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MISE ÉIRE

M. Jellett Abstract Composition

8 February⁠–⁠29 March 2020

Mise Éire – ‘I [am] Ireland’ – presents a selection of works from the collection. As Ireland and Northern Ireland near the centenary of their foundation, the exhibition seeks to address pertinent questions of independence and partition, and the often strained interplay of history, modernity, and nationalism.

Displayed across two gallery spaces, the exhibition is inspired by the Irish-language poem, “Mise Éire” (1912) by Pádraig Pearse, in which Ireland speaks of its lost glory, its shame, pain, and sorrow. Two further poems, written by William Butler Yeats, are drawn upon to frame the changes, both social and political, that shaped the development of this island during the twentieth century.

Works by artists Robert Ballagh, Rita Duffy, Mainie Jellett, Seán Keating, John Lavery, Mary Swanzy, Jack B. Yeats, among others contribute to our understanding of what both Ireland and Northern Ireland have become: can they offer a vision of progress, even utopia, and still account for violence, censorship, inequality, and exclusion?

By no means exhaustive, this exhibition asks who gets to define Ireland.

Curated by Michael Waldron 

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