Well, I don’t think I ever imagined that I’d be categorised as one of the Top 5 Irish Artists but – there you have it – it happened last Thursday night in Belgium, and the person who said it was none other than Jimmy Deenihan, the Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Ah yes… fame at last.
It was Europe Day, the 9th of May, and the occasion was the opening of “Shaping Identities Together/ Ag Cruthú le chéile”, an exhibition by 5 contemporary Irish artists in the old Irish College in Louvain (now known as Leuven).
And what an occasion – the food, they served us little cups of white asparagus soup, minced herring on silver spoons, little tartlets of tender duck, pineapple chunks wrapped in bacon… (you wouldn’t want to be a vegetarian that night) – and the music, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin and Celticanto. Ó Súilleabháin played some wonderful moving pieces on the grand piano that night, music that carried us back to the 17th century, music that had once been played for the O’Donnells and the O’Neills of Tír Chonaill, music reminding us of the “Flight of the Earls” and of the beginning of the Irish Diaspora.
But, back to the art… Now you know, of course, that there were two members of Aosdána and a member of the RHA in this exhibition (I’m neither) but it was an impressive show, I think. Hughie O’Donoghue had a wonderful painting entitled “Scribe” and Colin Martin had a pensive video installation which featured the Franciscan archives in UCD. However, as this is my blog, I’m showing you one of my own works from the exhibition (see above).
Below, it’s myself, Hughie O’Donoghue and Micheál Ó Súilleabháin.
And here’s a link to The Leuven Institute for Ireland in Europe: http://www.leuveninstitute.eu