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
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.
N.B. Last entry is 15 minutes before closing
Thursday until 8.00pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays
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