Thinking About Irish History - The Union Workhouse, Schull

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.

Union Workhouse, Schull ll, 2016  -  Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

Union Workhouse, Schull ll, 2016  -  Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

 

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.

Union Workhouse, Schull l, 2016   -  Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

 

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.

Union Workhouse, Schull lll, 2016   -   Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

Union Workhouse, Schull lll, 2016   -   Oil on board, Painting 14cm x 14cm, Frame 40cm x 40cm

 

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.

 

 

'Epoch, Skelligs l' shows at VUE 2015 in the RHA, Dublin

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.  

Twenty galleries participated in Ireland's National Contemporary Art Fair this autumn at the RHA, Dublin.

Twenty galleries participated in Ireland's National Contemporary Art Fair this autumn at the RHA, Dublin.

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.

'Epoch, Skelligs l' shown with the Catherine Hammond Gallery at VUE 2015.

'Epoch, Skelligs l' shown with the Catherine Hammond Gallery at VUE 2015.

Visiting the Catherine Hammond Gallery stand.

Visiting the Catherine Hammond Gallery stand.

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.

The RHA at Ely Place in Dublin city centre, places itself at the heart of Irish Contemporary Art, supporting and promoting Irish art and artists.  Further information can be found at;  www.rhagallery.ie  www.hammondgallery.com

The RHA at Ely Place in Dublin city centre, places itself at the heart of Irish Contemporary Art, supporting and promoting Irish art and artists.

Further information can be found at;

www.rhagallery.ie

www.hammondgallery.com

Donagh Carey to show in the RHA, Dublin at VUE 2015

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. 

Donagh_Carey_Epoch_Skelligs_l

Follow the links below for further information and opening times of VUE 2015;

http://hammondgallery.com/wordpress/vue-2015

http://www.vueartfair.ie/

 

 

Artist's Talk on 'Skelligs - From Sea To Summit' at Origin Gallery, Dublin

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. 

Addressing the gathering at Origin Gallery for his Artist's Talk about 'Skelligs - From Sea To Summit' exhibition. 

Addressing the gathering at Origin Gallery for his Artist's Talk about 'Skelligs - From Sea To Summit' exhibition. 

Discussing one of the Skellig Series paintings.

Discussing one of the Skellig Series paintings.

Good times at Dublin's Gallery Weekend.

Good times at Dublin's Gallery Weekend.

At the opening of Charles Tyrrell New Paintings

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.

FullSizeRender (15).jpg

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.