THE artistic talent of the people of Cloghane, Brandon and West Kerry is to be showcased at the annual Ealaíontóirí an Leith–Triúigh art exhibition, which opens this Saturday night at Halla Le Chéile.
The exhibition, which Includes the work of 13 amateur artists, represents the work of a local art group who meet on a weekly basis at the home of group founder and artist, Deirdre Lynch.
Deirdre, a nurse by profession, took up art some 26 years ago; soon it became a real passion and she began hosting local art classes. Keen to share her love of art in the community she established the art group which has become a real focal point in the locale with the group now attracting art enthuasists not only from Cloghane and Brandon but also from Castlegregory, Aughacasla, Camp, Castlemaine and Dingle.
"It's a wonderful outlet for people, especially in the dark winter months when people in rural areas can experience a sense of isolation; it allows people to express themselves," Deirdre said. "Everyone is welcome and it allows people to develop their skills in an informal setting. There is no pressure and everyone works at their own pace."
The exhbition, which will be officially opened by Mayor of Kerry Cllr. Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald this Saturday at 8pm, is one of the highlights of the year in Clochán Bréannainn and will this year feature Deirdre's work alongside Glen Overy, Eibhlín Uí Dubhlainn, Seamus Ó Domhnaill, Peigí Mhic Gearailt, Máire Mhic Gearailt, Muireann De Búrca, Olga Demery, Carmel Uí Shé, Máireád Ní Ghrifín, Veronica Ní hUallacháin and Bríd Mhic Gearailt.
Both Deirdre and artist Fr. McCreave from Belfast, a frequent visitor to the area, will donate works to a special fundraising raffle in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group who operate the Kerry – Cork Health Link Bus which transports patients to Cork University Hospital for treatment.
"The annual Ealaíontóirí an Leith – Triúigh art exhibition attracts people from far and wide and we will be delighted to welcome Fr. McCreave from Belfast on this night as well as Mr. Chris Murray, curator of Govinda Gallery in Washington D.C. who hopes to travel to Halla Le Chéile for the opening," said Deirdre.
"We are very grateful to everyone for their support, in particular the coiste of Halla Le Chéile, Kerry County Council and Údarás na Gaeltachta for helping us to make this happen," she added. "This exhibition really brings people together and as a consequence wonderful friendships have evolved over the years. It has allowed people from all walks of life to share their mutual love of art and it is something we are all very proud of."