Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger

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24/05/2023 10:00 - 16:45


Annie Mays



Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger
An exhibition of contemporary and historical artworks from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, USA
20 July to 13 October 2018

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger is an exhibition of artwork from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA (IGHM), which has the largest collection of Great Hunger-related art in the world.

The exhibition of artworks at Uillinn, including work by major Irish and Irish American artists of the past 170 years such as Daniel Macdonald, Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, William Crozier, Hughie O'Donoghue, Dorothy Cross and Alanna O'Kelly, is accompanied by a rich and diverse programme of performances, talks, lectures and events at Uillinn, and off-site in other locations in West Cork. These resonate with the history and legacy of the Great Hunger and also amplify the contemporary themes explored in the exhibition. The themes include famine, the politics of food, poverty, displacement of peoples, refugees, emigration, identity, memory and loss.

These projects and events include a specially commissioned site-specific performance for Schull Workhouse by acclaimed Irish artist Alanna O'Kelly; and 110 Skibbereen Girls, a year-long project with artist Toma McCullim, exploring the poignant story of 110 girls from Skibbereen who escaped famine for Australia in 1848, culminating with the unveiling of a sculpture made from bronze, and Sydney sandstone donated by the Australian Embassy, at Skibbereen Community Hospital Campus, the site of the Skibbereen Workhouse.

A range of gallery-based activities will also take place including Discovery Box, a free resource for families to explore the exhibition; talks by contemporary artists whose work feature in Coming Home and Tours with the Curator, Niamh O'Sullivan. Guided tours for groups are on offer throughout and free guided tours take place every Tuesday at 2.00pm and Saturday at 12 noon.

This is an unique opportunity for the people of Cork and visitors to the region alike to experience this art collection in Skibbereen, described as 'ground zero' of the Great Irish Famine. The exhibition of artworks at Uillinn is further contextualised by the Great Irish Famine Exhibition at Skibbereen Heritage Centre, which is a major resource to the story of the Great Irish Famine and especially its impact on Skibbereen.

Several local festivals including Skibbereen Arts Festival, West Cork History Festival, and A Taste of West Cork have also come on board and have included famine related events in their programmes this summer and autumn. The exhibition has caught the imagination of our local communities, festivals and individual artists and is a major event for Skibbereen and the county of Cork.

Exhibition open from Monday to Saturday from 10.00am to 4.45pm.
Closed Sundays, except Sunday 29 July and Sunday 5 August when we will be open from 11.00am to 4.00pm