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National Programme > Recent Projects

This lasted until dawn...

21 May – 31 July 2015

Hughie O'Donoghue, Tawnanasool (Field of the Eyes), 2001, Oil on linen canvas, 248 x 279 cm , Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Heritage Gift, 2004, IMMA.1783, Image © the artist

The Arts Department of Wexford County Council in partnership with Wexford Arts Centre and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) are pleased to host an exhibition of celebrated contemporary Irish paintings this summer. This lasted until dawn... features the work of many notable painters including Basil Blackshaw, Oliver Comerford, Barrie Cooke, Diana Copperwhite, William Crozier, Elizabeth Magill, Michael Mulcahy and Hughie O’Donoghue. The exhibition will be situated in the County Buildings, and along with a series of talks and workshops in Wexford’s public libraries, are definitely events to mark in your cultural calendar.

The title of the exhibition, This lasted until dawn..., is taken from 13th century Icelandic mythology relating to the Battle of Clontarf. This legend which influenced the work of artist Hughie O’Donoghue, also connects to an important aspect of this selection of contemporary work; a sense of heightened human experience. It highlights the intense emotional charge and energy that subtly links this collection of paintings.

This lasted until dawn... explores the language of painting and the nature of perceptual experience. It links to our individual experiences of the world, including memory, personal awareness and how we process information. Each painting questions our perception of place, space and human physicality. This is reinforced by the large scale of the work, which complements the County Buildings, and has the potential to question the relationship between man, nature and the elemental world.  Visceral physicality is a connecting force between the works, offering an alternate experience of this world through the personal style of each artist. Whether this is the burning intensity of Hughie O’Donoghue’s work or the secluded pathos of Elizabeth Magill; this exhibition creates a sensory activating, thought provoking display.

Artists included in the exhibition are Basil Blackshaw, Oliver Comerford, Barrie Cooke, Diana Copperwhite, William Crozier, Elizabeth Magill, Michael Mulcahy and Hughie O’Donoghue.

Wexford County Council Opening Hours:  Monday – Friday, 9.00a.m. - 5.00p.m.
Admission to the exhibition and workshops are free of charge.

Talks & Workshops

To coincide with this incredible exhibition, a series of workshops in Wexford’s public libraries will take place through the summer months.  These interactive workshops will encourage the public to visit the show in the county building, while also promoting a better understanding of and interaction with the work displayed. These talks and workshops will further highlight the practises and processes of professional artists working in Ireland today.  Through these workshops, form, colour, texture and themes associated with the exhibition will be explored connecting the public with contemporary Irish art.

In response to the IMMA collection, the workshops will encourage participants to think about how they see their immediate space/area. Through the varied use of materials, the workshops will allow those taking part to highlight what they like and perhaps dislike about their area through the use of texture, colour and form. This could be visually abstract, but like many of the paintings featured in the show, it could connect to the environment in a sensory and emotive way.

Tuesday 7 July, 7pm, New Ross Library
Dr. Alice Planel will present a talk on modern Irish paintings touching upon many of the artists included in the exhibition. Dr. Panel holds a PhD in Franco-Algerian Contemporary Art and is currently Deputy Editor of the Fine Art Journal Middle East.

Wexford Town Library: Wednesday 10 June, 11am-12pm and Wednesday 8 July at 2pm
Bunclody Library: Thursday 11 June, 9.45am-10.45am and Wednesday 8 July at 11am
New Ross Library: Thursday 11 June, 12pm-1pm
Gorey Library: Wednesday 10 June at 2pm and Wednesday 7 July at 11am-12pm
Enniscorthy Library:  Wednesday 7 July at 2pm-3pm

Contact Us

For further details or to book a place on the workshops please contact the following library branches:

Bunclody Library – 053 9375466
Enniscorthy Library – 053 9236055
Gorey Library – 053 9421481
New Ross Library – 052 421877
Wexford Library – 053 9196760

For further information on the exhibition please contact Philip Knight, Assistant Staff Officer, The Arts Department, Wexford County Council, Carricklawn, Wexford on 053 9196369 or email philip.knight@wexfordcoco.ie.

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email: