exhibition will be included as one of the many fringe events of this year’s Fermanagh Live Arts Festival (FLive.)