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Shine Out of Darkness Shine Out of Darkness


Shine Out of Darkness exhibition for Opening Doors Appeal

Local Visual Artist Jennifer Allen fully concentrated as she works on some of her artwork for the Shine Out of Darkness exhibition. Picture: James Kingston.

Shine Out of Darkness exhibition for Opening Doors Appeal

Jennifer Allen is a self-taught artist, with a love of drawing characterful faces, usually, but not always, older faces. The type where every crease and wrinkle has something to say. 

Using very simple tools, namely a white pencil, black paper, an eraser for shading and a whole lot of time, Jennifer captures some element of a person’s essence, a moment in time, or a particular mood.





Local visual artist Jennifer is to show an exhibition of her work at the Limerick City Library next week from Monday, October 9 to Monday, October 16, to help raise funds for the Peter McVerry Trust. Peter McVerry Trust’s Opening Doors Appeal is now in its 5th year. Each year, it coincides with World Homeless Day, October 10, a day used by Peter McVerry Trust to highlight the needs of people impacted by homelessness.

Speaking about the motivation behind the exhibition, self-taught artist Jennifer Allen says: “The number of people being impacted by homelessness, in Limerick, and throughout the country, has reached epidemic proportions. Almost 50% of people in homelessness are 24 or younger. And this at a time when there are over 180,000 vacant dwellings in Ireland. Something doesn’t add up.”

“Initially, I felt powerless at hearing statistic after statistic and feeling there was nothing I could do to help. That’s when I had the idea to contact Peter McVerry Trust, to see if holding an exhibition of my work could help. 30% of the proceeds of all sales from the exhibition will go directly to Peter McVerry Trust, to help open more doors to people experiencing homelessness.

“It will hopefully raise awareness too of the many other events taking place over the course of the Opening Doors Appeal. There are multiple ways people can get involved.”

Pat Doyle CEO of Peter McVerry Trust said the charity was delighted to have Jennifer’s support “We’d like to thank Jennifer for choosing to support our work in this way. Funds raised by Jennifer will enable us to respond better to the needs of people in homelessness, particularly in Limerick where we are working hard to a deliver a housing-led solution.”

The exhibition, Shine Out of Darkness, comprising white pencil portrait drawings on black paper, will take place from Monday, October 9 to Monday, October 16, during library opening hours.

For further details of the Opening Doors Appeal, go to

To find out more about Jennifer Allen and her work click here

To read more of our stories on how Limerick is tackling homelessness click here

To find out more about Peter McVerry Trust click 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 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.