This July and August the Guinness Storehouse is the exclusive exhibition space for Creatives Against Covid-19. The “Soon is Now” exhibition features all the artwork from the poignant campaign, which saw creatives around the world explore ideas of togetherness, solidarity and resilience under the theme of “Soon”. Anyone who purchases a Creatives Against Covid-19 print will be offered complimentary admission to the Guinness Storehouse until August 31; www.guinness-storehouse.com.
For fans of Patrick Kavanagh, a new mini-museum in the poet’s hometown of Inniskeen, Co Monaghan has just opened. Visitors can expect an immersive experience, with memory boxes containing personal photographs and letters, while the magic and musicality of Kavanagh’s finest poems are brought to life in a short film featuring familiar voices, including those of Oliver Callan and John McArdle. There is also footage capturing the raw beauty of the Monaghan landscape, which serves as a backdrop. Outside the centre, the Patrick Kavanagh Trail has new signage allowing visitors to more easily identify key Kavanagh landmarks (including the cemetery where he is buried) and enjoy a self-guided tour. The adjacent Raglan Road Tea Room provides lunches, light snacks and refreshments; patrickkavanaghcentre.com.
Contemporary Irish artists Fiona Harrington, Cian McLoughlin and Eimear Murphy [pictured above] have an established relationship with the National Gallery of Ireland, having made significant contributions to its public programme in recent years. During the Gallery’s closure, conversations continued. The artists’ work during this time was shaped by the ever-changing circumstances brought about by the global pandemic. Their artistic responses inspired the current (free) exhibition “Lace, Paint, Hair” which references the materials embraced by the three artists while adapting to unfamiliar situations and surroundings. From Fiona Harrington’s masterful needlework to Cian McLoughlin’s pulsating “Crowd” canvases and Eimear Murphy’s innovative fusion of traditional techniques with unusual media, the exhibition is all about making. Says Sinéad Rice, exhibition curator and Head of Education at the National Gallery of Ireland: “From varied backgrounds, working in diverse media and using widely varying techniques, Fiona Harrington, Cian Mcloughlin and Eimear Murphy are unified through their demonstrable skill, resourcefulness, vision and drive. Their hand is evident in each and every work. They are makers of art, and makers of art are at the heart of the National Gallery of Ireland.” Other current and upcoming highlights at the Gallery include “Shaw and the Gallery: A Priceless Education”, a free exhibition exploring the relationship between GB Shaw and the Gallery, which is now open. Later this month, a new display featuring a selection of photographs from a cancelled exhibition opens, called “Reined In: Photographs from Irish Horse.” www.nationalgallery.ie
“Tongue The Sun” is an online exhibition experience of new work by artist Jonah King at The National College of Art and Design. It comprises an interactive digital sculpture, essay text, and programme of live streamed events with the artist and invited participants. King’s project is contextualised by the pandemic, and the artist’s focus is “on reinterpreting how evolutionary forces undermine stability in modern life”. Through the project, viewers are invited to consider looking at the world through a lens that disrupts heteronormative categorisations. In this instance, reference is made to the ‘queer ecology’ perspective in regard to organisms, species, and individuals’ value and identity classifications. King’s project, “Tongue The Sun”, commissioned by the NCAD Gallery in 2020, is his first major solo exhibition in Ireland; www.ncad.ie.
“Diana – A Fashion Legacy” originally opened at Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons in 2017 and included some of Diana, Princess of Wales’ most famous garments including the original toile of her wedding dress, co-designed and created by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. Now, the wedding dress section of this exhibition has been extended with new exhibits including the valuable original brown paper patterns which were used to make the royal wedding gown in 1981, and a letter of authenticity signed by Elizabeth Emanuel. New to the display is a delicate petticoat which would have allowed the Emanuel’s to see how the silk on the skirt of the dress would have fallen. After the dress was made, some silk was left over and the Emanuels made a miniature copy of the royal wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses. The miniatures were made at a scale of 1/8th of the original dress. There were only two sets of the miniatures made, Diana had one set and the other is now at Newbridge Silverware. Entry to the exhibition and the museum is free of charge; www.visitnewbridgesilverware.com.
The Museum of Literature Ireland, 86 St Stephen’s Green South, Dublin 2, has reopened to the public with a new exhibition exploring the writer Nuala O’Faolain’s memoir, Are You Somebody? “A masterclass on the stylistic challenges of life writing, this book is also a vital sociological lens into a changing Ireland… Nuala was our forensic eye. This exhibition allows us to see and hear that, all over again,” says June Caldwell, author and exhibition curator. For more information see here.Tickets for museum visits are available to purchase at www.moli.ie.
The National Library of Ireland has developed a free programme of online events, including workshops, lectures, tours, and talks, and several new initiatives to encourage everyone to explore 125,000 digitised items from our collections. One of these initiatives is our ‘Around the Island’ series, where the NLI shares a selection of digitised local photographs from each county, encouraging people across Ireland to view the history of their counties through our online catalogue. The Yeats exhibition at the NLI on Kildare Street has reopened on a ticketed basis; www.nli.ie.
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