Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, will this year host a major exhibition of artwork from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger,’ will be displayed in two locations only in Ireland in 2018. The exhibition will run at Dublin Castle from March to June and then at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, from July to October.
This very prestigious exhibition, comprising the largest collection of Famine-related art in the world, will be on display in Ireland for the first time. It includes paintings by Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, James Brenan, artworks by Rowan Gillespie, James Coll and Margaret Lyster Chamberlain, and many others.
Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, which is attached to Quinnipiac University, has acquired some 135 works of art pertaining to the Famine. About 50 of these will be included in the exhibition that is travelling to Ireland.
This is a unique collection and it will be a major attraction at Uillinn in Skibbereen from July to October.
It is appropriate that the Coming Home exhibition should come to Skibbereen, the area that was at the very epicentre of the Great Irish Famine (1845-52).
Significantly, in 2009 Skibbereen was chosen by the Irish Government as the location for the first ever National Famine Commemoration and the week’s programme of events, organised by Terri Kearney, manager of the Skibbereen Heritage Centre, was an outstanding success.
The Famine Exhibition at Skibbereen Heritage Centre is one of the top visitor attractions in West Cork. Skibbereen is the most important and significant town in Ireland in terms of its Famine heritage and many of the sites in the town have a direct link to that tragic period.
Ann Davoren, Director of Uillinn West Cork Art Centre, is organising a programme of education and community events for Skibbereen and West Cork to coincide with the exhibition.
The programme includes a West Cork-wide Schools Programme, a series of Artists’ Residencies in association with the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork and University College Cork; a series of lectures and seminars in UCC and IGHM, a unique performance event by Alanna O’Kelly, and an Arts for Health project celebrating the legacy of the 110 girls from Skibbereen Workhouse who emigrated to Australia during the Famine as part of an assisted emigration scheme.
Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger will be a major cultural, educational and tourist event in Skibbereen from July to October, which will attract local, national and international interest.
Mark it in your diary!