Miss O Murphy, by Micheal Farrell
Miss O Murphy, by Micheal Farrell
An exhibition of the work of Micheal Farrell, the Kells native artist, opens in Solstice Arts Centre this evening (Thursday). It will be opened by Pat Moylan, chairperson of the Arts Council.
Farrell studied St Martin’s School of Art, London, and Colchester College of Art from 1956 to 1960. His early work is characterised by a hard-edge abstractionism that combines geometric and organic forms, often in bright, neon colours. The civil unrest particularly the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings of 1972-1974, led Farrell’s work away from abstract formalism, and later figurative works that showcase his skills as a draughtsman are predominately concerned with the impulse to re-establish and redefine an Irish identity through political allegory and comment. His powerful 'Madonna Irlanda' series (1976-77) rendered Ireland in the role of a mistress based on Louisa O'Murphy, the eighteenth-century mistress of Louis XV.
Following time spent working in New York and London, Farrell moved to France in 1971, where Aidan Dunne notes Farrell exemplified “the paradox of the exile who is obsessed by his homeland but chooses to live elsewhere”1 continuing self-heroic themes of Irish identity, politics, culture and history. In his final years he concurrently produced accomplished biographical accounts of life in the town of Cardet, France.
The exhibition is produced by Solstice Arts Centre in partnership with Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin, and the Crawford Gallery, Cork . The Work of Micheal Farrell tour is supported by the Arts Council.
Events during the Michael Farrell Season include
Thurs 29 August, 7.30pm
IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BALLAGH
Artist and member of Aosdána, Robert Ballagh will present a Talk on the diversity of Farrell’s work. As a close friend for many years, Ballagh will touch on his personal connections and his memories of the man. Free but pre-booking is essential.
Fri 20 September
CULTURE NIGHT FAMILY TOURS
To celebrate Culture Night the Galleries will remain open 4pm until late. Individuals and families can enjoy free evening tours of ‘The Work of Micheal Farrell’ exhibition. Free on a first come first served basis.
Sat 21 September, 2.30pm
DAVID FARRELL: MY BROTHER MICHEAL
David Farrell, Micheal Farrell’s brother and author of his biography ‘Micheal Farrell: The Life and Work of an Irish Artist’, talk about the artist’s life, starting with his early days in Cookstown, Co. Meath. Free but pre-booking is essential.
Sat 28 September (public) 11.30am-1pm, Wed 2 / Thurs 3 Oct (Schools), 10.00am-11.30pm
PRINT-MAKING WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN
Print-maker Tatyana Feeney will give a workshop using basic materials to create colourful prints. Children will be introduced to Micheal Farrell’s print works on exhibit in the Gallery and learn about his techniques. All materials included, suitable for ages 8-12.
Fee: €7 (School rate available for groups)
Wed 2 October, 7.30pm
ICONIC IMAGE: MADONNA IRLANDA
Marie Bourke, Keeper and Head of Education at the National Gallery of Ireland and Adjunct Professor in the School of Cultural Policy & Art History, UCD, will give an overview of Farrell’s work, with particular focus on the renowned Madonna Irlanda series. Free but pre-booking is essential.
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