“Beonasc” – Linking East and West


"Beonasc: Thoir agus Thiar" at An Gailearaí, Gaoth Dobhair
“Beonasc: Thoir agus Thiar” at An Gailearaí, Gaoth Dobhair


Yes, I met all sorts of people at An Gailearaí in Donegal the other night at the opening of Beonasc: Thoir agus Thiar. This is a very interesting art exhibition, curated by Eimear Ní Mhathúna, which explores links between the Donegal Gaeltacht and the city of Belfast.  For generations, Irish speakers in Belfast have drawn on the wealth of Gaelic culture in the Donegal Gaeltacht and this connection has been beneficial to both communities. Now, as an urban Gaeltacht blossoms and grows in 21st century Belfast, it brings new hope to the dwindling communities in Donegal who have been plagued by unemployment and emigration. The “Beonasc” or living link between the two communities is celebrated in this ‘bi-located’ exhibition with the artists having works in both An Gailearaí in Gweedore and Dánlann Dillon in Belfast at the same time and also with a video link between the two galleries to give visitors a sense of both.

I am showing some paintings from my “Tinteán Tréigthe/ Empty Hearth” series, which is an ongoing series portraying old fireplaces in abandoned homes in Donegal.


"Tinteán Tréigthe/ Empty Hearth", 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas, 2014
“Tinteán Tréigthe/ Empty Hearth”, 50 x 50cm, oil on canvas, 2014


Tá taispeántas an-spéisiúl d’ár teideal dó Beonasc: Thoir agus Thiar ar siúl i nGaoth Dobhair agus i mBéal Feirste faoi láthair. Sea, tá sé ar siúl i ndhá dánlann ag an am céanna – sa Ghailearaí i nGaoth Dobhair agus i nDánlann Dillon, sa Chultúrlann i mBéal Feirste. Bhí mé ag an oscailt sa Ghailearaí dé Sathairn agus tá an dara oscailt ar siúl sa Chultúrlann dé Déardaoin.

Bhí oíche an-dheas againn. Bhí ceoltóirí agus cantóirí ann (tháinig na cantóirí trasna ó Uist Theas san Albain). D’oscail Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí an taispeántas go h-oifigiúl. Thug sé léacht an-suimiúl dúinn faoin Ghaeltacht cathrach atá ag fás i mBéal Feirste agus faoi na nascanna atá idir í agus Gaeltacht Thír Chonaill.

Na h-ealaíontóirí atá ag glacadh páirt ná: Breandán Ó Súilleabháin, Bridget Ryan, Caomhán Mac an Iomaire, Catherine McWilliams, Clíodhna Cussen, Gerard Dillon, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Jennifer Cunningham, Michael Doherty, Rosie McGurran, Seán Ó Flaithearta, Stuart Calvin, Susan Hughes agus Úna O’Grady.






  1. I think that your paintings from the “Empty Hearth” series are brilliant. They have a certain atmosphere that evoke various emotions – these are abandoned homes, yet I don’t feel sad, probably just because fireplaces draw people around them once their are lit.

    Your fireplaces seem so real that I can imagine a few logs, bright fire and someone walking in from one corner of the painting just to have a look if the wood’s still burning. You caught that sense, that hides behind the word “home”, so well! K.


    • Hello K, it’s really nice to receive your comments. I will be having a solo exhibition of those fireplaces in 2015 so I’m still working on them. I have just been reading your posting about e-exhibitions so maybe I could send you some images for your site? In the meantime, thanks for your comments, eoin


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