Hamilton Gallery countdown to our St Brigid’s Day exhibition at 12 Star Gallery, Europe House London, is underway.
The exhibition will open to the public from January 23rd and run until February 1st, St Brigid’s Day, and it is part of the Irish Embassy in London’s St Brigid’s Day Celebration of Women and creativity.
In the run up to our opening night in London we bring you a daily blog with a selection of the 90 works by Irish women artists that will be shown at the exhibition.
We will include interviews and insights from the artists involved as well as other news and developments relating to events at the 12 Star Gallery in London which will occur in compliment to the exhibition.
Tonight our artists are Gwen O’Dowd, Sorca O’Farrell, Caitriona O’Leary, Geraldine O’Reilly and Helen O’Toole
We also include the poem “Innismurray” by Leland Bardwell. Leland’s poem “St Brigid’s Day 1989” was circulated to all participating artists as the thematic inspiration for the exhibition.
Gwen O’Dowd began exhibiting in the mid 1980’s. Her formal concerns have always been rooted deeply in the tradition of landscape painting. Yet the specific locales from which she has drawn inspiration, the modes of addressing them and the methaphoric import of the resulting series of paintings have varied considerably over the years.
“Michael Harding described Leland Bardwell as having ‘the softest wildness I’ve ever seen in human eyes’. I have tried to see through those eyes at the soft wild landscape that inspired her.”
charcoal ink pastel on panel
30 cm x 30 cm
Sorca O’Farrell Sorca is a landscape artist from Dublin. She qualified with a degree from N.C.A.D., and has exhibited work in The National Gallery, the R.H.A., the R.U.A. and other group shows. She had a recent solo show at The Hamilton Gallery.
“The women’s calls go up across the lake. On this still day……..”
I immediately found inspiration for my drawing in the vivid imagery described in this poem.
I could clearly visualise this still island of trees as the view from the “reed-hushed” shore, across the calm water of the lake.
Caitriona is an Irish born painter who lives in Barcelona. She was originally from Cork but grew up in Sligo.
“My painting, ‘They trail the shore’ is based on a specific place called Lady’s Brae in Co. Sligo where my mother’s ancestors are from and where, as my mother says, you can almost feel the presence of the past.
oil on canvas
20 cm X 20 cm
Geraldine O’Reilly: A native of Rathwire, Killucan, Co Westmeath and still lives in the area.
‘I too will make a cross- Leland Bardwell’. As soon as I read the poem, I had this very strong image of Leland standing beside a lake, imagining her thinking about writing the poem ‘St. Bridget’s Day 1989’. The lake is in County Monaghan and it’s where I got to know Leland as we were both living there at the same time.
Helen O’Toole was born in the west of Ireland. She attended the RTC Sligo; the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, BA with 1st class honors in Painting, 1986; the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, MFA in Painting, 1989; and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1989. She is the recipient of a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts, a 2016 Contemporary Northwest Art Award, a Pollock Krasner Award in 2013, the Jack and Grace Pruzan Fellowship for 2009-2012 and 2013- 2015, and numerous other awards and research grants.