Here’s another gem in our capital city.
The Royal Hibernian Academy was established in 1821. The architect Francis Johnson presented it with a house and exhibition gallery in Lower Abbey Street. But that was destroyed, along with the entire annual exhibition of that year, in the Easter Rising 1916.
Ely Place has been it’s home since 1939, with the current building having been opened in 1985.
If you’re at a loose end, hanging around Grafton Street and you get tired of the shops and the buskers and the crowds, nip along to the peace of the RHA. It will only take you ten minutes on foot and you are very sure to see something of interest. Admission is free, though, of course a donation is always appreciated.
Right now, the gallery has been taken over by it’s 184th Annual Exhibition. Artists from all over the country have submitted work and what particularly pleased me is the fact that I’d already spotted a couple of these artists in the last year or so.
This is In Long Evening’s Shadow by Marie-Louise Martin. I was very taken by her work at an exhibition in Drogheda last year. She had lots of drawings, similar to this one, all presented in an unframed state along one wall and really, being a stark reminder of just how versatile graphite is. I love that a simple little pencil can produce all of this. And, of course, some incredible skill and talent from the artist herself.
I mentioned Martin Gale in my recent forays around the Hunt Museum. This is “In the Territory”. I love his distinctive style, the typically Irish scene and the tilted head of the dog has he awaits the next move of his master.
There is something very Craggy Island about this photograph from Amelia Stein. It is the manner of a lot of our buildings in the west that they somehow have the look of being dumped on the landscape without any thought for blending with it. And yet, for all that, in their bleakness, they echo the barren hillside and grey skies.
Another bleak landscape. If you are reared on a diet of Paul Henry paintings and John Hinde postcards, it might be a shock to discover that it rains a lot along Ireland’s western seaboard. Well, this Mick O’Dea painting doesn’t shirk from our damp climate. But it also conveys the beauty of that grey sky when contrasted with the shock of white gable,
And we’re back to the east coast of Ireland again with these two paintings from George Potter. I love the surreal style of his Park Lane Dun Laoghaire. And, since I have a thing for Martello Towers I picked out this one showing Joyce’s Tower in Sandymount.
We’re not nearly done. The 184th exhibition sprawls all around the many and vast walls of the RHA in all sorts of styles and genres. It ends on August 9th.
The gallery itself is open seven days a week with a late night opening on Wednesday til 8pm. So, if you fancy a ramble away from the madness of shops and traffic, this is a vast paradise of viewing pleasure.