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Ballagh lends a helping hand to 'exciting' exhibition

ARTIST Robert Ballagh has hailed an "exciting" new exhibition of work by recovering addicts.

The RADE '100 Years Ago' show is a rumination of the 1913 Lockout, told through the mediums of paintings and sculptures.

Speaking at the exhibition launch at Dublin City Council offices yesterday, Ballagh said that the work was "very exciting".

RADE – which stands for Recovery Through Art, Drama and Education – is a day programme for those recovering from drug issues, and "offers an alternative to drug use".

Mr Ballagh is etched into Irish history as the man who created the design on the last batch of pound notes, and he was very impressed by the level of talent that the artists displayed yesterday.

"Sometimes people are really critical about the work done by people on programmes like this," he said, "and they are comparing it to work they see in the National Gallery, but that misses the point.

"What's really important here is the journey, the process involved – that's the really exciting thing."

RADE has 18 people on the programme, many of whom have contributed to Ballagh's next project – a tapestry depicting the 1913 Lockout, which was organised by SIPTU and the National College of Art and Design.

The exhibition, in Dublin City Council's offices, runs until August 30.

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