2014 Press Releases

Irish female artists reflect great change

4 Jun 2014

A stunning exhibition based on the book ‘Journeys through Line and Colour: Forty Irish Women Artists of the 20th Century’ opens in the Jennings Gallery on Wednesday 18th June at 6pm.

This special exhibition, called Irish Female Artists of the 20th Century, is curated by medical consultant Professor Paul Finucane, one of the authors of the book along with Dr Maria Connolly. It features artworks loaned from a number of private collections and is an ideal opportunity to view what are considered the best Irish female artists of the 20th century. 

These women lived through a time of great change – the War of Independence, the Civil War, the emergence of the Irish Free State, and two world wars. This was also a time when women’s role in society changed and women joined the work force. The country was also beginning to recognise the importance of art and culture.

These women artists were strong, pioneering women who encouraged and supported each other. They had similar privileged social and educational backgrounds and many were friends.  They were successful writers, musicians, teachers, political activists, suffragettes, revolutionaries, publishers, poets and patriots. All were devoted to their art.

These women lived at a time when men dominated art. Indeed, the Royal Hibernian Academy excluded females from full membership until 1925. Although under similar artistic influences, these women had very individual artistic styles. They escaped the artistic and social restrictions of Ireland and travelled to Europe, in particular Paris, to study art, in contrast to their male colleagues who remained in Ireland and whose art tended to be more formal and conservative.

‘This is more than a collection of paintings. It is a celebration of the talents, the uniqueness, the individuality of these strong pioneering women of the last century. These women are part of our history and our heritage and have given us a valuable artistic legacy’, said Director of the Jennings Gallery, Dr Bridget Maher.

The exhibition will open with a guest lecture by Professor Finucane and Dr Maria Connolly in Brookfield Health Sciences Complex at 6pm on Wednesday 18th June, followed by the opening reception in the Jennings Gallery. The exhibition will run until the 8th of September.

The Jennings Gallery (College of Medicine and Health, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC) is open to the public Monday-Friday 9-5pm.

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF