Two exciting exhibitions at Uillinn this March

Opening on Saturday, March 9 at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre are ‘The Hawk and the House’ by Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone and ‘Light Keepers’ by Geraldine O’Sullivan, two exciting exhibitions by artists who live in Cork County. The exhibitions will be opened at 3pm by writer and critic Gemma Tipton and will run at Uillinn until April 10.

In the past two years, Anne Ffrench and Julia Pallone shared a studio at Uillinn over a three-part residency, during which a new body of work was developed. Their work shares a similar aesthetic and in ‘The Hawk and the House’, touches on the ideas of passage and of archetypes. Both artists also have a love of materials as is evident in the use of feathers, clay, wool and milk juxtaposed here in film, photography, drawing and physical objects and sculpture. Anne’s work is steeped in the experience of pregnancy and the role of motherhood and Julia explores the symbolic nature of gateways and totems, the ideas of shelter, home, protection, body and the notion of territory.

Anne and Julia will present an Artists’ Talk in the Gallery on Saturday, March 30 at 12noon. 

‘Light Keepers’ is a solo exhibition by Geraldine O’Sullivan comprising paintings and collages based on oral histories, archive material and photographs which capture the unique lives of Lighthouse keepers on Ireland’s coastline and territorial waters. Geraldine spent three years travelling and researching the stories of the surviving keepers and their families, many of whom were with the service for generations. ‘Light Keepers’ is based on some of the narratives she felt privileged to have heard on her journey.

Those narratives are full of hardship and adventure, from the pre-20th-century world when light keepers’ families lived and died on rocks such as the Skelligs and Eagle Island, to more recent remembrances from the Galley Head itself, under the sweep of whose beam Geraldine lives.

Today, there are no longer any full-time lighthouse keepers in Ireland, attendant keepers are employed in a caretaker capacity. Alongside this change is the modernisation of the lighthouses themselves, such as at the Fastnet last year, where the existing light was replaced with a LED light, and the range of the beam reduced by nine nautical miles.

The paintings and collages are accompanied by a short film explaining the history and inspiration for the Light Keepers project. Geraldine will also be in conversation with Attendant Light Keeper Gerald Butler on Saturday, March 16 at 12noon. 

Both talks are free, no booking required. For further information contact Uillinn on 028 22090 and

ABOVE: Film Still: Installation by Anne Ffrench, artist; Hawk and frozen breastmilk eggs melting. Photo: Stefan Syrowatka

WCP Staff

WCP Staff Writer

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