Image: Eleanor Swan and Mary McGrath, Sult Collective members, with Mary’s artwork ‘The Miracle of the Cloak and other scenes from the Life of Brigid of Kildare’. Photo by Michael Donnelly
Kildare Town will transform into an open air art gallery, when more than 20 local businesses will exhibit 60 works of international and national art in their windows as part of the Brigid 1500 celebrations in the new year. This uniquely accessible art exhibition titled “Unravelling an Icon, Celebrating and Remembering Brigid and her Legacy,” was organised by Sult Artist-led Collective based in Kildare, to reflect the traditions, customs and symbols associated with Brigid’s legacy, to mark the 1500th anniversary of the death of Brigid in February 2024.
Following an international open call in May this year, 215 pieces of art were submitted by artists from all over the world including England, Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Ethiopia, Australia, Japan, Canada, USA and New Zealand as well as from across Ireland.
“The huge number of entries blew us away - it really shows the international reach of Brigid. Our team at Sult had the difficult task of shortlisting the entries down to 50. Fortunately we had invaluable help from a member of Co. Kildare Arts Service as well as a curator from IMMA. The exhibition will also include works by our Sult Collective members.
The idea behind the exhibition is to make art as accessible as possible and create more opportunities for people to interact with art. We hope the local community and visitors to the town will really enjoy the artworks and learn more about Brigid and her messages of inclusivity, generosity and the power of women,” said Pamela de Brí, Sult Artist Collective member.
The exhibition will include paintings, ceramics, photography, film, sculpture, animation, printmaking, stitching, felting, weaving, digital art, stained glass, drawing, embroidery, mosaic, mixed media, batik and textile works.
The exhibition art trail, “Unravelling an Icon, Celebrating and Remembering Brigid and her Legacy,” will be accompanied by a high-quality, limited-edition catalogue of the selected artworks and this will be available during the celebrations to mark Brigid’s anniversary.
In addition, the local children from Ballyshannon National School and Kildare Town Educate Together are currently working with Sult Artist, Liza Kavanagh, on their interpretation of Brigid and their work will be displayed on a monitor in Southwells in Kildare Town.
Ann McKenna, Sult Artist Collective member, said: ‘Brigid has always been a unifying force and this exhibition art trail will bring businesses, the local community, national and international artists together to celebrate and mark Brigid 1500.
“The artworks will be displayed in windows to be seen from the outside and will be illuminated in the evening, so people can view the work at all times even when the businesses are closed.
“The unique art exhibition will give visitors and locals to Kildare Town an opportunity to enjoy the diverse range of work from all over the world that have been created to celebrate Brigid.”
There will be a guide map of the exhibits available to direct visitors to each shop window exhibit. The free Brigid 1500 Art Trail in Kildare Town will be launched at 4.00p.m. on Saturday 27th January and will run from 28th January – 18th February 2024.
This project is supported by Brigid 1500 and Kildare Co Council.
Fancy Footwork Gallery gets new exhibition ready. Photo Dylan Vaughan for The Irish Times, 14th February 2023.
At the launch of LAND/MARKS, Brian Byrne, Gallery Coordinator, National Design & Craft Gallery and Suzy O Keefe, Head of Digital Communications, Design and Crafts Council Ireland were photographed with ‘Not All Streets are Paved With Gold’ a piece by Eleanor Swan.
Ceramics Ireland is delighted to present Land/Marks, the fourth in its triennial exhibition series. Continuing the ethos of celebrating the diverse range and breadth of contemporary ceramic work being created my makers of and from Ireland. Land/Marks will feature works that explore and challenge the material clay, investigating its malleability and pushing its boundaries.
This will be evident through a variety of sculptural forms, functional vessels and installation-based works. The independent expert panel of three selected 42 makers for this edition of the triennial series, which will celebrate the craftsmanship and skills of these contemporary practitioners.
Eleanor Swan prepares her piece 'Not All Streets are Paved With Gold' for Land/Marks exhibition.
LAND/MARKS runs from 14th February to 20th May 2023 at the National Design & Graft Gallery, Co Kilkenny.
Irish Times, May 2022
An art exhibition by the ‘SULT’ collective in Newbridge commemorates political and social change in Kildare in 1922 and after.
Kildare Nationalist 19th May 2022
People are flocking to see a new art exhibition in Newbridge marking the centenary of the withdrawal of the British army from Kildare.
‘Life Goes On’ opened at Bord na Móna’s headquarters in the town on Monday 16 May, exactly 100 years after the withdrawal of British troops.
The exhibition is a collaboration between Sult Artists (a group of multidisciplinary Kildare-based artists) and Newbridge Local History Group.
‘Fine Giornata’ translates to ‘end of the day’, and ‘Argilla di Fine Giornata’ translates to clay at the end of the day. Apprentices who worked in glass or ceramic studios would often have the opportunity to make their own work with leftover materials at the end of the day and these creations were often called ‘Fine Giornata’...
2020 was strange year, with some exhibitions and residencies cancelled. But it was a year to experiment and try out new ideas and work towards exhibitions that might or might not happen....but some did. The studio was closed to the public for much of the year but thankfully I managed to keep it going.