Art exhibition inspired by James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ goes on display at Sweny’s Pharmacy

Artist Penny Stuart

John Downing

A Dublin artist will show a series of art works inspired by James Joyce’s celebrated story, “The Dead,” appropriately at “Sweny’s Pharmacy” in Lincoln Place in Dublin.

Penny Stuart is a mixed media artist and her art works go on exhibition from Friday March 24 for a full week until March 31. She says the exhibition, entitled “The Ghost of Michael Furey,” fits well amid the bottles and potions in Sweny’s famous former pharmacy which is now an exhibition centre and literary venue.

The famous old premises is celebrated in the literary world as the place in Joyce’s Ulysses where Leopold Bloom buys lemon soap.

The artist says she created the various art works over a period of 10 years, working sometimes in Berlin and at other times in her studio at Dublin’s docklands.

Critics describe the works as “wild and dark,” appropriately in keeping with the spirit of the tragic Michael Furey which pervades Joyce’s most celebrated short story which was filmed in 1987 by director John Huston.

Penny Stuart is a regular contributor to the Trinity Jolt magazine (Journal of Literary Translation) where she has had her artwork published in the past seven editions of the magazine since 2019.

Some of the published drawings are included in the exhibition. When she was offered Sweny's Pharmacy to hold her first Solo exhibition, Penny dived into the James Joyce Dubliners short story 'The Dead' and used it as inspiration for this exhibition 'The Ghost of Michael Furey'.

Apart from this exhibition Penny is currently participating in a group show with ArtnetDlr in Walters Pub Dun in Laogaire. She also has three colourful collages/drawings with an online LA/German gallery Kunsthaus Rozig.