Limerick are the All-Ireland hurdling champions, and this alone is a good enough reason to get down to the midwest capital and bask in the afterglow of their famous victory.
Another reason is the ongoing summer exhibition at The Hunt Museum, and you have just four more weeks to see this stunning display of works as it ends on 3 October.
A Wild Atlantic Way gives visitors the chance, by means of a series of atmospheric and strikingly evocative paintings by 30 artists, to travel the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kinsale and experience the essence and soul of some of Ireland’s most beautiful features.
The exhibition includes works created between the 19th century and 2019 by Irish-born artists or artists drawn to Ireland by the beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way. This breath-taking collection pays special attention to traditional habits and ways of life, remembering people and history through painting.
Naomi O’Nolan, head of exhibitions at the Hunt Museum, said that the inspiration for this showcase came about when she spent time on the west coast of Ireland during the first lockdown of 2020. She said: “For centuries, the majestic west of Ireland, and the uniqueness of its coastline, has attracted artists from all over the world. This exhibition focuses on the allure of the west coast of Ireland to artists both past and present, and how they have captured the ways of life and customs of people living and working on the coastline, as well as the power and the beauty of the land and seascape.”
The earliest work in the exhibition is Samuel Lover’s The Kelp Burners (1835), while the most recent is John Shinnor’s portrayal of Loop Head (2019). All of the pieces on show bear testament to the enduring attraction of the West of Ireland to artists.
Last Sunday was the 150th anniversary of the birth of Jack B Yeats, and it is appropriate that he has a work included, Westcoast, Tralee Bay near Castlegregory (1924). This was sold at auction two years ago for €180,000. The list of artists with work on view is a who’s who, with Mainie Jellet, Derek Hill, Paul Henry, Nathaniel Hone and more featuring.
A particular draw for me are the four work by the group of artists known as the Belfast Boys. Two works are by Gerard Dillon, while there is one each from Daniel O’Neill and George Campbell. O’Neill’s work is Self Portrait on Western Shore, a stunning work.
The current exhibition is also timely as Limerick this year has just been designated as a Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City by Fáilte Ireland. The Hunt Museum director Jill Cousins said: “This major exhibition gives visitors another reason to visit the city. With so many themes explored and works by very well-known artists, this staycation-inspired exhibition really has something for everyone.”
This is a show of both national and international significance, and features approximately 50 works, many from private collections which are not normally available for public viewing, together with some pertinent pieces from national cultural institutions.
Tickets cost €10 but children go free. Booking is essential to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. You can book tickets online at www.huntmuseum.com or by calling 061-312 833.