In The Picture: Art and The Great Hunger

Updated / Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018 10:10

Gorta by Lillian Lucy Davidson, from the Art and The Great Hunger exhibition

For the first time ever, the world’s largest collection of art relating to The Great Famine has come home to Ireland for a 12-month tour.

The exhibition, Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger, contains 50 artworks from some of Ireland’s most eminent artists, among them Jack B. Yeats, Dorothy Cross, Paul Henry, William Crozier, John Behan, Brian Maguire, Rowan Gillespie, Micheal Farrell, Hughie O’Donoghue and Alanna O’Kelly. A new painting by Robert Ballagh will also be unveiled. The art has made the journey across the Atlantic from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut. 

"The Famine continues to exert its hold on Ireland and its diaspora," says Niamh O’Sullivan, the exhibition’s curator. "Artists, uniquely, perhaps, are equipped to express the complexity of our relationship with our past, and to explore the continuum of poverty and displacement, as well as issues of class and identity in our contemporary world."

Between July and October, Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger will be shown at Uilinn West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen - in 2019, it will travel to Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin in Derry.

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, states in the preface to the exhibition catalogue, "An Gorta Mór was a defining moment in the history of modern Ireland and a turning point in the history of our people...Today we are fortunate to have a great body of scholarship that adds to our understanding of that tragic chapter of our history and provides us with material for reflection, understanding, and, indeed, resolution."

Find out more about Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger here.