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    Saturday, January 13th, 2024
    Title: Fata Morgana. Artist: Majella O’Neill Collins. Dimensions: 70 x 100cm. Year: 2022. Photography: CultureArk

    A 21st Century ghost ship is the inspiration for an exhibition which opens today at Uilinn, the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen.  Artist and Sherkin Islander Majella O’Neill Collins became fascinated with the story of the MV Alta, the merchant vessel abandoned at sea 1,400 miles south of Bermuda in 2018 after engine failure when en route from Greece to Haiti. It drifted for 496 days over 2,300 nautical miles until washed ashore at Ballycotton during Storm Dennis in February 2020. Re-named 14 times with owners who are impossible to trace the ship remains unclaimed, unsalvaged and on the rocks. The sense of this vessel sailing along on relatively untroubled water, entering uncharted waters and eventually hitting a rock inspired the artist and led ultimately to the exhibition Allegory of the MV Alta. It continues until February 24.


    Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

    The Consecration of St. Mary’s Popes Quay by James Mahony

    Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger is now on show at Uilinn, the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen in County Cork, an epicentre of the famine.   More than 50 artworks from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University – at Hamden, Connecticut between Boston and New York – are on stunning display. It has been seen by tens of thousands of people at Quinnipiac.

    In west Cork the show is accompanied by a diverse programme of performances, talks, lectures and events including artists talks and a reading by Jeremy Irons of The Cummins Letter written by a local JP in 1848 describing the conditions in Reen. Among the artworks is The Consecration of St. Mary’s Popes Quay by James Mahony, the Cork born artist best known for his harrowing depictions of the famine for The Illustrated London News, where he was an artist and reporter.  Dublin auctioneers Whyte’s presented a full sized replica of this work to the Dominicans at St. Mary’s, Cork after they were outbid by the American university when it came to auction in 2015.


    Monday, February 19th, 2018

    The Victim by Rowan Gillespie.

    In 2018, Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University will send 50 pieces of art from its acclaimed collection home to Ireland for eight months. The works will go to The Coach House at Dublin Castle and West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen for the exhibition Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger.

    This major undertaking aims to strengthen the deep cultural connection between Ireland and its diaspora by showcasing the world’s largest collection of Great Hunger-related art never before exhibited on Irish soil.

    Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum Ryan Mahoney said: “The exhibition is coming home for the first time ever. “We’re bringing our collection home to Ireland where it needs to be seen after five years of having it on display here in the US. In that time, we’ve seen tens of thousands of people coming through our doors.”

    Many of the works are graphic, depicting the horrors of the Great Famine. Some focus on the plight of those who travelled on coffin ships from Ireland to the US.

    The show will be at Dublin Castle from March to June and at the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen from July to October.  It will be on display at the Glassworks in Derry from January to March next year.