What's On at the Yeats Gallery

Previous exhibitions:



Group Exhibition

Opens 9th October at 17:30 – 29th October 2019

Cúram is a four person exhibition by artists Daniel Chester, Cherry Dowling, Amy McGovern and Stephen Rennicks as part of the Arts + Health Programme 2019 delivered by Sligo County Council Arts Service. Curated by Catherine Fanning. Funded by Sligo County Council, HSE West and the Arts Council of Ireland

Four artists based in the environs of County Sligo have artistic encounters within the realm of health care for older people. They are invited to make work responding to that experience. Two of them work with groups in rural health centres, two of them with individuals. All have been touched by echoes of the past within their encounters. Carrying those echoes into the present through visual narrative is the gift of this exhibition. There is a sense of discovery common to each, something of the treasure trove amidst the vestiges.

Text credits Maura Gilligan

'Ceramics and Paintings'

Ceramics and Paintings

Brian McDonagh and Ann Geaney

Opens 12th September at 18:00 – 1st October 2019

An Exhibition of work by Brian McDonagh and Ann Geaney opens on Thursday 12th September at 6:00 pm at The Hyde Bridge Gallery. The Exhibition will continue until Tuesday 1st October.

Brian’s new work, including large and small oil paintings, is concerned with the landscape of Sligo, in particular, the paths and walkways he uses to traverse the land.
Ann Geaney is a ceramicist and her recent work is also drawn from the coastline of Sligo, where the land and sea meet, as well as the traces left behind - pebbles and seaweed have informed her vessels.

Artist Statement - Ann Geaney

Whilst all the pieces in this show are vessels, the primary function of ‘holding something’ has been challenged - they are largely no longer functional - function being merely a trace of what has almost disappeared.

Influences are diverse - natural, organic forms are prevalent as are references to the shoreline, but this is counterbalanced by urban forms developed from geometric panels and textures redolent of architectural facades.

Made from clay, that most basic of materials, they begin life as thumb pots or simple slabs, before being coiled and shaped: transformed. Exploring the potential between form and surface, they are burnished using an agate stone; some pieces are then placed in a smoke firing, where metallic oxides and organic materials combine to produce surfaces of great depth and unpredictability.

Other pots have been fired using the raku process in which the colouring and surface marking are acquired as a result of removing them directly from the kiln into a reducing atmosphere.

All pieces are made in groups or as a series - how they are placed or seen creates a new context - creating new meaning, rather than referring to a notion of a lost function.

'Waters And The Wild'

Waters and The Wild

Nicki Heenan

Opens 13th August at 17:30 – 3rd September 2019

Artist Statement

An exhibition of paintings reflecting on the poems of WB Yeats in the relationship between colour, texture and word.

Subtle references and direct naming of colours in WB Yeats work has a synaesthetic response to word and colour. I am synaesthetic towards colour and music so it was after spending much time delving into the depths of Yeats writings that I started to respond to this connection between word and colour. In fact not only to his sense of word and colour but also to sensory textures and sounds. Sometimes you can almost taste the words on your lips.

The paintings and words in this exhibition ‘Waters and the Wild’ inspire each other so revealing a deeper truth to our understanding of the metaphor of life which goes beyond description to becoming symbolic. There is a trio of elements of sound, colour and form which are integral parts of both poetry and painting and this also applies to music. Certainly some of these feelings arise more easily in either the early morning or twilight hours as we switch off to the buzz of the day to engage with the mysticism that is resplendent in dimmed not fully visible light.

Many of the paintings here in this show are from positions of low view point or a far distance where we are searching to make out the truth and seeking to identify with it. So it is, as when entering a darkened room that our senses must be given time to accustom to the new environment, looking at paintings and ‘reading’ them also requires time to see and absorb. The titles of the paintings in this exhibition are all drawn from words found in Yeats poems with a favorite quote being: “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper”.

- Nicki Heenan, 2019

'Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen'

Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen

Opens July 18th at 18:00 and runs until August 7th 2019

Inspired by the poem “Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen” by W B Yeats

The fifth invited artists exhibition thematically centered around Ireland’s Decade of Commemoration, using a major poem by W B Yeats as a catalyst. It features works by 130 visual artists working in Ireland.

Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen will be officially opened by Ireland’s Ambassador to the US Daniel Mulhall at a reception in the Hyde Bridge Gallery, August 1st at 1.00 pm.

The exhibition can be seen in two sections across two galleries, Hamilton Gallery and the Hyde Bridge Gallery from July 18th - August 7th, in conjunction with the 60th Yeats International Summer School and the 9th Tread Softly Festival.
This exhibition features 129 artworks, shown between two art galleries. Artworks are presented on a series of panels, ordered alphabetically.
Artists with surnames beginning A-K are exhibited in the Hamilton Gallery.
Artists with surnames commencing L-W are on exhibition in the Hyde Bridge Gallery.
Exhibition catalogue €6

Following these Sligo dates the exhibition will tour to the United States under the aegis of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs.

'Metropolitan Pastoral'

Metropolitan Pastoral

Fionna Murray

Opens June 25th at 17:30 and runs until July 16th 2019

Artist Bio

Fionna Murray was born and grew up in London. She studied at Chelsea College of Art and graduated in 1995 with BA Honours in Painting. She moved to Ireland to study for a Master of Fine Art at University of Ulster, Belfast, graduating in 1997.

Now living in Galway she divides her time between her own studio work and lecturing on the BA Contemporary Art programme at GMIT. She has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions including Emma Hill Eagle Gallery, London; Wilson Stephens Jones, London; Rubicon Gallery, Dublin; The Dock, Carrick on Shannon; Metis-NL ,Amsterdam. She is represented by Emma Hill Eagle Gallery, London.

Artist Statement

Metropolitan Pastoral presents recent work by Fionna Murray, made in response to the film Blow Up, directed in London in 1966 by Michelangelo Antonioni. A central motif of the film is an ordinary city park which contrasts sharply with surrounding scenes of streets, shops, fashion models and music clubs of the time. The shifting relationship between urban and rural (albeit the rural of a landscaped park), uncovered for Murray, a dislocation between the familiarity of London where she grew up (and now partly in her imagination), and the west of Ireland where she lives today, (and where her own parents left in the 1950’s for work and another life in London).

The lucid yet enigmatic nature of Blow Up served as a framework of images for an investigation into personal ambiguities concerning memory and displacement, whilst providing a filter through which the physical practice of painting might address notions of home. The paintings in this exhibition then, look both ways between here and there and also hang between generations in mute recognition of the impossibility of return.

Metropolitan Pastoral will be opened by Poet in Residence at the Yeats Society, Sligo, Alice Lyons.




Deirdre Burke

Opens May 21st at 17:30 and runs until June 18th 2019

Artist Statement

OMERTA…….A code of silence……..

The basis of this exhibition, which takes a critical view of the eco political
Decision making at all levels.
Working through a variety of mediums, painting, print, clay, plaster, thread, found and acquired objects I construct passages and stories, dioramas and
Books , giving new works a history and old objects a future.
My current work is designed to question our comfort on the planet , and put into relief the marks and prints we leave behind us, and to create a discourse
Surrounding the huge disconnect which has unfolded in the past decade.


Wilderness Spirits

Paul Murray

Opens April 23rd at 17:30 and runs until May 14th 2019

Artist Bio

Artist Paul Murray, originally from Dublin, lives near Coolaney, Co Sligo, with his family and various dogs and cats. He attended NCAD and has been a community art teacher for many years.

Artist Statement

Wilderness is everywhere, all around; even in the most ordered spaces. It is within the natural world, always seeking to make its mark, refusing man's effort to tame it, reminding us always of its power and persistence. It is both uncertain and necessary.
It draws me in, it is the space I prefer, the spirit I feel, the undertow.

The Dada books reflect my long-term interest in Dada, always challenging the artistic form, the inclusion of things which are not refined and contained, the recovery and re-imagining of objects from other space.


Dominic Corrigan

Opens March 15th at 17:30 and runs until April 16th 2019

Artist Bio

Dominic Corrigan lives in Sligo, Ireland. He holds an honours degree in Fine Art. His art has been exhibited throughout Ireland, in New York at the Lockhart Gallery, in The Model, Niland Gallery in Sligo and is currently being shown as part of a group show ‘The Absurd’ by Candid Arts Trust in London.

His work has been published in Irish, French and American Art/Literature journals The Bohemyth, Orio Headless, Bare Hands and Cerise Press, as a featured artist in the San Francisco Arts and Literature Journal, Out Of Our, in the American Arts and Literature Journal, Yemassee Arts and Literature and also in the American Arts and Literature Journal, Thought Collection. He is currently featured artist in The Slag Review Issue 10. Dominic’s work was featured by The Saatchi Gallery as part of their OpArt online Collection and has been displayed on billboards in Belfast as part of the Art in the Eastside Festival and on billboards in Cork as part of The Skart Initiative.

Artist Statement

This new body of work has been developed from thinking on painting for a year and a half and a need to return to it. Within that time I was doing a lot of walking and exploring, creating a lot of photographic imagery of natures colours patterns and scenery. It was during this time that I really started to become fixated with the palette of autumn. I really wanted to capture the glances of light and colour from my surroundings back onto the canvas. Getting back into the studio was a grounding experience . It was good to be back but the thumbnails, sketches and studies at first didn’t seem to have an immediate connection with the body of material I had collected.

But once the painting had developed on the road to a body of work, it became very evident that there was a direct visual communication between what had seeped into my mind and what I was reproducing onto the canvas. That’s why the title is ‘WITHDRAW’ meaning to withdraw something from something else, because even though the work wasn’t an exact representation of the landscape, it became apparent that elements of shapes, colours and pattens referenced in the paintings summed up the work.



David Smith

Opens February 19th and runs until March 12th 2019

'Peripheral Visions'

Graduate Solo Exhibition Awarded by the Hyde Bridge Gallery in collaboration with Sligo IT

Opens January 22nd and runs until February 12th 2019

Hazel Mc Crann, originally from Co. Roscommon now lives and works in Cliffoney, Co Sligo. She studied Psychology in the National University of Ireland, Galway which lead to a career working in the then burgeoning online industry. For many years, in Dublin and abroad, she worked designing online experiences all the while attending Fine Art courses in the National College of Art and Design. After years staring at computer screens she craved a more visceral, hands on creative experience and decided to get more serious about painting. She recently completed her Higher Degree in Fine Art at the Sligo Institute of Technology.

She views her paintings as a dramatic embodiment of thoughts and emotions acted out through the process of painting. The paintings attempt to capture the elusive, or that which lies on the periphery of our vision, our awareness. Through the painting process, glimpses of what lies on the fringes of awareness are offered. She sees her job as a painter as one of attentive and reactive decision making, a place where you either stick to the rules or break them.

“A painting for me is an chunk of captured time. All the dramas and messy complexities of life are played out in the guise of painterly moves, unpredictable events, decisions and reactions. I sometimes think that paintings have the ability to bring into focus that which is seen but hardly noticed. That which lies on the periphery of our vision.”

In 2018 she was awarded the Graduate Solo Exhibition Award granted by the Hyde Bridge Gallery in collaboration with the Sligo Institute of Technology. Several of her paintings have been acquired as part of the Sligo Institute of Technology’s Graduate Exhibition Purchase Award.


RÚN - a Postcard Fundraiser for the Hyde Bridge Gallery Emerging Artist Programme

This curated fundraiser will showcase unique, small-scale works in a variety of media from emerging and established local and national artists.

Opening Tuesday 4th December at the Hyde Bridge Gallery. Closes 20th December 2018.

The Hyde Bridge Gallery is, for now, supported by the artists who exhibit throughout the year. Additional financial support must be generated annually through fundraising initiatives to offer opportunities to emerging artists and meet the needs of the programme.

RÚN will play a vital part in this fundraising initiative. Works from well-known and emerging artists will be shown in the galleries and will be available for visitors to purchase for €50 each. The proceeds will go to the participating artists and our Emerging Artist Programme.

The artworks will be exhibited anonymously, hence our title RÚN (meaning 'secret'). Each artist’s name will be revealed after a purchase. Works will be available for purchase at the opening until the close of the show on Thursday 20th December 2018.

The Hyde Bridge Gallery, runs the Visual Arts Programme of Yeats Society Sligo, a not for profit company. Rental fees charged go towards the day to day running of the gallery. Programme planning, curation and assistance hanging are carried out pro bono by committee members. The invigilation and office administration of the gallery is provided by Tús employees under contract to Sligo LEADER Partnership.

'9 Walls'

Artist Statement

'9 Walls' Opens Tue 7th Nov - 27th Nov

9 walls, 9 artists:
Aengus Coyne
Donncadh O'Callaghan
Eamonn Thompson
Grainne Dowling
John Cullen
Manuel M. Dios
Oonagh Hurley
Paul Murray
Sara Foust

Opening Night Tue 6th November, 5.30pm in the Hyde Bridge Gallery. Exhibition runs until 27th Nov. 2018.

'In The Making'

Artist Statement

'In The Making' Opens Tue 2nd Oct - 30th Oct

The Gallagher House Art Group Project is part of the Sligo County Council Arts Service, Arts in Health Programme. Over the past two years lead Anna Spearman and project manager/ support artist Catherine Fanning have run weekly creative sessions with clients from Gallagher House. A selection of this work forms the upcoming exhibition ‘In The Making’

Opening Night Tue 2nd October, 5.30pm in the Hyde Bridge Gallery. Exhibition runs until 30th Oct. 2018.

'It's All in Your Head'

Artist Statement

'It's All in Your Head' Opens Fri 24th Aug - 25th Sep

Rebecca Massey is an Australian born Irish artist based in the West of Ireland.

Graduating with a Higher Degree in Fine Art from Sligo I.T. and an MSc in Film Making from Staffordshire University & Filmbase in Dublin, she has worked across a broad range of media from art and drawing to film production, installation and music, exhibiting works around Ireland and the UK. Rebecca returned to Sligo in 2017 where she now lives and works in Sligo Town.

Her first solo show 'It's All in Your Head - An Exhibition in Three Parts' crosses a range of mediums from traditional drawings and paintings, to installation and digital drawing. The three parts of the exhibition take a twisted but light hearted view of illness, fear and recovery. A playful introspection of both real and imagined emotional responses of the artist to losing time to sleep, being hunted by the ominous Shadowman, an explosive response to contemplating death and the quiet and slow recovery on the part of the artist in watercolours, seeks to poke the darker sides of sickness with a stick, then to run away and hide under the sheets of paper.

Opening Night Friday 24th August 5.30pm in the Hyde Bridge Gallery. Exhibition runs until 25th Sep. 2018.


Aideen Connolly - Visual Artist
Aideen’s work is based on time taken to stop, stand & observe tiny transcendent moments when the veil lifts and the magic of the North Leitrim & Sligo landscape is revealed - marks etched by rain on rocks, trees bent by unrelenting wind, traces of ancient people, paths laid down centuries before, homes abandoned to the elements. What is left and constant in a place between two worlds after wind, rain, temperature & light - a savagely beautiful steadfast place.

Tom Morgan - Poet
Tom Morgan was born in Belfast in 1943.
His collections are: The Rat-Diviner (Dublin, Beaver Row Press, 1987); Nan of the Falls Rd Curfew (Beaver Row Press, 1990), nominated for the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Awards; In Queen Mary’s Gardens (Galway, Salmon Publishing,1991); Ballintrillick in the Light of Ben Whiskin (Lagan Press, 2006).
He has collaborated with artists Patrick Coogan, Brendan Ellis and Catherine McWilliams in joint poetry-painting exhibitions in Sligo, Belfast, Galway, Dublin and New York, and has worked with composer Frank Lyons for the Visconic Arts Festival in Belfast.
He lives in Belfast and Ballintrillick, Co Sligo.

Weathervane Facebook Event

Aideen Connolly Instagram


Heartfelt Opening Tue 26th June - 16th July
Lorna Watkins is a painter living and working on the coast of North Sligo. She graduated in Printed Textile Design at the National College of Art in Dublin after studying at Edinburgh College of Art and the Grennan Mill Craft School.
Loose and experimental mark making have made their way from drawings into Lorna's paintings. Imbued with painterly layers upon layers of bright vivacious colours and marks, her work is fresh and full of energy. Using her local environment as her source for inspiration and reliving the hardship of our winter and how with perseverance, patience, no hesitation, the bulbs and plants push through and bloom. Delivering exuberance, they are on a mission, there a sense of urgency and extraordinariness.
She was recently selected for the 188th Open Exhibition at the RHA, Dublin and has been awarded residencies in Cill Rialaig, Ballinskelligs and the Thomas Damann Junior Travel Bursary. Her work is held in private collections all over the world.


Cherry Dowling is an Irish artist who grew up in County Leitrim before moving to Sligo to complete a Fine Art B.A. Hons at IT Sligo. Claire Davenport is an American artist who moved with her family to Ireland as a child. They both currently live and practice in Sligo.

The two artists applied for a joint show at The Hyde Bridge Gallery after discovering similarities in the themes they explore and shared experiences with public art. Despite the similarity of thought, their processes as well as choice of material vary greatly. This juxtaposition and communication between their respective bodies of work adds a layer of meaning to the work that is greater than the sum of its parts. The theme of ‘Resonance’ refers to feeling something deep within, on a biological level. It evokes the way in which familial bonds and narratives along with childhood memories continue to reverberate through lifetimes and generations. Supporting this focus are the shared interests of both artists in history, human behaviour and instinctual understandings of oneself. Working visually in tandem on a common theme was the way to further their verbal conversations

Cherry carries the idea of resonance through to her making. Repeated reproduction of a set of images through different processes leads to the creation of many incarnations of each one. She uses drawing, both digital and mechanical, painting, printmaking and sculpture to reiterate imagery. This methodical, mechanical method provides a frame for the more fluid emotional processes, allowing her to sound out a story.

Claire expressed the theme of ‘Resonance’ in her work through an exploration of the idea of corruption of sound. She presents framed and polished pieces alongside their “reverberations”, the derivatives of these images in their unvarnished states. The theme also crops up in her selection of materials, from the obviously domestic to repurposed family hand-me-downs and photographs. Each item is a piece of the past repurposed for the present.

'Old Haunts'

Exhibition Opening 'Old Haunts' April 24th 5.30pm @ The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo. Exhibition closes May 15th. Artist Michael Wann’s exhibition has been commissioned by Sligo County Council Arts Service for the Bealtaine Festival Sligo, with funding from Sligo County Council, HSE West and the Arts Council of Ireland.

'Lucie O’Hara and Michael Cummins'

Hyde Bridge Gallery is hosting a new exhibition by Sligo based artists Lucie O’Hara and Michael Cummins.

Lucie takes pieces of beechwood small enough to lie in the palm of your hand. She carefully prepares them with a smooth gesso and paints with egg tempera and watercolour. Her subjects range from small potent objects simply presented, through faded scraps of envelopes or photos and richly tactile fragments of fabrics or pottery, to magical landscapes and places. Objects are important and so are surfaces; some pieces seem half erased revealing scoured layers beneath, others are richly built up with glazes and gold leaf. The individual histories of the ephemeral objects and evocative places echo and reinforce each other across the collection.

Michael’s new work is in acrylic and ink on a range of papers. He folds the paper into symmetrical zig-zag forms reminiscent of chap-books, accordion pleats or pop-ups. The resultant three-dimensionalised paper pieces are lightweight but strongly structured. These forms are then embellished and inhabited with abstract and figurative elements in a space that is both chaotic and strictly regular. Large-eyed heads loom out of a landscape where whorls of concentric colour spin while ominous clouds brood. Characters scurry or loiter in the available spaces between. Everything is confronted with its mirror image, everything is doubled.


We welcome Rosemary Hurrell's first solo show. Her work is in direct response to her personal environment and landscape, it is influenced by a curiosity in memory and how stimulation or prompt from our senses can bring to the fore long forgotten memories. She incorporates the investigation of DNA and how our inherited genes may impact our lives. Exploring memory, perception and family history, she questions our place in the natural order, memories that build connections between past, present and future.

Initially inspired by traditional embroidery the three dimensional machine embroidered forms/sculptures communicate a visual representation of the integrated complexities between the union of perceived and true reality.

'Innermost Limits Exhibition'

'Invited Small Works Exhibition'


We have ten exhibiting artists : Kaye Maahs, Dorothee Koelle, Alison Huntere, An Hryniewicz, Marilin North, Chloe Jo McGinty, Maureen O'Neill, Daniel Chester, Sara Villarreal de Hough and Julie Potter. Over 60 artworks on display. Exhibition runs until 15th of December.

'Invited Small Works Exhibition'

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We have twelve exhibiting artists :

Tina Brooks,Pat Byrne, Shane Clyne, Susan Early, Catherine Fanning, Fergus Lyons, Patricia Curran Mulligan, Marilin North, Gary Robinson, Niall Sheerin, Emma Stroude and Heidi Wickham.

Holy Icons - Association of Iconographers of Ireland

Bishop Kevin Doran will formally open an exhibition of holy icons on Tuesday 5th of September 2017 at 6pm in the Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Memorial Building, Hyde Bridge, Sligo. The exhibition will run until the 26th of September 2017.

The Association of Iconographers of Ireland is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year. The Association, set up in 1992 by Sr. Paula Kiersey, has currently around 100 members, many of whom are active iconographers.

The exhibition of members’ work will give the public an opportunity to share in the beautiful work of this vibrant faith community.

Icon is the Greek word for an image(Eikon). Icons are generally images of Christ, the Virgin, Saints or scenes from the Bible. The Association of Iconographers of Ireland follows the Byzantine tradition and uses wooden boards covered in gesso (a form of plaster) with paints made from egg tempera (a mix of pigment, egg-yolk, vinegar and water) The practice or ‘writing’ an icon takes much time and patience.

Members of the Association have gone on to develop new icons of Irish saints in the Greek Byzantine style. These are on display in places of worship around Ireland - the locations may be found on the Associations blog. One of the highlights of the Association was the creation, by three of it’s tutors, of icons which accompanied the Eucharistic Congress bell on it’s journey around Ireland in 2012.

The Association supports new and experienced iconographers by hosting courses during which the techniques of creating an icon are passed-on and absorbed. Courses are held annually in Ards Friary, Co. Donegal and Dromantine, Co. Down.



Subsequent to attending such courses participants also keep in touch and enhance their learning through newsletters and the Association’s blog page.


For more information please see the Association of Iconographers of Ireland blog:


Email: iconireland@gmail.com

Press enquiries to Maureen Quinn: morningquinn1@gmail.com


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This new collection of artworks is an investigation into the fauna and flora of the west of Ireland which has had a direct influence on the artist’s creativity.

The artist takes her influence from the early Edo period of Japanese art and through this style explores the idea of the warrior in nature and the need for indigenous species to protect and defend themselves from the challenges that the modern world and global influence bring.

The idea of a butterfly as warrior with its colourful tiled wings is explored, the scales of a fish, the sting as the sword of the bee.

The myths associated with the natural world and the stories of their warriors are investigated alongside the history and legends of the west of Ireland.

The Collection serves as a reflective celebration of the warrior spirit that resides within the animals and plants of Irelands west and is completed by a series of painted panelled works, triptychs, diptychs grouped pieces, print and drawings.

Cróna Gallagher is a studio holder at Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Co. Leitrim.

She would like to offer thanks to Cill Railaig in Kerry, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Monaghan, Oberpfӓlzer Künstlerhaus in Bavaria, the Henreich Böll cottage Achill and Ginestrelle, Umbria where material for this collection was recorded and researched, inspired by and completed. She would also like to thank Leitrim County Councils arts office for helping to make this collection come into being, to The Hyde Bridge gallery for their support and kindness and to Marion Thews for her instinctive ability in knowing how best to frame the collection, and to FabLab Manorhamilton.

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Earth and Water

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22 MARCH – 11 APRIL 2017 (10am-5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays)

Father and daughter team James and Sally Maidment present Earth + Water, an exhibition of painting, installation and photography at the Hyde Gallery, Sligo. Both graduates of the Fine Art Department at the Institute of Technology, Sligo, the artists invite visitors to the exhibition to share their fascination with skill, place, identity and experience.

Through a series of portraits and installation elements James focuses on a group of men he worked with in rural Sligo, hedging & ditching the roads in the late 1980’s. James pays homage to the men’s physical skills, and the knowledge he gained from their stories which reflected their deep connection to and understanding of, the locality, its history and inhabitants.

Sally presents a series of photographic works documenting the final training session of a young Maltese team of rowers from the Bormla Rowing Club, before the annual rowing regatta held in Bighi Bay. A hotly contested competition, the U18 team train daily to defend the titles won by their fathers and grandfathers.

Both artists have a deep respect for manual skills that are developed over a period of time, and the fruits of joint endeavour that are manifested through the efforts of each group of men, at different stages of their lives. The U18 rowers on the brink of manhood, and the difficult choices that we make as we navigate through life, in contrast with the older gentlemen who have experienced the highs and lows that life can challenge us with. Sally comments ‘I am very excited to have this opportunity to exhibit with my dad and to display our individual responses to shared interests side by side, this will hopefully provide the viewer with a unique opportunity to reflect on achievement and skill.’

James always planned to work with the material that he collected during that year in Highwood and he is pleased to have this opportunity to pay his respects to the men from whom he learnt so much.

“I believe that there is no better way to measure a man's character, than to work alongside him…”

James would also like to thank Drumshanbo Enterprise Centre (DEC) Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim for their support.

Sally Maidment


Sally Maidment is a visual artist who works through a range of media including: drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, animation and film-making. She has comprehensive experience working in the arts, higher education, community and health sectors. Both her personal practice and her role in collaborative projects are focused on exploring identity. She is interested in art performing an ‘archaeological’ function to uncover hidden or overlooked narratives.

James Maidment


Throughout his lifetime James has worn several hats: merchant seaman, London bus driver, mechanic and computer programmer, but one constant has been his interest in drawing, painting and photography the results of which he has exhibited on a regular basis.

Finally, James had the opportunity to follow his dream and attend Art College and graduated from ITSligo with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art (Painting) in 2016. He continues to develop his practice which involves painting and sculpture dealing with issues of belonging, personal histories and the interaction between humans, objects and place.

" Fading Memories " Stephanie McGowan

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Born in Antrim in 1992, Stephanie grew up in Northern Ireland, before moving to Leitrim. She recently completed a degree in Fine Art at the Institute of Technology, Sligo: and will finish her honours degree later this year. She now lives and practices in Sligo.

The work explores materiality; each carefully selected material/ objects has the ability to maintain its individual character/ personality, while also indicating a description of time. The objects suggest time within their function or through their visual appearance of which aesthetically look aged, distorted, weathered and/or broken. Objects/materials contain our personalities; each possession bears the ability to indicate the life of its previous owner, allowing us to question the possibilities of its history.

Drawing on distant, global, cultural and the notion of incepted memories, selected images blur the line between reality and fantasy. By using specific materials in combination with chosen Images, Stephanie aims to create an atmosphere of which we all can have a personal experience, the space of which becomes a window to another moment in time, allowing us to question the space in which we live.

Exhibition opening Tuesday 21st February at 6pm by Emma Stroude and runs until 14th of March 2017

" In pursuit of stillness " by Daniel Chester

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“I have to stay alone in order to fully contemplate and feel nature”

Caspar David Friedrich

In an age of continuous personal bombardment of technology such as smart phones, tablets, twitter, Facebook, TV etc., finding stillness and solitude in the our world can be at a premium. The current body of work is a visual enquiry into finding stillness in landscape and in particular my own personal understanding of this pursuit. As a visual artist living in County Leitrim, I am influenced by the rugged nature of the rural landscape and in particular these harsh but beautiful environments within the west of Ireland.

As part of this area of interest I am also fascinated in the reality of the “Commons in Society” and the connection between the moral responsibilities of the community towards the landscape. The ownership of parks, greens, lanes, walkways and rural areas that is open to the public. My current area of research also extends to an enquiry into traditional painting of the landscape, in particular the idea and notion of romantics within the rural landscape. Areas of continued interest include artist such as Casper Fredrick, William Blake and German romanticism painting, In particular my work is influenced by paintings “Monasty Graveyard In Snow (1819) and The Abbey in The Oakwood (1810) by Fredrich, other influences include Dutch painting in particular the work of Pieter Brugel. The recurring theme within my work focuses on notions of disillusion with materialism, return to the natural world, death, destruction and resurrection.

The choice of aluminium as a medium in which to paint on is a deliberate one, although this material is not one of traditional use I find its coldness and dampness a direct connection to the landscapes and subjects I choose to paint. The aluminium also enables me as an artist to show the process of painting i.e. brushstrokes, additional liquids each work is very much unique as the experimental development can vary with each painting.

“Chester’s delicately executed saplings with curved leaves limply adorning the struggling stalks are beautiful, simple, and elegant. The misty shrouds the veil the images add an eerie feeling to the work indicative of Chester’s observed gloominess caused by man’s destructive habits on nature”

Quote from “Land is ours” booklet, Aedin McGinn 2015


" 'New-December' exhibition " by Fergus Lyons


Opening Wednesday 7th December from 5.30pm w/ Brian Leydon

An exhibition by Fergus Lyons of recent Sligo-landscapes and other oil-paintings and also pencil, ink and watercolour drawings.With the new work, the exhibition includes a re-hang from the previous Hyde Bridge Gallery show " To Sligo - and Beyond " by Fergus Lyons. This show continues until Saturday, December 17th. Artist's Statement:A sentient being, embodied and living on a lump of matter, lost in infinite space, at some stage my eyes opened and I was forced to considered this, unsettling, human predicament. I tried to arrive at some plan as how best to respond. I could, of course, refuse to cooperate and stay on in the bed, but maybe I could get a job, with a shovel, in philosophical construction ? My decision, finally, was to take up the paint brush and start painting. This is the road I'm on now. In relation to drawing and how it underlies a finished painting, these thoughts, I imagine, have something to do with the process of construction. Drawing being one route to consider.

Wider than the Wild
Borne on the Wind
Singing in my Blood Stream
Drumming on my Skin
Closer than the Air that I Cleave
Than the Marrow in my Bones
Rising in all that Falls
I see a Road

" To Sligo … and Beyond " by Fergus Lyons

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Irish artist Fergus Lyons explores Ireland's landscape, dreams and myths in his painting of the West of Ireland. Irish mythology and legend have become part of the landscape itself and it is this realm of the imagination that Fergus captures in his paintings.The exhibition continues from 29th October - 25th November

The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Memorial Building, Hyde Bridge, Sligo

The Whisper of the Bees by Heidi Wickham


Opening Tuesday Sept 27th 6pm

Exhibition runs until October 27th

This exhibition is run in conjunction with Sligo Arts Service, Primary Colours Arts Education Programme. See www.primarycolourssligo.ie for more information on the Primary Colours programme or facebook: www.facebook.com/primarycolourssligo

Artist Statement :

We have a priest in the family, dividing his time between Kilkenny and America. He’s an old man now, and a bee keeper. Wrapped in the parochial house tablecloth, our first hive of bees came up in the back of our VW Caddy van five years ago. Steve said that it was like driving for three hours with two engines.

We have four healthy hives now, each harvest we rob up to thirty pounds of pure Irish gold.

As a maker of animal drawings, I have never really been attracted by insects, but this exhibition is a celebration of all that is bee.

Each bee is born to her work,

Each drone seems happy with his lot.

We have farmed them for honey back in the ancient times, and we farm them still. This collection uses drawing, sculpture and audio visual. I started with the notion of a sound, initially I would have just recorded our bees, but there was something more that needed to be said. We talk all day with friends and strangers, but we whisper in art galleries. Whispering is secrets, reverence, conspiracy, comfort.

Here, it is also the sound of industry.

Bee keeping is surrounded in folklore, ritual, fertility, stories and poetry. Kipling’s poem encapsulates the relationship between keeper and bee. Without bees, our fragile planet would quickly become barren and lifeless, think on that.

I have been using charcoals for about thirty years now, mainly making drawings of animals. Lately I have been adding an oil based pigment to the glazes to bring in a bit of colour. I currently show with The Doorway Gallery Dublin, Whalley Fine Art Belfast, Lavelle Gallery Galway, The Greenlane Gallery Dingle and various group shows nationwide.

Parable (Parabola)


Exhibition by Patricia Curran Mulligan

Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, Ireland.

Opening 30th August 2016 6pm - running Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm until 24th September

Admission free

'Parable' as an exhibition, is an assembly of memories and materials, where the scientific story is a questioning of clues. Looking for someone who is looking for us. Finding evidence does not take you all the way. We search for awareness towards the last step of connection. Faith gives a mental map, looking for revelation of purpose. Here the circular argument allows the story to wander the periphery in a field of material activity. We are found meandering in this body of art work, seeking the core. Fifteen pieces are religiously/spiritually themed and tempered.

It is in that returning to being 'witness', which allow the 'Parable' to come alive, where old traditions hold fast. The discipline of Icon writing in a monastery evokes a meeting point by the artist between contemplative prayer and a making beyond oneself. Gold, the highest order, is used as 'a currency of the precious', to remind of our limited edition of resources.

In 'Birthing Shells', the artist unfolds her own 'Parable' in the organic symbolism of fragile objects, seeking a cushioned arrival of the human, safely home.

Here 'When Planets Fall', the 'Parable' is rewriting itself, the delayed Second Coming, informing us that we already know the story's end. The mantra of the 'Latin Text', props behind a comforting childhood sound memory, a reassurance that all will be well.

Cáirde Visual


'Cairde Visual' - The Cairde Arts Festival Open Submission Exhibition

Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, Ireland.

Opening 5th July 2016 6pm - running Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm until July 22nd

Admission free

Cairde Sligo Arts Festival is delighted to announce our third annual open submission show. This year’s show boasts talent from artists from all over Ireland and abroad and features a great diversity of media.
We are pleased to announce the return of the Hyde Bridge Gallery Award, The Model Cara Award and the exciting new additions of The Hamilton Gallery Award and the SG Education Award. Thank you to all of these organisations for their exceptional support.

We hope you can join us for the opening on Tuesday July 5th at 6pm.

We would like to thank the Cairde Visual Committee:
Barra Cassidy, Marilin North, Cormac O’Leary, Lorna Watkins and Heidi Wickham.
A special thanks to invited panel guest Philip Lindey.

Broken People | Stephen Kieran

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7th to 26th April | Opening: 6 April, 5.30pm

The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Hyde Bridge, Sligo. Broken People by Stephen Kieran. Kieran works with mixed media ceramics, natural materials, branches paint, ink, and charcoal. For ‘Broken People’ Kieran has looked at Kintsuki, The Japanese art of repairing a broken object in a way that honours and highlights its past, the artist combined this with the human form as a way to represent the journey people take to become who they are at a current point in time.

Spotlights & Shadows


As part of Sligo’s Commemorations of 1916, The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Yeats Memorial Building, Hyde Bridge, Sligo, local artist Emma Stroude and projection designer Joe Hunt have collaborated to present a public visual art project on Rockwood Parade over the Easter period.

The project aims to reawaken curiosity and begin new conversations on the hidden stories of 1916. The Proclamation was progressive in that it claimed the allegiance of Irish men and Irish women. The women who were involved in The Rising were working not only for political freedom but for personal freedom too.

Ten portraits of women involved in The Rising and in the struggle for Irish freedom in the years to follow will be projected over ten days from the Yeats Building on to a wall adjacent to the river on Rockwood Parade, Sligo. Anyone crossing the Garavogue on Hyde Bridge after the light falls will see a different portrait appear each night on the following dates:

24th March from 7pm – Constance Markievicz (free public launch event)

25th March from 7pm – Kathleen Clarke (widow of Tom Clarke)

26th March from 7pm – Maud Gonne MacBride (widow of John Macbride)

27th March from 8pm – Lillie Connolly (widow of James Connolly)

28th March from 8pm – Áine Ceannt (widow of Eamonn Ceannt)

29th March from 8pm – Grace Plunkett-Gifford (widow of Joseph Plunkett)

30th March from 8pm – Muriel MacDonagh (widow of Thomas MacDonagh)

31st March from 8pm – Agnes Mallin (widow of Michael Mallin)

1st April from 8pm – Margaret Skinneder (sniper and messenger)

2nd April from 8pm – Elizabeth O’Farrell (nurse and messenger)

Emma Stroude lives and works in North Sligo. Ireland's history and Atlantic coastline influence the two diverse themes which run parallel in her practice. One stems from her interest in women's role in Irish history resulting in an ever evolving series of charcoal portraits of key female figures. The other is born from her fascination with relationships between light, water and the landscape.

Artist: Emma Stroude Tel +353 (0)86 0513509. www.emmastroude.com

Projection Designer & Technician : Joe Hunt www.elvisnspiders.wix.com/joe-hunt-design

'Preliminary Structures'

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Sligo sculptor Hugh McGettigan is bringing his exhibition Preliminary Structures to the Hyde Bridge Gallery - opening on March 1st. Hugh works with salvaged materials and his sculptures are reworked as multiple sculptures before taking their current form. Remnants of previous use become a documentation of previous structures creating a dialogue with past and present works. Hugh McGettigan went to Summerhill college and recently graduated from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire with a 1st Class Honours in Visual Arts Practice. His Sculptural works create playful tensions. To date he has been working largely with ready made and found materials which show traces of a previous use. This July he has been selected for The RDS Student Arts Award Exhibition. He has exhibited in galleries in Dublin, Sligo and Helsinki. He has recently been awarded an ‘Individual Artist Bursary ’by Leitrim County Council. He is currently undertaking a studio residency in The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon Co.Leitrim.





Exhibition of paintings


Niall Sheerin

Launch 5:30pm 12th January 2016

Wine reception with guest speaker Philip Lindey

Runs until 26th January 2016


"The only true teaching Subsists in watching

Things moving or just colour

Without comment from the scholar.

To look on is enough"

Patrick Kavanagh

'A Poem for Winter'


An exhibition by Seamus O’Byrne


The Hyde Bridge Gallery (Yeats Memorial Building), Sligo

October 20th - November 7th, 2015

‘New Works’ is a series of oil paintings inspired by secret places, from Sligo’s Hidden Glen at the foot of Knocknarea to rocky western coves to an old Dublin garden loft which holds childhood memories for the artist. Lush trees tops and cascading ivy give way to high walls and musty sunlight in this vibrant collection from one of Ireland’s most regarded contemporary landscape painters.

Seamus O’ Byrne was born in Dublin in 1957. Primarily self taught, he paints in oils and acrylics, principally figurative, with a keen interest in nature, the landscape and wild places. He has won awards and exhibited widely in Ireland since the early eighties, and overseas, including exhibitions with the RHA, RUA, Celtic Vision, Figurative Image, Iontas, Oireachtas, Independent Artists, the RSA in Scotland and Abu Dhabi. O’Byrne’s art appears in collections at Goodbodys, GPA, Smurfit School of Business UCD, HSE, Henniges Group, and in private collections across the world.

For more details, contact Hyde Bridge Gallery – Tel: 071 914 2693 / Email: yeatssocietysligo@gmail.com

Yeats poetry and place

June 2nd – June 11th

The writing of W.B. Yeats, Ireland’s most celebrated poet, continues to inspire and influence a world- wide readership while artists have always found a rich vein to be mined in the breadth and beauty of his work.

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of W.B. Yeats the Hyde Bridge gallery is giving its annual small works exhibition a Yeats focus. An Open Call exhibition was announced in December where artists were asked to respond to any aspect of Yeats’ writing, or the Sligo landscape which so inspired the poet.. The response has been outstanding, with work coming in from all corners of Ireland as well as the U.K and U.S.A. There have been submissions in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and print. The resulting exhibition is testimony to the continued interest and influence of Yeats.

The official opening is on Tuesday June 2nd at 6pm.

Yeats Poetry and Place event on FaceBook

Photos of the exhibition can be viewed on Face Book here:

Yeats Poetry and Place Exhibition Opening

Yeats Poetry and Place Exhibition Photographs

Beyond The Visual

Andrea Flanagan

May 22nd - June 1st 2015

Artist Andrea Flanagan will hold her first major solo show next month at the Hyde Bridge Gallery in Sligo as part of their monthly calendar of exhibitions.

Flanagan, a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, has been creating work between studios in Sligo and Dublin since graduating in 2010.

Speaking on the occasion of the exhibit, Flanagan said “I use elements of landscape and natural formations to explore the ability to disrupt the temporal and physical planes of representation. Creating an expression of an otherworldly environment, to challenge our accepted realities and encourage speculative thinking beyond the visual.”

The exhibition will open on Friday May 22nd at 8pm, and features eight large format oil paintings.

Beyond The Visual will run at the Hyde Bridge Gallery from May 22nd to June 1st.

For further information on Andrea’s work, visit www.andreaflanagan.ie or

follow updates from the artist online at




Tara Moran Woods

April 20th - May 2nd

Artist's statement

PM 66 - is based on the life of a visually impaired person.I have researched the condition through a family member who has gradually lost their sight over the past 20 years. Through mixed media and installation the exhibition will feature personal belongings and household items that have been adapted to adjust to everyday life and daily tasks. Displaying how the use of memory, touch and order become a way to adapt to life without sight. Other areas covered include the deterioration of sight as observed through the strength of reading glasses lenses, and change in familiar images and paintings. The loss of your own handwriting and ability to read. The use of other people to translate through description the things you can no longer see."

Tara Moran-Woods is a visual artist living and working in Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

In 2006 Tara graduated from Sligo Institute of Technology with a Degree in Fine Art. She has exhibited throughout Ireland. Solo exhibitions have included ARTTANK Gallery - Belfast (2008), Higher Bridges Gallery - Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh (2008), Teach Bán Nua Gallery - Sligo (2009). A two person show at Mad Art Gallery, Dublin (2011) and she was selected for a three person show at The Context Gallery, Derry in 2010. She has also been on residency at Belmont Mill and Artists’ Studios, Co. Offaly (2009) and The Tyrone Guthrie Centre (2012, 2008). Group Exhibitions include Ormston House, Limerick (2013) RHA Annual, Dublin (2011) and the RUA Annual, Belfast (2009). She was awarded General Art’s Awards from Arts Council Northern Ireland in 2014, 2011, 2008.

Opening Tuesday April 21st at 6pm.

The exhibition will be opened by Noelle McAlinden, artist, educator, arts adviser, curator, mentor and arts activist.

Elsewhere - Emma Stroude

Elsewhere Emma Stroude

Tuesday 7th April - Saturday 18th April

An exhibition of new paintings by Sligo based artist Emma Stroude.

Opening 6pm Tuesday 7th April

Opening address by Cormac O'Leary

All Welcome!

Born in Berlin in 1972, Emma grew up in the North of England. She studied Fine Art Painting in London at Chelsea College of Art & Design and The Slade School of Art before moving to Ireland in 1996. She now lives and works in Sligo.

The subjects of Emma's paintings are a selection of carefully chosen derelict houses residual of another life passed on the very edge of the continent. Largely ignored, unloved and in some cases simply waiting for the tide to wash them to sea, these houses have become descriptive of themes dominant in Emma's work at present - endurance, fragility, escapism and the notion of life's transience all set against the changing light and weather of Ireland's North West landscape.

The exhibition runs from April 7th - April 18th.

Dark flood Emma Stroude

The Fool by the Roadside

Bryan Duffy

the fool by the roadside

The Hyde Bridge Gallery (Yeats Society) will open a unique exhibition featuring the new work of Irish-born artist Bryan Gerard Duffy on March 24th, on view until April 4th.

Sharing its name with W.B. Yeats’ poem, The Fool by the Roadside is a compilation of works featuring drawings from the innards of an Israeli Army tank to a video dissecting the landscapes and harsh realities of two Palestinian communities in the West Bank. In addition, the exhibition will be supported by a number of installation works, photography and line drawings investigating Irelands relationship with “The Holyland”. Born in Castlebar, Bryan Gerard Duffy’s work has been heavily associated within National and International Human Rights and Refugee struggles. He graduated from NCAD, Dublin (2009) having changed his name (via Deedpoll) to that of an asylum seeker residing in Direct Provision, where it was published in the belated Circa Ireland’s magazine. He has worked in collaboration with International Spanish Art Group Artifariti in both “The Free Zone”, Western Sahara and the Tindouf Refugee Camps in Algeria. He has coordinated workshops, documentaries and performances in countries such as England, Serbia, Kenya, Belarus and the West Bank. Whilst at home in Ireland, Duffy has presented his work extensively, including the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, and the Ballina Arts Centre. The Fool by the Roadside sets out the existence of an Israeli Tank left vacant on the roadside in the Golan Heights region, North Israel. On the14th June 2014, unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Israel were preparing for / mapping the invasion of the Gaza Strip, where they were gathering their troops from the Syria border to a nearby field. Having performed the action of invading the isolated tank, which was displaced from the pack, Duffy then recorded and surveyed its insides. He departed for the West Bank. Within a week, the bombings had begun on Gaza. The line drawings are a representation of the political / geographical landscape of the region, juxtaposing a city under siege from the skies. Upon observation, the drawings are a battle of light and dark, and hence the lines emerge. Was this outcast tank too old to partake in the invasion of Gaza? The demolition of homes is also apparent in the featured video, “Knock, Knock”, where two communities in the West Bank resist Israeli policies and contend with heir impending homelessness. In stark contrast to Ireland’s building boom, Duffy poses the questions “Where have we [Irish] come from?” and “Who is truly the fool by the roadside?”


WHEN all works that have

From cradle run to grave

From grave to cradle run instead;

When thoughts that a fool

Has wound upon a spool

Are but loose thread, are but loose thread;

When cradle and spool are past

And I mere shade at last

Coagulate of stuff

Transparent like the wind,

I think that I may find A faithful love, a faithful love.


More images are available upon request:

Bryan Gerard Duffy,

(+353) 87 2640765



Ciaran McHugh

Exhibition at Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, 9th – 22nd March.

Opens 6pm Weds 11th March.

Landscape photographer Ciarán McHugh will be exhibiting a new collection of black and white panoramic images inspired by the physical landscape embodied in the writing of Nobel Laureate WB. Yeats. The exhibit celebrates Yeats 2015 and is one of the first photographic collections inspired directly by the natural environment in which the poet immersed himself in. Following its launch at the Hyde Bridge Galley in the Yeats Building in Sligo, the collection will then tour to a number of locations over the year including a summer exhibit at Lissadell House.

The collection is described by Ciarán as “A set of photographic images focusing on light, tone, form, nuance and texture inspired by a poetical landscape exuding the sensual, the mystical, the wild and intrigue. A unique collection of photographs which allows you refocus on the familiar landscapes we are immersed in and take a fresh look at the different interconnected worlds around us”.

A dominant feature throughout much of Yeats’s writing is his belief that we all inhabit a reality that is made up of two different but interconnected worlds, the one we live in and the world beyond our understanding. This other world is beyond the grasp of most humans and is free of the limitations of our mortal world. It is the world of Faeries, the Good People, the Sidhe, the Tuatha De Danann. It is a world which over time we have lost the capacity to see but one which can be revealed if we learn how to look.

Yeats’s verse pays homage to the natural beauty of Ireland’s landscape but much of the body of his poems evokes this otherworld. It is his skill as a writer which allows him to guide us from one world to the other and back again by bestowing a mystical sense to real landscapes.

Ciarán McHugh lives in Carney in North Co. Sligo. His photography is focused on the landscapes of the West of Ireland. In 2014 a portfolio of his work was selected by The Irish in Europe Association for inclusion in an exhibition to promote Sligo in the Halles Saint-Gery in Brussels. In 2012 Ciarán collaborated with US author E. Ashley Rooney to produce a book entitled ‘Ireland's Ghosts, Legends, and Lore’. He is also a member of the Made in Sligo craft group.

Launch of Into the Twilight by Ambassador Dominick Chilcott 11th March 2015

Into the Twilight - the Landscape of W.B. Yeats was launched on Wednesday 11th March 2015 by His Excellency Dominick Chilcott, British Ambassador to Ireland. The following is the text of his address on the evening of the launch.

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'Into the twilight - the landscape of WB Yeats'

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

I am delighted to be in Sligo for this important occasion, the opening of 'Into the twilight - the landscape of WB Yeats', which, as you will see, is an exhibition of black and white photographs of the landscape of WB Yeats' favourite county by the renowned photographer, Ciaran McHugh.

It is a great pleasure to be here in the Hyde Bridge Gallery in Sligo's Yeats Memorial Building.

I hope to return to Sligo in June when, partly through the sponsorship of the British Council, all four of the national poets of the United Kingdom will be coming here for Yeats' day, to take part in the celebrations of the life and works of the author of so many great poems.

As far as anyone knows, that will be the first time that the UK’sfour national poets have been together in the same place, which in itself shows the very high esteem in which Yeats is held in the United Kingdom.

It is rather humbling to be invited to say a few words this evening and officially to open Ciaran’s exhibition. For I am neither a Yeats scholar nor an expert on photography.

But I suspect that I share with many of us gathered here a love of poetry, its language and images, a love of landscape too and a great appreciation of the skill involved in capturing that landscape photographically.

Great photographs are, of course, much more than a simple reproduction of a momentary image on the surface of one's retina.

At its best, photography communicates to us on an emotional level, conveying and provoking feelings and sentiment about its subject matter. It is not a mere, cold blooded, objective thing.

Good photography should be able to surprise us, most obviously by making us look at the world in a new way. The camera does not lie, anymore than poetry lies. And like poetry, the camera embellishes and enriches our experience of living in the world.

Black and white photography is particular powerful in this regard. For it presents pictures of the world to us that are different from the coloured world that we see in the normal scheme of things. Not being distracted by colour, our minds find significance in other things that might otherwise have beenoverlooked.

Portraits of people often seem to tell us more about their subjects when rendered in black and white than in colour. We seem better to understand their personalities; our imaginations are able to penetrate deeper under the skin.

Similarly for landscape. We may lose the beauty of the greens and yellows and blues around us. But black and white enables us to see the details of the natural world in a way that can attach to them more meaning.

I am sure you will agree that Ciaran’s photographs achieve all this and more.

It is very fitting that WB Yeats should have inspired Ciaran. As you will know better than I do, Yeats believed we inhabited two different but interconnected worlds - the world of our senses and the world beyond our understanding.

It is not going too far to suggest that Ciaran’s black and white photographs, as they are not simple reproductions of the world as we see it, offer us an insight into what this parallel other world might be like by providing a different perspective, filter and focus on otherwise familiar places.

As Ciaran says himself, he hopes this collection of photographs can, in a small way, help people refocus on the familiar landscapes we are immersed in and take a fresh look at the different interconnected worlds around us.

Ladies and gentlemen, as you know the earth has orbited the sun 150 times since William Butler Yeats was born. And to mark this significant anniversary, the country is celebrating for the whole of 2015 the life and works of Ireland's national poet.

Although he was born in Dublin and spent much of his youth in London, Yeats was clear where his spiritual home was. And it lay here in Sligo. He spent his childhood holidays here. His mother, Susan Pollexfen, came from a wealthy merchant family from Sligo town.

As a young poet, Yeats came to think of this area as his spiritual home. Its landscape became over time, both literally and symbolically his 'country of the heart'.

'I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:'

You will recognise the opening lines of 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'. The poem was written in London in 1888 when Yeats was 23 years old.

The inspirational spark for the poem was Yeats hearing a little tinkle of water and seeing a fountain in a shop window in Fleet Street, which made him think of lake water and of a particular lake, full of islands, that he remembered from childhood, and in particular a little islet called Innisfree, with a rocky centre covered in bushes to where he had dreamed, as a child, of rowing and building a wooden hut and listening at night to the ripple of water and quivering of the bushes.

Yeats' longing for such a pastoral idyll, while living in the smoke and bustle of London, is not difficult to understand.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree may be the most famous example of the landscape of this county influencing Yeats' poetry but it is, of course, far from being the only one.

A year or so ago, on a first visit to Sligo, Damian Brennan, now the President of the Yeats Society Sligo, very kindly took me on a guided tour of Yeats country, stopping at various points to read me the poems inspired by different places along our route.

It was a delightful way to spend a morning and a wonderful way to introduce the county to a newcomer . The mix of Sligo's stunningly beautiful landscape and Yeats' elegant mastery of language and image was utterly compelling, indeed somewhat magical.

Someone who unfortunately can't be here is Senator Susan O'Keefe, the Chair of Yeats2015.

She sent me a very nice note, which I would like to acknowledge, regretting not being able to be present at Ciaran McHugh's exhibition. He is a wonderful photographer, she wrote, and his collection is inspiring.

Alas, the exigencies of the banking inquiry detain her in Dublin.

In addition to Damian Brennan and Susan O'Keefe, I should also like to mention Ian Kennedy, the manager of the Yeats building.

I understand that the lion's share of the work - other than that undertaken by the artist himself - in putting together the exhibition has been done by Mr Brennan, Mr Kennedy and their staff and colleagues.

On everyone's behalf, may I say thank you to all of them.

Ladies and gentlemen, Yeats was not just a poet with deep connections to Sligo. He was a pillar of the literary establishments in both Ireland and Britain as well as being one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. His work forms a central part of the English literature A level - or leaving certificate - syllabus in Britain.

In 1923, as you know, he became the first Irishman to win the Nobel prize for literature. The Nobel committee described his work as 'inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form, gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation'.

Indeed, Yeats' own interest in Irish history and in nationalism had a profound effect on his poetry and, in return, his explorations of Irish identity had a significant influence on the creation of Ireland's own sense of itself.

As Professor Roy Foster of Oxford University, who wrote the two volume biography of Yeats that looks accusingly at me from the bookshelf in my embassy office, said: 'Napoleon's dictum that to understand the man you have to know what was happening in he world when he was twenty is manifestly true of WB Yeats'.

To that I might add, and to understand what moves him spiritually and emotionally, you need to know the landscape in which he lived, physically and in his imagination.

This exhibition, through the skill of Ciaran McHugh's work behind the lens, fuses together the man, his poetry and philosophy, and the place, Sligo, that was dearest to his heart.

It is a very worthy contribution to the calendar of events celebrating WB Yeats in the 150th anniversary of his birth. I am honoured to have been invited to the Hyde Bridge Gallery this evening and, with the greatest of pleasure, I now declare this exhibition officially open.

Thank you.

Oliver Tennyson 1st December – 14th December

Oliver lives and works in Co Meath.

The things I see around me, like a horse head on the pier of a gate, or a clay swan with flowers growing out of it, that many people would perceive as normal, I tend to perceive as surreal. Inspired by this way of perceiving reality, and with a specific focus on the interest I have in the cultural, historical and spiritual traditions of the island of Ireland, my work can be seen as a fusion or realism and surrealism.

Oliver works in oils, acrylic, and pencil, wood, stone and bronze. He gets his inspiration from the rich, cultural, historical and spiritual traditions of Ireland.

Paul Rose 8th September – 21st September

(b.1958. Gravesend, England) Moved to Ireland in 1995.

Worked as a Nurse until 2003 when he was severely injured after a patient assault, which left him disabled.

Always having a love of the arts he took up painting for therapeutic outlet

He studied art and design at GMIT, Castlebar graduating with a BA in 2012.

Solo exhibitions include, “Wetlands Arts” Signal Centre Bray, 2014

Retrospective Memories, Casa Azuz, Cacela Velha, Algarve, Portugal. 2012.

Group exhibitions include 5 shows at the, Art Against Stigma, Linenhall Arts Centre,

Castlebar, Mayo. Receiving 2 awards for Best in Show. The Mayo Artist Show, on 3

occasions, Linenhall Arts Centre. The Volvo World Yacht Race, Galway, Ireland.

The Irish Heritage Museum, Mayo.

Paul lives and works in Kiltimagh, Mayo, Ireland

Mary Donnelly 19thMay – 1st June

Mary Donnelly Studied Fine Art at D.I.T Dublin 1982-86 .From 1986 to 1991 she was a member of Templebar Gallery and Studios, Dublin. In 1991 she moved to Connemara where she continues to live.

Mary has exhibited exstensively through out her career in solo and group exhibitions in Ireland and abroad. Her exhibitions abroad Include (solo) the McClelland Regional Art Gallery, Langwarren, Victoria, Australia 1993. (group) Reimagining Ireland, University of Virginia,USA 2003. (solo) Glucksman Ireland House, NYU, New York, 2005. (group) Iomha, Finland, Curated by Rauri O Cuiv and Cliodhna Shaffery, 2006

Marys Awards include the Oriel Gallery Award for Landscape of Distinction at the Royal Hibernian Acadamy Annual Exhibition, Dublin 2004. National Self Portrait Collection 2005 Limerick University. Tyrone Guthrie Regional Bursary ( Galway Co Council) 2009-12. Tyrone Guthrie – Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts Exchange Fellowship 2009-12, Arts Council of Ireland Travel and Training Award 2009, Individual Artists Bursary, Galway Co Council 2011-12, Arts Council of Ireland travel and Training Award 2012, Pollock-Krasner New York Foundation Grant 2012.

"I have chosen to live in the Far West Coast of Ireland in a place of extreme beauty and weather. Over the years, I have become familiar with its every detail, knowing the landscape not simply in its unchanging topography but also in its undying indifference and constant light change."

‘‘It takes a man a lifetime to get to know a field’’ (Patrick Kavanagh). The paintings are not however about romantic sentimentality.

Mary Donnelly: Light on the visable, Mixed media on board, 4 x 6 inches

Charlotte Brooks 23rd April – 4th May

Charlotte Brooks lives and works close to Cashel Co Tipperary, she is an honours graduate in Fine Art Sculpture, from the National collage of Art and Design Dublin.

Her work includes sculpture, photography, film and installation work. These works investigate isolation through photography from a sculptural perspective. Her work in general looks at the subject of traditional views that surround women, and what is the perception of the woman from a male perspective as a Mother, Partner, Wife or Sister. The work is not language or religious based. When embarking on this investigating she discovered rapidly that the issue of isolation was not just a national issue but international.

Carol Wood and Gabrielle Bishop 7th April – 20th April

Carol Wood is a Boyle based artist whose practice focuses in the medium of painting, she graduated from G.M.I.T with a BA Hons in Art and Design in June 2013, Carol has exhibited in the Boyle Arts festival 10 times plus other group and solo exhibitions throughout Ireland. I am learning that art can be a sense of freedom to me whatever the meaning of it. I do not have to be an evaluator of my own work. My main work is produced through the means of mark making with acrylics or oils, working on surfaces like wood, panel or MDF. With layered application of selected colours along with the combination of mediums, I hope to bring about visual and sometimes unpredictable changes that may occur.

Gabrielle Bishop was born in Wimbledon, London. After graduating in History at the University of Sussex and completing her training in stained glass in London and Barcelona she worked in museums and stained glass studios in England and Spain. Now living in Westport, in the west of Ireland Gabrielle is a recent graduate in fine art from the G.M.I.T. Her paintings reflect her background in history, museums and stained glass with time, materials and environment being key to her work, along with themes of colour, light and transformation.

IDEASTHESIA March 24th – April 5th

assets/images/IDeasthesia_exhbition.jpgJohn Kent is a Cork based Visual Artist who has been focusing primarily in the field of painting. His discipline concentrates in the atmospheric and expressive. Graduating with a BA Hons degree from the Crawford College of Fine Art and Design in June 2012, John was awarded a bursary prize by the college in the form of a residency in the Backwater Artists Group. His work belongs to private collections and has participated in numerous group exhibitions. Self/ Mind/ Conscious: We perceive reality and interpret information. We project these interpretations through expression. My use of the word "expression" is an attempt to encapsulate everything; all art, all action, all thought is governed by ones environment. Recently, I have been focused on notions like time, distance, points of perspective, language as a whole, consciousness.

"Ideasthesia (alternative spelling ideaesthesia) is defined as a phenomenon in which activations of concepts (inducers) evoke perception-like experiences (concurrents). The name comes from the Greek idea and aisthesis, meaning "sensing concepts" or "sensing ideas" and is introduced by Danko Nikolić.[1] The main reason for introducing the notion of ideaesthesia was the empirical evidence indicating that the related term synesthesia (i.e.union of senses) suggests incorrect explanation of a set of phenomena traditionally covered by this heading. "Syn"+"aesthesis" denoting "co-perceiving", implies the association of two sensory elements with little connection to the cognitive level. However, most phenomena that have inadvertently been linked to synesthesia, in fact are induced by the semantic representations i.e., the meaning, of the stimulus rather than by its sensory properties, as would be implied by the term synesthesia. The following table shows the difference in the properties of inducers and concurrents implied by the terms synesthesia and ideasthesia"

Conceptual aspects

I thought Ideasthesia would be an appropriate title for the exhibition because evoking thought is fundimental to my practice. The subjectivity of my work is broad in spectrum, I'm influenced by philosophy (most the writtings of max Ernst, Baroch Spinoza, Sigmund Freud, Neitsche, Terrence Mckenna, Noam Chompsky, John C. Lilly), physics, art history, media etc. Conceptually I am all over the place, my goal is always to make honest art and at this time in my life, being a young person who is somewhat disillusioned and is trying to seek a tangible grasp on, well, life. I'm not concerned with constraining myself to one philosophical discipline,

Little of what I learned can be exactly read from my work. As a painter, translating written ideas to a visual form changes its meaning and that interested me the most, how language has different mediums and each medium has a different quality. From this I've developed a deeper understanding the functions of language.

I always use an old french saying which is somewhat of a sardonic compliment, " You are as dumb as a painter", It basically means a painter is visually orientated and aren't very good at explaining their work. They leave the paintings explain themselves

Visual aspects

I've always been drawn to paint horizon motifs in my work. It is borderline compulsion at this stage. Earlier work (2011-2012) concentrated on an object, these objects i created to bear no real likeness to anything in the real world. It was a means to allow the viewer to project their own narrative and feeling onto the painting, freeing them to interpret anyway they like.

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The work I'm showing in the Hyde Bridge Gallery is directly related to my dergree show work, rather concentrating on themes of isolation, and self I am concentrated on the world around me. Rather than creating played down quasi portraits, I am painting busy chaotic landscapes (I use landscapes loosely).

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Artist Statement

I have an interest in language. Not only verbal but generally how information is carried through a medium and how it is received. I think my paintings reflect this curiosity. I play on abstraction, colour and expressive brush strokes to create an energetic and open picture. There is no definitive subject in my work, I start with a broad spectrum of thoughts and they get boiled down, distilled into a sentence in hope to start a conversation with the viewer.

Other Artist's influences

I'm influenced by the work of George Baselitz, Daniel Richter, Jonathon Meese, Damien Flood, Norbert Schwontkowski, Simon English, Joseba Eskubi and many more.


John Kent is a young up and coming artist from Cork. Graduated from the Crawford College of Fine Art & Design, John was awarded a bursary for his degree show in the form of a 9 month post grad residency at the Backwater Artist Group. Since then, his work has been exhibited around Ireland including having his first solo exhibition.


Uses painterly brush strokes

Uses Strong, Vibrant Colours

Horizons are reoccurring

a sense of place and location is given from the paintings.

The is an amalgamation of time space and narrative that creates an abstract quality

Layering; a sense of history is important to the artist.

Viewers own interpretation is something the artist welcomes greatly.

9th - 16th December 2013 - Heidi Wickham, Steve Wickham


December 9th sees a collaboration between two Sligo based artists. HEIDI WICKHAM has been living and working in Sligo for the past twenty years. Artistic projects include local theatre, Arts Festival contributions ,HSE commissioned workshops and adult and children's art classes.

As an artist , Heidi is represented by galleries in Ireland , Europe and America and her distinctive charcoal drawing practice earned her coveted wall space in this year's RHA summer exhibition in Dublin. Best known for her animal portraits , Heidi's drawings of her much loved favourite subject , the hare, have delighted collectors for the past ten years. "My commissioned pieces range from geckos to llamas and but most popular are the family cat and dog drawings I make for clients."

STEVE WICKHAM, fiddler with The Waterboys travels extensively , and this is a collection of photographs taken whilst on tour in Europe and America in the past year. "With nearly three hundred to choose from, curating a collection of fourteen was a real struggle, " said Heidi , "but I've selected these because they capture quiet and interesting moments usually in the 'down time' between gigs". Steve has added a hand-written note to each image explaining where and when they were taken. The exhibition opens at 6pm Monday 9th December and will run for one week.

Branching out: Youth In Action Exchange to Romania

23rd - 29th November 2014

Local youth arts group and friends of Young Yeats, Branching Out will be hosting an exhibition in The Yeats Art Gallery space from Saturday 23rd November. The multi disciplinary group which formed in 2009 operates on a youth democracy principal and is completely youth led. Their base of operations is The Nest, Custom House Quay, Lower Quay Street. Young Yeats since their formation in early 2013 has formed a mutually beneficial friendship and partnership with the group.

In August five members of Branching Out, including their founder and Artistic Director, Brian Devaney, took part in a Youth in Action Exchange to Romania. The title of the project was 'Our Village in Europe'. Five other Countries participated - Romania, Lithuania, Austria, Greece and Portugal. The exchange took place in a rural mountain area in the north of Romania and beautiful town of Vatra Dornei.

Its main objectives were-

- Encouraging young people towards a better understanding on the poverty matter that affects the rural space and the way in which Europe is dealing with this problem by making appeal to the concept of European Citizenship, its rights and obligations.

- Developing the intercultural dialogue between 34 European youngsters from 6 different countries through activities based on non-formal education, which highlight traditional customs of their countries.

- Organising an exhibition with representative photography taken by participants during the exchange that reflect the Romanian rural life from a foreign perspective, comparing it to their own rural experience.

Branching Out's exhibition which features 100 photographs taken by all participants in Romania will launch at 1pm on Saturday 23rd at The Yeats Memorial Building. All are welcome to this event which not only highlights the innovative work and undertakings of local youth in Sligo but also new friendships and understandings between different cultures. It also of course portrays the breathtaking natural beauty of the location of the exchange, Romania.

For more information about Branching Out email: branchingoutart@gmail.com

29th November - 6th December - Summerhill College exhibition

Kith & Kin

12 - 19 September 2013

Brigit Egging & Tobias Baudry

Kith and Kin is the culmination of nearly 2 years of collaboration between the visual artist, Brigit Egging, and writer, Tobias Baudry, who are also mother and son. The exhibition will be combined with the launch of their book, Snake in the Grass and Other Stories, a collection of flash fiction and short stories, illustrated by artwork from their collaborative project. Peggy Gallagher, a Sligo-based poet and winner of the 2012 Listowel Writers’ Week Poetry Collection, will be speaking at the launch.

Kith and Kin - King David

Tobias and Brigit’s work is rooted in a common sensibility and approach to telling stories, whether visual or textual, and a main focus of their collaboration, reflected in the exhibition, is family, connections, what holds these relationships together, and what stresses cause them to break down. More broadly, the theme of distress is viewed through the distorted and sometimes surreal lens of Brigit’s depictions of the human body and Tobias’s flash fiction stories.

As the name suggests, flash fiction is very brief, often no more than a hundred words. Stories told at this length share certain features with poetry, especially the careful, thrifty construction of each line, and the stylised language, characters and settings. Brigit’s paintings, drawings, and prints also contain stories; the figures she represents are more than models for the human body; they are characters too, whose distortions and contortions, captured with Brigit’s fluid use of ink, oil paint, and printing techniques, tell stories of their own.

Brigit is a Dutch artist who graduated from Artez Hogeschool voor Beeldende Kunst, The Netherlands, in 1984. Since 1991 she has lived and worked in the west of Ireland. The depiction of the human figure, modifications or distortions of the objective reality and elements of chance and the unconscious have always been a vital part of her imagery.

Tobias was born in The Netherlands but grew up in Sligo, Ireland. From 2006 to 2010 he studied at Queen's University Belfast, graduating with an MA in Creative Writing. Concentrating on short stories and flash fiction, his writing, about odd people in normal situations or vice versa, is gently surreal, an aspect he brings to his collaboration with Brigit.


Through the Looking Glass

31 August - 7 September 2013

This exhibition brings together the work of 7 Illustrators and Artists from around the country. With artists from Dublin, Cork, Belfast, Galway and Sligo this show will offer a wide variety of styles and influences.

JG O'Donoghue hails from Cork and specialises in archaeological and heritage illustration and art. JG has exhibited extensively and was the key founder of the online Islander Arts Collective.

Alan Corbett is another Cork illustrator who last year released his first Graphic novel, the well recieved “Ghost of Shandon”, of which a sequel is currently in the works. Alan regularly runs courses on Comic illustration.

Eva Widermann is a German illustrator specialising in illustration, concept art and character design. Her clients have included Disney and the publishers of the Dungeons and Dragons game series, Wizards of the Coast.

Rosemary Fallon is an emerging Galway artist whose work veers from Surreal painting to sculptural pieces. Rosemary has exhibited extensively and recently has had her work featured as the cover piece for the Galway Fringe Festival brochure.

Marian Noone is a Sligo artist now native to Belfast who has developed a reputation as a highly sought after Street mural artist with her distinctive images to be found all over Ireland. Working under the handle “Friz”, her work largely revolves around the female form, creating a world of sometimes sassy, sometimes sensuous characters.

Eoin Coveney has worked as a freelance illustrator for over 17 years with Clients such as Judge Dredd Magazine, The Irish Times, FHM magazine and more. He has also worked under the mentorship of legendary US comics artist Will Eisner.

Wayne O'Connor is a Sligo based artist who has worked on a selection of Boardgames and RPG books since going freelance a few years ago. He held his first solo show this year in the Hawkswell Theatre in Sligo.