Red Ribbons and other Stories’ exhibition by Castleconnell artist Clare Hartigan – Clare pictured here at the launch with her godmother Heather Cullen and Cllr Marian Hurley, Deputy Mayor of Limerick City and County. Picture: Jordan MacCormaic/ilovelimerick
Red Ribbons and other Stories’ exhibition by Castleconnell artist Clare Hartigan
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Jordan Mac Cormaic
The ‘Red Ribbons and other Stories’ exhibition by Castleconnell artist Clare Hartigan were launched last night in Istabraq Hall at City Hall and will run until the end of November. It features a number of stunning portraits of well-known Limerick faces including Jim Kemmy, Richard Harris and Anthony Foley.
The exhibition was launched by Deputy Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Marian Hurley and is a trip down memory lane for Clare Hartigan as she explores her relationship with Limerick. Clare grew up in Castleconnell, County Limerick where her mother, Barbara, artistically schooled her in many mediums.
She went on to study printmaking at the Limerick School of Art and Design and then moved to Cork where she got back into painting. After a few years, she returned to her home village where she now works full-time as an artist.
Looking at the range of pieces being exhibited you can sense that Clare draws inspiration for her paintings from personal experiences as well as current affairs. A recurring theme in her work is the image of a young girl.
Whether dancing, jumping or simply standing, she is always energetic, reminding people of their youth, when they were carefree or a reminder of simpler times.
Clare describes the recurring figure of the young girl, as representative of the inner child for herself but most importantly everyone, male or female.
She said: “The title of the show ‘Red Ribbons and other Stories’ explores the idea of how most things have two sides. For me, red ribbons remind me of childhood, happy moments, love, celebration and even openings.”
“However, as with anything positive, we have to take care of how easily those red ribbons can turn into the how well we know…. binding, restrictive and suffocating red tape.”
Clare also talked about how this exhibition came to be: “As an artist, I can only speak from a position that I know. This show started off after a conversation with Mr Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council that evolved around our connection and the symbol of the river Shannon to Limerick City both positive and negative.”
She added: “The importance and the ability to have the freedom, to be honest in both the arts and in life became apparent. The art world often shows us a microcosm of the world we live in. It should be a place to be ourselves to experiment, to learn and to make mistakes without harming others or fear of judgment. To feel safe.”
This juxtaposition means that Clare’s work has so many different interpretations for people resulting in her work always remaining interesting and relevant as it is constantly changing and adapting to its surroundings and spectators.
To visit Clare Hartigan’s official website click here
To read more art stories on I Love Limerick click here