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Lorcan Walshe – The Artefacts Project exhibition is coming to Hunt Museum from 21 July to 11 September, giving visitors the chance to witness familiar objects from pre-colonial Ireland in a different light Lorcan Walshe – The Artefacts Project exhibition is coming to Hunt Museum from 21 July to 11 September, giving visitors the chance to witness familiar objects from pre-colonial Ireland in a different light

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Lorcan Walshe – The Artefacts Project exhibition connects us to one of the most important eras in Irish art 

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Lorcan Walshe – The Artefacts Project exhibition is coming to Hunt Museum from 21 July to 11 September, giving visitors the chance to witness familiar objects from pre-colonial Ireland in a different light

New Tour commences at Hunt Museum, Limerick from 21 July to 11 September, 2022.

  • Official Opening attended by Glen Power, The Script, artist John Shinnors, screenwriter Jeremy Massey and many more from the world of Irish Arts. 

The Hunt Museum is bringing “The Artefacts Project” to Limerick from 21 July to 11 September, giving visitors the chance to witness familiar objects from pre-colonial Ireland in a different light. The works in Lorcan Walshe’s “The Artefacts Project” were totally inspired by indigenous craft and early Irish religious treasures.  Croziers, Missals, Bells and Shrines are transformed in this unique exhibition of paintings and drawings. 

15 years after its debut at the National Museum of Ireland, The Artefacts Project is being revived and partially reworked following an increased awareness of the significance of Walshe’s work.  His engagement with artefacts of the pre-colonial past in his search for artistic and cultural roots has been likened to the approach taken by Frida Kahlo in her revival of the pre-colonial.  

The official opening was attended by Glen Power, The Script, artist John Shinnors, screenwriter Jeremy Massey and many more from the world of Irish Arts. 

Celtic craftsmanship in visual arts spread to all corners of medieval Christendom, but the traditions were subsumed into Christianity and Colonisation.  Through The Artefacts Project, Lorcan Walshe investigates and interrogates the art of our past and in the act of translation, transforms the objects from one artistic form to another, creating beautiful contemporary art. 

Lorcan Walshe explains, “It was a highly expressive period and what came out of the monasteries was truly mesmerising. While traditional Irish music survived colonisation, unfortunately, visual traditions were lost due to the dissolution of monasteries. Art in Italy and Spain is still evidently connected to its past but not in Ireland.  So I decided to work from the artefacts to make something modern while connected directly with our indigenous culture.  Many of the objects that inspired the project were augmented or refurbished centuries after they were initially created. Similarly, I have augmented some of my works years after their creation, following in their medieval creators footsteps.” 

Jill Cousins, Director at The Hunt Museum, said “The Hunt Museum has fine examples of many of the objects that have inspired Lorcan’s work.  We hope that a re-airing of The Artefacts Project will spark a new appreciation of the incredible craftsmanship of Ireland’s indigenous culture. Irish craftspeople produced some of the finest carved crosiers, missals and bronze handbells. Lorcan’s way of seeing and translating takes us into the richness, texture, and subtle colours that make ‘walk-past’ museum objects come alive. The Artefacts Project surprises and challenges as Walshe makes us question what we are seeing and things we think we know – a crucifixion space is replaced by a woman, a shrine is shaped to be St Patrick’s tooth or the Bell of Clonmacnoise appears to ring.” 

In the spirit of the past being always present, the Hunt Museum has placed its four Irish Bronze Handbells at the heart of the exhibition and enhanced how visitors experience them by using the sense of hearing. The Bells will tell the hour with the sounds of Limerick played through the sound formed by each bell.  Visitors will also be able to play in and hear back their own voices creating new soundscapes to compliment the visual feast.      

A number of the paintings and drawings in the exhibition will be for sale. 

Lorcan Walshe was born in 1952. He graduated from NCAD Dublin in 1978.  Exhibitions of his work have been shown in Ireland, France, England, Denmark and the Czech Republic. His work has received the British National Heritage Award and The European Kaleidoscope award. His paintings and drawings are in many public and private collections including The National Museum of Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. 

Listing Information 

Exhibition title: Lorcan Walshe – Artefacts Project 

Location: Hunt Museum, Rutland Street, Limerick 

Dates: 21 July – 11 September 2022 

Tickets: Entry is free of charge  

For more information about Lorcan Walshe go HERE

For more art stories go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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