Coming Home: Art and The Great Hunger
Outreach Programs Announced
Two exciting outreach projects will launch in Derry City in 2019, as part of the programme for Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger, the acclaimed Famine-art exhibition, opening at Cultúrlann Ui Chanáin on January 18th.
Living Art Tours
These projects include Living Art Tours for young audiences, written by Jonathan Burgess. Groups will meet characters from the story of the Great Famine in Ireland, inspired by the artworks from the Coming Home collection.
Famine themed murals
The second project will see three larger than life murals grace the walls of Derry, created by local street art collective UV Arts. The murals have been inspired by Famine-themed poems by the Irish poet, Gabriel Rosenstock and will be accompanied by a music written by the late fiddle player, Tommy Peoples.
These projects will gifted to the city by Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin and cultural partners at Ireland's Great Hunger Museum and Quinnipiac University in the US.
Director of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum, Ryan Mahoney said 'The team at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, as well the greater Derry community, have gone out of their way to make this leg of Coming Home truly unique and special. The Derry portion of the tour will be unlike any other stop, and we're very excited for the unveiling of these two exciting projects.'
He went on to say: 'None of this would be possible without the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs. From day one they saw the importance of the Coming Home project. It is because of their partnership that this venture continues to be such a success for Quinnipiac University'.
President of Ireland Attends Exhibition Opening
For the first time ever, the Famine-art collection Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger has come home to Ireland, where it will be exhibited at Dublin Castle until June 30th.
President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, attended the launch on March 7th, where he gave an address to over 200 guests and welcomed the artworks to Ireland for the first time.
After a private tour of the exhibition with Niamh O'Sullivan, Curator, John L. Lahey, President of Quinnipiac University, and with members of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum Board, the President spoke, reflecting on the exhibition, and on An Gorta Mór saying: “The power of art and the creative industries furthers a sense of shared meaning and identity within society, encouraging people to remember, reflect and engage with the full richness of our history and the diversity of our people.”
Since his inauguration, President Higgins has referred to the Great Irish Famine on numerous occasions, both at home and abroad. He has called An Gorta Mór a defining moment in the history of modern Ireland, and has actively supported a large number of initiatives that further our understanding of that tragic chapter in our past.
The President thanked those who contributed to bringing our collection of historical and contemporary art and literature to Irish shores. He said: “The exhibition would not be here today without the tireless commitment of Dr. John Lahey, the President of Quinnipiac University, a university which has emerged as a leading centre of understanding of An Gorta Mór through the establishment of the Great Hunger Museum.”
He continued saying: “This is an exhibition that reflects not only the centrality of the Famine... as a defining event in the making of modern Ireland but as one of the defining events in nineteenth-century global history. It is of immense importance too to those studying the evolution of economic theory and its effect on policy, and of course it is the source of an enduring bond between the citizens of this country and millions of American citizens who today are proud of their Irish descent.”
The exhibition displays works from Jack B. Yeats, Daniel MacDonald, Paul Henry, Brian Maguire, Dorothy Cross and William Crozier, and others demonstrate how artists responded to the worst humanitarian crisis of 19th-century Europe. Exhibition on view until June 30th at The Coach House, Dublin Castle, from July 20th at West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen and 18 January - 16 March 2019 in An tSeaneaglais (Glassworks), Derry. Admission is free.