90 Irish female visual artists’ work is on display in the 12 Star Gallery in London in a contemporary art exhibition celebrating St Brigid’s Day on February 1st. The exhibition sees 90 women artists respond to the poem, St Brigid’s Day 1989 by the late Leland Bardwell.
Emma Stroude’s oil painting above, Follow, “centres on the notion of womanhood and the sisterhood women share regardless of nationality, culture or creed. Brigid is found in many cultures. For me she signifies intelligence, courage, determination, nature and creativity. My choice of model for the portrait embodies all these qualities communicating them to us via her gaze. She is old enough to be a mother but young enough to be a daughter subtly suggesting the passing on of these strengths through the generations.”
On February 1st there will be readings from Leland Barland’s poetry and novels given by renowned Irish actress Olwen Fouéré, with music provided by champion Sligo fiddle player Caoimhe Kearns.
The ‘St Brigid’s Day’ exhibition will continue on from February 9th – March 2nd in the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo.
St Brigid’s Day (Lá Fhéile Bríde) – and an ancient Irish Celtic festival, Imbolc – heralds the first day of spring, and with it hope, harvests and new life. Born in the first century near Dundalk in County Louth, St Brigid is the only female patron saint of Ireland.
The St Brigid’s Cross, made out of rushes, is still a familiar sight in many Irish homes today. The cross, usually hung by the door or in the rafters is in honour of St Brigid, and seeks her blessing and protection of the house and the people within.
St Brigid also founded a school of art including metal work and illumination.
All works are for sale at the gallery and online: www.hamiltongallery.ie