EITHNE JORDAN: Mise en scène, Part II

9 September – 8 January

Coupled with Mise en scène, Part I at the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, this exhibition takes the form of an intervention in our beautiful and historic Sculpture Galleries.

Exhibited among the gallery’s collection of Canova Casts, Mise en scène, Part II comprises twenty small works by Eithne Jordan that respond to museum interiors in Ireland, France, and the United States.

Many of Jordan’s paintings feature sculptures which she sees as serving a multitude of purposes, but principally as a way of introducing the human figure into the institutional space. The artist notes that there are many layers of historical reference and interpretation distancing us from the humanity of the figure.

This series of exquisite miniature oils on board is a new departure for the artist. As Jordan notes:

‘I like the idea of doing a show in a space where a conversation can happen between my paintings and works from the collection that are on display. Here there are all kinds of echoes and connections with the Canova Casts and the sculptures represented in my paintings…’

This exhibition runs in parallel with Eithne Jordan’s Mise en scène, Part I (27 August – 1 October 2022) at the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda. Both exhibitions, running concurrently, provide a unique opportunity for visitors to see the artist’s work in two very different contexts across the island of Ireland.

Curated by Margarita Cappock.

Download the free companion booklet.

IN CONVERSATION: Eithne Jordan & Margarita Cappock
1pm, Wednesday 19 October
Free but advance booking recommended via Eventbrite

Eithne Jordan lives and works in Dublin, and in the Languedoc, France. She studied at Dun Laoghaire School of Art before receiving a DAAD scholarship to Berlin where she lived and worked for a number of years. She has exhibited widely in Europe, and is a member of Aosdána and the RHA, where she holds the position of Keeper. Her work is in major public and private collections in Ireland, Europe, and the United States. Mise en scène, Part I and Part II are Jordan’s first shows in Ireland since her major exhibition, Tableau, at the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin in 2017.   

Highlanes Gallery and Louth County Council


Modern Galleries

9 September – 4 December

Situated in the former drawing spaces of the Crawford School of Art – which relocated from our building in 1979 – this exhibition offers a cross-section of drawing works from the collection.

DRAWING ROOM highlights contemporary and historic practice, encompassing eighteenth-century sketches, nineteenth-century life drawings, and twentieth-century subject studies.

The exhibition features the work of Jo Allen, James Barry, Megan Eustace, Brian Fay, Angela Fewer, Samuel Forde, Seán Keating, Sarah Longley, Daniel Maclise, Walter A. Mulligan, John O’Leary, Suzy O'Mullane, Mervyn Peake, Kathy Prendergast, John Risi, Thomas Rowlandson, John Shinnors, Edith Somerville, Samuel Walsh, and William Willes.

Drawing is observation, curiosity, experiment, thought, freedom, and investigation. In presenting a diversity of styles and techniques together, this exhibition registers the changes in drawing practice and material choices over time, while also serving as an invitation for visitors to examine, linger – even draw!

DRAWING ROOM coincides with similar projects across Cork, including Drawing Connections (Sample-Studios), Drawbridge (MTU Crawford College of Art & Design), and Beyond Drawing (Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre).

Curated by Michael Waldron


(Penrose Rooms, Floor 1)

VISITOR NOTICE: Only the first room of this two-room exhibition is presently open. This is to facilitate collection care and we regret any inconvenience this may cause. John Butts' View of Cork from Audley Place, Whipping the Herring out of Town by Nathaniel Grogan, and other works may still be visited.

Spanning 1714 to 1830, the Georgian Period in Ireland is characterised by significant urban development, advances in architecture and design, and a flourishing of the visual arts. This exhibition is displayed within two domestic scale rooms, which date to 1724 and once functioned as part of the old Custom House of Cork.

Featured in GEORGIAN IRELAND are pieces of period furniture, books, silver, glass, Chinese porcelain, and fine examples of society portraiture, Irish landscapes, and genre scenes, many of which are drawn from the Cooper Penrose Collection.

Cooper Penrose (1736-1815) was a Quaker ‘merchant prince’ who, with interests in timber and property, benefited greatly from the opportunities available during the later Georgian Period. Together with his brother, the Penrose family established Cork and Waterford Glass. In addition, he assembled a renowned art collection in Cork, which once included a portrait by the celebrated French artist Jacques-Louis David (now in the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego).

Come face-to-face with Elizabeth 'Bessie' Penrose (1774-1862), the Venerable Honora 'Nano' Nagle (1718-1784), the parents of revolutionary Robert Emmet (1778-1803), and members of the Dennis and Newenham families.

Along with John Butts’ iconic View of Cork from Audley Place (c.1750), visitors will have the opportunity to encounter the work of notable Irish artists of the period, including James Barry, Charles Forrest, Nathaniel Grogan, Thomas Pope-Stevens, and Martin Archer Shee, silverware by Jonathan Buck and John Power, and works after Joshua Reynolds and by the circle of Allan Ramsay.

Meat and Potatoes

16 July – 6 November 

Eye-catching, thought-provoking and mouth-watering in equal measure, Meat and Potatoes will open across two floors of exhibition space at Crawford Art Gallery this summer.

Bringing together works by historic and contemporary artists who have used food as their muse in myriad ways, the exhibition will be organised into three primary sections – BREAD, MEAT and POTATOES – which will be presented as staples in the history of food-focused art, as well as our personal diets throughout the ages. Visitors will have the opportunity to survey an abundance of food-related artworks produced over the last four centuries, from still lifes, to dining utensils and cookware, to video works and installations that consider the politics and concerns that have shaped perspectives on food right up to our present moment. 

A feast for all the senses, Meat and Potatoes will whet the appetite of anyone who has ever thought about food as a source of sustenance not only for the body, but also for the eyes, the mind, the soul, and society at large.

This exhibition features the work of Comhghall Casey, Monika Crowley, Lisa Fingleton, Mary Kelly, Anne Kiely and Mary Palmer, Maria McKinney, Abigail O’Brien, Geraldine O’Neill and Deirdre O’Mahony, in addition to Jean in Bed with Jaundice by John Bratby and Tommy Sutton Getting in the Spuds in the Snow by Camille Souter, which are on kind loan from the Glebe Gallery in Donegal.

Click on the links below to download an essay in pdf format.

Ellie O’Byrne: Art is always food for thought, not least when it’s art about food.

Cristín Leach: Consuming Beauty: There’s Eating and Drinking in that.

Click on the logo below to view the calendar of events.

Meat and Potatoes logo

AFI 2022 Archive


AS THEY MUST HAVE BEEN: Men of the South, 1922-2022

30 July – 25 September

Seán Keating’s group portrait, Men of the South, was completed a century ago this year.

The painting, which has become an icon of the period, was created in the long shadow of the Irish War of Independence (1919-21) when, during the truce of 11 July 1921, members of the Cork No. 2 Brigade visited the artist’s Dublin studio. Keating would later remark: ‘They trooped in, dressed and armed very much as they must have been on many an ambush.’

Exhibited in 1922 at both the Munster Fine Arts Club and Royal Hibernian Academy, Men of the South excited discussion in the Cork press and was ultimately purchased for the collection, in 1924, through the Gibson Bequest Fund.

This exhibition places Men of the South in context and seeks to draw out stories of the individuals depicted, the wider theatre of war, and the circumstances surrounding the making of a masterpiece. It also provides a rare opportunity to encounter Men of the South with its companion painting, An IRA Column (1921), which is on kind loan from Áras an Uachtaráin.

Accompanying this focused consideration of Men of the South is a broader exploration of 1920s Ireland, and the emergence of the Irish Free State, as represented through selected artworks by George Atkinson, Hugh C. Charde, Margaret Clarke, John Day, Paul Henry, Catherine Holland, Mainie Jellett, John Lavery, Louis le Brocquy, Séamus Murphy, Breda O’Donoghue-Lucci, William Rothenstein, Thomas Ryan, Oliver Sheppard, Estella Solomons, and Jack B. Yeats.

This centenary exhibition invites visitors to reflect upon the power of art to shape or reshape our histories, with an eye to posterity and bearing witness to lives and events ‘as they must have been’.

Curated by Michael Waldron

The exhibition is accompanied by a programme of free public tours and a special Heritage Week event, Men of the South at 100: An Oral History with Maurice O’Keeffe (Irish Life & Lore) and curator Michael Waldron at 5:30pm, Thursday 18 August, Crawford Art Gallery.

Listen back to Conor Tallon and Michael Waldron discussing AS THEY MUST HAVE BEEN on The Arts House for Cork’s 96fm.


BOTANICA: The Art of Plants

17 March – 25 September

BOTANICA: The Art of Plants gathers selected historic and contemporary works from the collection to probe how artists have, over time, represented plants in their practices through pastel, pencil, paint, print, and sculpture.

Running from spring to autumn, this exhibition touches on the histories of plant collecting – and ethical questions of colonialism that arise from it – and considers the place of gardening, the hidden meanings of flowers, and the medicinal applications of plants, among other themes.

BOTANICA offers a timely reflection on our relationship with plants. Indeed, just as the pandemic has underscored Millennials’ increasing attraction to caring for houseplants, our impact on the environment and biodiversity has come to define a new geological age: the Anthropocene.

In art, plants have figured as accompaniments to important themes, borne symbolic meanings, and emerged as subjects in their own right.

In this exhibition, the selected artworks range from landscapes and still lifes to botanical and arboreal studies. Are there encoded meanings in flowers? What are the medicinal qualities of plants? Can trees speak?

BOTANICA features artworks by Emily Anderson, George Clausen, Thomas F. Collier, Sylvia Cooke-Collis, Susanna Adelaide Deane, Augustin Amant Edouart, Gerda Frömel, Debbie Godsell, Patrick Hennessy, Katie Holten, Evie Hone, Marshall Hutson, Mainie Jellett, Fiona Kelly, John Lavery, Maurice MacGonigal, Robert Matthews, Nellie Möckler, Rosaleen Moore, Sarah O’Flaherty, Monica Poole, Kathy Prendergast, Dod Procter, Vivienne Roche, Nigel Rolfe, Harry Scully, and Jennifer Trouton.

Curated by Michael Waldron

Click on the interactive tour below to view the exhibition online.
Click on the bottom right icon to view in fullscreen mode.

The Port of Cork Collection

26 February – 28 August 2022

For an event linked to this exhibition, see below.

In November 2021, a major donation of unique maritime artworks was gifted to Crawford Art Gallery by The Port of Cork Company.

This significant collection consists of 17 maritime paintings, a ship’s register (1912) from The Cork Harbour Commissioners referencing both the Titanic and Lusitania, an illuminated address to Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891), and a silver Admiralty Oar from 1686.

Now visitors will have the opportunity to encounter a selection of paintings from the Port of Cork collection, including works by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (1806-1884), Henry Albert Hartland (1840-1893), Robert Lowe Stopford (1813-1898), and Seán Keating (1889-1977).

Although not attending to certain social or political realities of late nineteenth-century Ireland, these artworks do act as a visual reminder of that time. They also underscore Cork Harbour's links with empire, its international significance for commerce and trade, and ever-present story of migration. Glimpses of half-remembered histories are framed within these heritage views of Cork Harbour. Each artist provides an insight into the Port of Cork's operations, from Atkinson's extraordinary rendering of naval vessels to Hartland and Stopford's depictions of commercial shipping and leisure craft. Perhaps unexpectedly, Keating's elevated View of the Port of Cork draws us into Cork City itself and remembers the busy working quays of recent memory.

Take in panoramic views of Cork Harbour from the late nineteenth century, turn back the clock on locations ranging from Cobh (Queenstown) and Monkstown to Blackrock Castle, and learn of the variety of seagoing vessels, including the famed SS Sirius.

Curated by Michael Waldron

Click here to view The Birdlife of Cork Harbour event. 

Click on the interactive tour below to view the exhibition online.
Click on the bottom right icon to view in fullscreen mode.

MARK CLARE: DemocraCity

Screening Room

14 July – 7 August 2022

DemocraCity (2011) is an animation produced by Mark Clare using the 3D modelling program Google Sketchup.

Taking the contradictory ideologies of B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) and Theodore John Kaczynski as its starting point, and an edited version of Arvo Part's Fratres for violin and piano as its soundtrack, DemocraCity is a combination of architectural models.

The animation takes the viewer on a journey through a timeline of iconic modernist buildings – symbolic of a utopian dream – and onwards through a cityscape and the industrial structures necessary to deliver the fuel that power our cities. We ultimately enter a landscape based on artist renditions for the Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository – due to become operational in 2023 – which extends deep into the granite bedrock of Finland.

Mark Clare (b.1968) is an artist whose practice embraces a variety of media and techniques, ranging from audio, animation, and video to photography, performance, and public interventions. He is presently artist-in-residence at UCD Earth Institute, Dublin and has previously exhibited at Crawford Art Gallery with I Believe In You (2014), and at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

AMANDA DUNSMORE: Senator David Norris 

Screening Room
16 June – 10 July

This screening of Amanda Dunsmore’s Senator David Norris coincides with Bloomsday (16 June) in the centenary year of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922).

Recently acquired for the collection, Senator David Norris (2012) is a video portrait of the prominent Irish LGBTQ+ activist and renowned Joycean scholar. David Norris (b.1944), a founder of the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform who has served in Seanad Éireann since 1987, has suggested that to enter into the world of Ulysses we should: ‘Listen to it, read it as far as you can with your ears.’

Filmed in the attic of the James Joyce Centre (North Great George’s Street, Dublin), Dunsmore’s portrait of this usually animated raconteur is silent. Norris sits composed, surrounded by books and the remnants of Joyce related materials.

Senator David Norris was created as part of the Galway County Council Public Art Residency Programme with Galway’s older LGBT community.

Amanda Dunsmore (b.1968) examines place, people, and moments of political significance through her work. Employing archival processes and aesthetic tactics drawn from established conventions of portrait painting, she explores representations of societal transformation through contextual portraiture and social historic projects. Dunsmore's filmed portraits feature social actors who have transformed society, often filming them in locations of social-historic significance.

Amanda Dunsmore
Senator David Norris
Video (Edition 2 of 3)
19:19 minutes
Purchased, the Artist, 2020

Zurich Portrait Prize 2021

23 April – 17 July 2022

Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to welcome the Zurich Portrait Prize for a third consecutive year in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland.

Sponsored by Zurich, this annual competition is open to artists working in Ireland, and Irish citizens based abroad. Submissions are not restricted by media; however, all entries must have been completed within the last three years. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize of €15,000 and will be commissioned to create a work for the National Portrait Collection, for which they will be awarded a further €5,000. Two additional awards of €1,500 will be given to highly commended works. The 2021 shortlist will go on display in the National Gallery of Ireland (13 November 2021 - 3 April 2022) before being exhibited at Crawford Art Gallery (23 April - 17 July 2022).

This year’s judging panel is formed by artist Eamonn Doyle, art historian Róisín Kennedy, and curator Seán Kissane.

The 24 shortlisted artists for the Zurich Portrait Prize 2021 are:

The exhibition will be accompanied by the shortlisted artists from the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2021.

Click on the image below to view a virtual tour of the exhibition.

Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2021

23 April – 17 July 2022

Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to welcome the Zurich Young Portrait Prize for a third consecutive year in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland.

This is an annual inclusive art competition which aims to foster and support creativity, originality and self-expression in children and young people. The Zurich Young Portrait Prize accepts entries from young people, up to the age of 18, of all abilities, from across the island of Ireland. 20 finalists in four categories (ages 6 and under, ages 7–11, ages 12–15 and ages 16–18), chosen by our panel of judges, will be displayed at the National Gallery of Ireland from 13 November 2021 to 3 April 2022. The exhibition will then travel to Crawford Art Gallery, where it will be displayed between 23 April and 17 July 2022. The overall winner will be awarded a personalised wooden box of high-quality art materials, specific to their choice of material in their portrait, and a cash prize of €500.

This year’s judging panel is formed by Aideen Barry, Joe Caslin, and Tadhg Crowley.

The shortlisted artists for the Zurich Young Portrait Prize 2021 are:

The exhibition will be accompanied by the shortlisted artists from the Zurich Portrait Prize 2021.

Click on the image below to view a virtual tour of the exhibition.


Saturation: the everyday transformed

29 January - 26 June 2022

Dragana Jurišić, Ruth Medjber, Audrey Gillespie, Michael Hanna, Eva O’Leary, Pádraig Spillane, Conor Clinch, Hazel Coonagh, Megan Doherty, Vittoria Colonna, Cáit Fahey, Ayesha Ahmad and Niamh Swanton.

SATURATION: the everyday transformed will explore remarkable bodies of work created by a young generation of artists who use photography to explore lives played out in front of them, often creating or conveying a heightened experience through the use of colour.

The exhibition will embrace aspects of social media, street photography, music and fashion photography with elements of the documentary tradition to make for a display that is light-hearted, if sometimes claustrophobic. Inevitably it will reflect, if often only accidently, major changes in both society and technology, how photographs are taken, shared and consumed.

SATURATION: the everyday transformed will focus on photography of contemporary life at the intersection of the quotidian, or everyday and the fantastic or even surreal. It will explore what Susan Sontag termed ‘Everyday life apotheosized…the kind of beauty that only the camera reveals’.

Curated by William Laffan and Dawn Williams 

Supported by Pat McDonnell Paints.

Pat McDonnell Paints Logo
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Screening Room

19 May – 12 June

Last Man (2011) by Martin Healy follows a solitary male figure as he conducts caretaking activities in an empty building. Filmed in the old terminal of Cork Airport, the vacated site suggests a foretaste of a possible future, or perhaps the recording of a neglected past.

These possible scenarios conjure up both the concept of a world without oil – making air travel impossible – or even a future where aviation has become obsolete and what remains is nostalgia for the archaic technologies of the past.

The film’s title refers to The Last Man (1826), a dystopian novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley set in the late 21st century which imagines a future pandemic that ravages the human population. Healy’s work thus takes on eery new relevance in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting loss of life, public fear, and aviation restrictions.

Martin Healy (b.1967) is an Irish visual artist who works predominantly in video and photography. A graduate of Crawford College of Art & Design, he has exhibited widely over the past two decades and held residencies at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and PS1 Contemporary Art Centre, New York.

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DOROTHY CROSS: Jellyfish Lake

Screening Room
22 April – 15 May

Showing for a limited time, our series of screenings from the collection continues with Dorothy Cross’ short film Jellyfish Lake.

Jellyfish Lake (2002) by Dorothy Cross resulted from the artist’s investigations into the biomechanics of Chironex fleckeri (box jellyfish). Filmed in an isolated lake in Palau, Micronesia, millions of golden jellyfish migrate across the lake daily.

Cross plunges the viewer under water to view a naked woman floating beneath the sunlit surface. Unlike the solid form of the body, the contrasting golden jellyfish are amorphous and transparent yet there is mutual awareness: the human form is laid bare to nature’s defences but collide temporarily

Dorothy Cross (b.1956) works in sculpture, photography, and film to examine the relationship between living beings and the natural world. Living in rural Connemara on Ireland’s west coast, the artist sees nature, the ocean and the body as sites of constant change and flux. Having studied in this building during the 1970s, Cross went on to represent Ireland at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993 and continues to exhibit internationally.

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GRACE WEIR: Dust defying gravity

Screening Room

3 – 20 March

Grace Weir’s short film Dust defying gravity shows for a limited time in a new series of screenings from the collection.

Dust defying gravity (2004) by Grace Weir consists of a single 4-minute tracking shot that traces through the rooms at Dunsink Observatory, Dublin and documents the aging telescopes and measuring instruments that are dispersed throughout the building. As the camera passes over a mechanical model of the solar system, the dust in the air of the room becomes visible, floating, and scintillating like a field of stars.

Grace Weir (b.1962) is a visual artist who works primarily in the moving image and installation. In her work, she focuses on the slippages between the conceptual and experiential in different fields of enquiry. In 2001, she represented Ireland at the 49th Venice Biennale and, from 2012 until 2015, she was Artist-in-Residence in the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin.

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22 January – 3 April 2022

Gibson Galleries

ODYSSEYS marks the centenary of James Joyce’s modernist masterpiece Ulysses, which was published in Paris on 2 February 1922. The exhibition offers an exploration of journeys through art, from Ancient Greece to 1920s Samoa, with a special focus on Joyce’s own often overlooked relationship with Cork.

Ulysses holds many parallels with Homer’s Odyssey, turning the hero of the latter’s epic voyage home into Leopold Bloom’s day-long journey across Dublin. Joyce would himself depart Ireland to live in Trieste, Pola, Rome, Zürich, London, and Paris.

Closer to home and connecting with his earlier novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), this exhibition traces Joyce’s semi-autobiographical experiences in Cork – his father’s native city – through the fictional character of Stephen Dedalus.   

A chapter from the new documentary, James Joyce: Framed in Cork (dir. Marcella O'Connor), accompanies works from the collection by artists Louis le Brocquy, Mahrea Cramer Lehman, Harry Aaron Kernoff, Norah McGuinness, among others.

ODYSSEYS also embraces the wider sense of journeys in art, from the mythic to the everyday, and from leisurely travel to necessary migration. In what ways do journeys shape our identities, express our desires, and define our existences?

Curated by Flicka Small and Michael Waldron

ODYSSEYS features artworks by James Barry, Alfred Bendiner, Henry Bishop, Alicia Boyle, John Carr, Patrick Collins, Aoife Desmond, Rita Duffy, Agnes Frost, Robert Gibbings, John Gilbert, Beatrice E. Gubbins, Derek Hill, Seán Keating, Raymond Kelleher, Harry Aaron Kernoff, Louis le Brocquy, William John Leech, Mahrea Cramer Lehman, Daniel Maclise, Brian Maguire, Alice Maher, Yvonne Mariotte, Norah McGuinness, Cormac Moore, Walter A. Mulligan, Peter Nash, Isabel Nolan, Padraig O'Conchubhair, Roderic O'Conor, Robert Lowe Stopford, Mary Swanzy, John Verling.

Directed by Marcella O'Connor, James Joyce: Framed in Cork follows Flicka Small as she tracks down the Irish author's family connections in Cork.

Click on the image below to take a virtual tour of the exhibition.

Virtual tour
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Danny McCarthy: Found Sound (Lost at Sea) 11.1.11

11 January 2022

Found Sound (Lost at Sea) 11.1.11 is a sound installation by artist Danny McCarthy which, on Tuesday 11 January 2022, will resonate across Emmet Place outside Crawford Art Gallery, infiltrating the surrounding soundscapes of Cork City.

The performance of the sound work will commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the last foghorn sounding from lighthouses along the Irish coast, a practice that ceased on 11 January 2011.

Found Sound (Lost at Sea) 11.1.11 was created as a result of the artist’s interest in acoustic ecology and the work will sound intermittently throughout the day, establishing a transient presence to a once imperative soundtrack to daily life.

McCarthy’s work, which has recently joined the national collection, is unique to Crawford Art Gallery’s context. The Gallery was originally built in 1724 as Cork’s Custom House and the sound work recalls its ties to the city’s commercial success, since the eighteenth century, as a key port to the Americas and beyond. Cork Harbour also lays claim to being one of the largest natural navigable harbours in the world and, as the city’s motto of ‘Statio Bene Fida Carinis’ announces, still offers a safe home to seafaring travellers, tourists, and inter-continental shipping.

Crawford Art Gallery is delighted to mark the eleventh anniversary of this important work by Danny McCarthy and invites visitors to stroll by the gallery on Tuesday 11 January for this echo of a once ubiquitous, but now lost coastal sound.

About the Artist:
Danny McCarthy is one of Ireland’s pioneers of performance art and sound art for over forty years and continues to be a leading exponent, exhibiting and performing both in Ireland and abroad. In 2006, he founded The Quiet Club with Mick O’Shea, a floating membership sound (art and electronics) performance group. He is a founding director of Triskel Arts Centre and the National Sculpture Factory.

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PHANTOMS & PHANTASIES: Harry Clarke Watercolours

10 December 2021 – 14 February 2022

Our annual exhibition of Harry Clarke’s watercolours and ink drawings returns!

Following last year's online exhibition, Harry Clarke Marginalia, PHANTOMS & PHANTASIES presents all twenty-three of Harry Clarke’s watercolours and ink drawings from the collection.

Ranging from the artist’s studies for The Eve of St Agnes window to illustrations for “Star-Talk” by Robert Graves and Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination, these delicate works on paper are brought out for public view only once a year.

Upon the death of his father in 1921, Harry Clarke (1889-1931) took over the management of Joshua Clarke & Sons, the family stained-glass studios, which placed immense pressure on the already busy artist. The works displayed in this exhibition date from a prolific period in his career and were purchased directly from Clarke in 1924 through the gallery’s Gibson Bequest Fund.

Sinister and romantic, delight in the celestial figure of Aquarius, witness the terror of The Fall of the House of Usher, and be immersed in the nocturnal romance of Madeline and Porphyro on the Eve of St Agnes.

For a limited time only.

Curated by Dr Michael Waldron

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Menagerie: Animals by Artists

4 June 2021 – 6 March 2022

Since our ancestors first painted wild pig forms in Indonesian caves 45,500 years ago, animals have held particular significance for the human imagination. In Irish mythology, a child took the place of a hound to become the hero Cú Chulainn, while the emblem of a fish was used as a secret early Christian symbol across Europe. When tamed, animals are our companions and may stimulate calm or joy, but in the wild, they inspire curiosity, fascination, even terror.

Menagerie is a word that describes a diverse collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition. In the displayed works, historic and contemporary artists have captured animals in image, observing the behaviours of domesticated pets, feats of circus animals, and forms of their free-roaming cousins. Do these works of art convey a sense of possession, do we project our own ideas onto animals, or are we admitted, for a time, into the worlds of these curious creatures?

In this exhibition, animals abound in all shapes, sizes, and guises, from domestic spaces and farmyards to circus tents and natural habitats, and from cats, dogs, and goldfish to camels, monkeys, and falcons. What might we learn of animals seen through an artist's eye? 

Menagerie features artworks by Sarah Atkinson, Alfred Bendiner, Doris Boulton-Maude, Andrew Boyle, Sylvia Cooke-Collis, Elizabeth Cope, Florencio Cuairan Blas, Sue Cunliffe, Helen Farrell, Jan de Fouw, Lotte Funke, Bill Griffin, Patrick Hennessy, Josef Herman, Patrick Hickey, Finola Leane, Daniel Maclise, James Mahoney, Norah McGuinness, Samuel John Murphy, Peter Nash, Joe Neeson, Gretta O'Brien, Stephen O'Driscoll, Martin O'Mahony, Tony O'Malley, Walter Osborne, Harry Phelan Gibb, John Platt, Harold Septimus Power, Michael Quane, Nano Reid, Gail Ritchie, Andrew Stock, George Tute, Liu Yongxian.

Curated by Anne Boddaert, Kathryn Coughlan, Michael Waldron

Animal Fun

To celebrate this exhibition, we invited artist Annie Mar and 5th class Blarney Street Boys National School to co-create an animal art poster, a super colouring page, and some wild animal gifs. Click here to view.

Virtual Tour

Menagerie Virtual Tour
Click on the image above to go to a virtual tour of the exhibition
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REMAINS - Brian Maguire

17 September 2021 – 9 January 2022

In 2019, Brian Maguire visited Dr Greg Hess, Chief Medical Examiner for Pima County, Tucson, Arizona. Dr Hess gave the artist access to some thousand visual records of migrant lives lost in the crossing from South and Central America and Mexico, into the United States. 

Each discovery of a body in the desert creates a case and digital images. Using a selection from this photographic source, Brian began a new series of paintings, acknowledging the many unidentified victims who undertook this perilous journey. 

In explaining his process in creating memorial works Maguire has said: “for the Juarez Femicides series I used the family photograph as an image upon which to base the commemorative painting. The mothers of deceased women and girls recognize that the portrait remembers their children as they, the mothers, remember their children.”  Elaborating on Arizona, he says: “This project is different in that it is the death I record or memorialise. No family would like to retain this image of a loved one, except as needed by a process of seeking justice.  My work since 1997 has become increasingly focused on lives lost, often with a political perspective on the event of the loss.”

Maguire’s most recent bodies of work directly confront issues of migration, displacement and human dignity in the face of the current global unrest. They are some of his most nuanced and ambitious to date, which he has crafted with larger brushes and thinned-down acrylic on canvas.

The exhibition features a short collaborative film Brian made with Mark McLoughlin of bangbangteo, an independent documentary production company.  Previous collaborations between Brian Maguire and bangbangteoinclude the film BLOOD RISING, which focused on communicating stories of brutal femicide in Juarez, Mexico.  The film, Remains - Brian Maguire, offers a window into the artist’s working methods and his motivations. Brian is filmed in conversation with people intimate with the complexities of life at the US/Mexican border.

Maguire has shown extensively in Europe and the US, most recently at the Museo De Arte de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and the Rubin Centre, Texas University at El Paso, Texas (September 2019), at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, (in 2020), the Rhona Hoffmann Gallery, Chicago, (January 2021), and Galerie Christophe Gaillard, Paris (March 2021).

You can purchase the book that accompanies the exhibition here.

In Conversation with Brian Maguire
Thursday 18 November at 5.30pm
Upper Gallery, Floor 1

Join us for a live 'in conversation' event exploring issues of migration, displacement and human dignity at Crawford Art Gallery with Brian Maguire and Nuala Finnegan on Thursday 18 November. 

Nuala Finnegan is Professor in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies and Director of the Centre for Mexican Studies. She has completed a number of research projects on the US-Mexico border and has collaborated previously with Brian Maguire on his work in Latin America.

Free but booking is essential, and numbers are limited.

Book through Eventbrite here.

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Rembrandt in Print

17 September 2021 - 9 January 2022

Rembrandt in Print presents 50 of the finest works from the Ashmolean’s world-class collection of over 200 etchings and drypoints by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669).

Widely hailed as the greatest painter of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt was also one of the most innovative and experimental printmakers of the seventeenth century. This touring exhibition will present Rembrandt as an unrivalled storyteller through a selection of fifty outstanding prints ranging from 1630 until the late 1650s. These works demonstrate Rembrandt’s inventive techniques and extraordinary skills. They are displayed together for the first time.

While most other contemporary printmakers made prints of historical, religious or mythological subjects, Rembrandt delighted in presenting everyday scenes. The exhibition includes a range of these images such as intimate family studies, a selection of confronting life-drawn nudes and carefully detailed characters observed on the streets of his native Leiden, including peasants, Ringball players and the repugnant Rat Catcher (1632).

You can purchase the book that accompanies the exhibition here.


Rembrandt in Print is accompanied by a special Print Studio in collaboration with Cork Printmakers.

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