The Hunt Museum’s summer exhibition A Wild Atlantic Way (opening on 9 July) gives visitors the chance to travel the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kinsale and experience the essence and soul of Ireland through a series of atmospheric and strikingly evocative paintings by 30 artists.
Featuring works created between 1800’s and 2019 by Irish born artists or artists drawn to Ireland by the beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way, this major exhibition accentuates traditional habits and ways of life - remembering people and history through painting.
The inspiration for the exhibition first came to Naomi O’Nolan, Head of Exhibitions at The Hunt Museum, when she spent time on the West Coast of Ireland during the first lockdown of 2020. She noted, “For centuries, the majestic West of Ireland and the uniqueness of its coastline has attracted artists from all over the world. This exhibition focuses on the allure of the West Coast of Ireland to artists both past and present and how they have captured the ways of life and customs of people living and working on the coastline as well as the power and the beauty of the land and seascape.”
The variety of artistic practice from the earliest work in the exhibition Samuel Lover’s The Kelp Burners (1835) to Donald Teskey’s Turn in the Weather (2016) and John Shinnor’s portrayal of Loop Head (2019) bear testament to the enduring attraction of the West of Ireland to artists.
The theme of travel is further illustrated with a selection of illustrated travel books by artists and travellers from the 19th century to today. A Wild Atlantic Way offers a glimpse into how artists viewed and still view the West and the different approaches they take when responding to it, through their mastery in many different styles and techniques.
The exhibition is very timely given Limerick has just been designated as a Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City by Fáilte Ireland.
Jill Cousins, Director, The Hunt Museum, said “As Limerick seeks to create new and improved visitor experiences, we’re delighted to present this major exhibition, endorsed by Fáilte Ireland and linked to Limerick’s new designation as a Wild Atlantic Way Gateway City. It will give visitors another reason to visit the city. With so many themes explored and works by very well-known artists, this staycation-inspired exhibition really has something for everyone.”
A show of both national and international significance, the exhibition will feature approximately 50 works, many from private collections which are not normally available for public viewing, together with some pertinent pieces from National Cultural Institutions.
Over the summer, The Hunt Museum will have lots of events and activities to support the exhibition including: Family workshops, En Plein Air with local artists such as John Shinnors and Charlie Harper, a Masterclass in Landscape painting with Joseph Kelly, Podcasts by experts and the living artists alongside online lectures and talks.
Tickets: Adults €10, children go free. Booking is essential to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. You can book tickets online www.huntmuseum.com or by calling (061) 312 833.