Donagh Carey will be exhibiting work on a Landscape theme with three other West Cork artists at The Blue House Gallery in Schull, with the opening on Friday 20th May.
The theme for the opening group exhibition of the year at The Blue House Gallery, Schull was 'The History Show', where thirty local artist were invited to submit work on any historical subject to mark the 1916 Easter Rising Centennial. Donagh responded to the theme by focusing on his immediate locality, always desiring to learn more about the environment in which he lives. On the road from Schull to Ballydehob, is a high, fairly significant section of stone built boundary wall, behind which was the former Workhouse.
Walking across the pastoral and tranquil grounds that once housed the Union Workhouse in Schull, it is hard to imagine the suffering and hardship endured by the 'inmates' whose circumstances had brought them to the admittance entrance. Little is left now of what must have been an formidable institution, which simultaneously offered salvation to those who were starving and destitute, but also shame that they could no longer look after themselves.
More than a hundred workhouses already existed in Ireland, but the Schull Workhouse was one of 33 which opened as a response to the famine. On arrival, families were separated into male and female wards with another section for children. In addition to the sleeping accommodation, there was a maternity ward, chapel, mortuary, kitchen, refectory and school – children were meant to be schooled, but in reality this rarely happened. Women were set to work in the laundry and men worked on the land in exchange for basic food. Life was bleak, often with overcrowding, disease and poor nutrition and with staff who were inadequately trained to supervise.
A mile from Schull, the building was designed to house 600 people on it's eleven acres and must have been architecturally impressive. In the peaceful, now ruined grounds, it's hard to imagine the site once occupied by hundreds of desperate and physically debilitated people. Many only survived the hardship of those brutal times, because they could enter the Workhouse, but they only did so as a last resort, having no other option. In 1921, the Union Workhouse in Schull was burned down by the IRA, fearing it would be used as barracks by the British Army, also destroying it's records, testimonies and documents. So the stories of ancestors who endured those times are erased, leaving only fragments of the building, the boundary wall, the gates.
Donagh Carey was invited by the Catherine Hammond Gallery to have one of his paintings featured at VUE 2015, the annual art fair held at the Royal Hibernian Academy in early November. The exhibition is Ireland's most prestigious showcase for the top galleries and provides investors, collectors and visitors the opportunity to view the work of leading Irish contemporary artists.
The 'Epoch' series is a body of work informed by the entrances to the Monastic Hermitage on Skellig Michael, one of the Skellig Islands seven sea miles off the coast of Valentia. The remote Hermitage was built by monks in the 6th Century and inhabited for six hundred years before it was abandoned. This painting is a response to Donagh Carey's experiences on Skellig Michael.
The Catherine Hammond Gallery represents some of Ireland's leading contemporary artists and has held exhibitions for Hughie O'Donoghue, Donald Teskey and Charles Tyrrell. For twelve seasons the gallery was based at Glengarriff and is due to reopen in March 2016 in Skibbereen.
Donagh Carey is delighted to be one of the featured artists showing with the Catherine Hammond Gallery at VUE 2015 in the RHA which opens later this week. This annual Dublin contemporary art fair includes twenty of Ireland's best galleries and runs from Thursday 5th November until Sunday 8th November.
'Epoch, Skelligs l' is one of a series of paintings based on Donagh's response to the Monastic Hermitage on Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast.
Dublin's galleries took over the city during the recent Dublin's Gallery Weekend. Thirty galleries hosted sixty visual arts events, including show openings, curator talks and walking tours. Donagh Carey gave an Artist's Talk on Saturday afternoon at Origin Gallery, Fitzwilliam Street about his art exhibition inspired by his sojourns to the Skellig Islands. Telling stories from his initial arrival on Skellig Michael in treacherous weather conditions, to the unimaginable hardship for the monks living in the 6th Century Hermitage and how he responds to these experiences in his paintings.
The Origin Gallery, Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin re-opens today and my solo show, 'Skelligs - From Sea To Summit' continues until Saturday 12th September 2015.
My July solo show, 'Skelligs - From Sea to Summit" re-opens at Origin Gallery, Dublin for a further two weeks at the beginning of September.
Origin Gallery, 37 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin, Ireland. Telephone; 01 662 9347
The exhibition by Charles Tyrrell of New Paintings at Uillenn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, was officially opened by Aidan Dunne and runs until 19th September 2015.
Chatting with Charles Tyrrell at the opening of his show of New Paintings.
Looking down upon the paintings and the gathering in the James O'Driscoll Gallery.
Viewing the new work by Charles Tyrrell in Gallery ll at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen.
Introducing Robert Ballagh, who officially opened the Skibbereen Arts Festival 2015 at the Mixed Media show in the old Bottling Plant.