Contemporary London Irish Art Exhibition
The Quiet Men examines the experience of Irish immigrants to the UK
Five artists examine the experience of male Irish immigrants to Britain in the 20th century: Bernard Canavan, Daniel Carmody, John Duffin, Dermot Holland and Brian Whelan. The Quiet Men is an exhibition curated by Brian Whelan and PM Gallery, featuring the work of artists drawing upon their own lives to depict the London-Irish experience.
The first major contemporary London-Irish art exhibition to explore this subject, The Quiet Men features paintings and etchings by Brian Whelan, Dermot Holland, John Duffin, Bernard Canavan and the late Daniel Carmody.
Each featured artist is an immigrant, or child of immigrants, from Ireland. This immigrant status informs the work, which observes the margins of society and is full of stories, humour and tragedy. The church and pub appear, as do the launderette, bus and train. The theme of the journey is often present in the songs, toasts, poems and prayers of the immigrant and the artists do not stray far from the vehicles that brought them to the city and might take them away again.
Featured artist and exhibition curator, Brian Whelan, said ‘ Irish music, literature, poetry and dance are celebrated all over the world. However, when asked to bring to mind Irish paintings, sculpture or architecture or to name an artist, many will have difficulty as very few have been celebrated outside Ireland. One reason for this may be that a people that experienced famine, war, economic hardship and mass immigration, carried only their portable culture with them in their heads, hearts and suitcases. Poems and songs have few requirements short of a good memory or the ability to carry a tune, whereas painting, sculpture and architecture are less portable and need peace, prosperity and time in order to flourish.’
The exhibition premieres at PM Gallery prior to an international tour, which will see The Quiet Men travel to Spain, Philadelphia and Chicago between 2009 and 2011.
'Quiet Men' runs until 18th April.
April 1, 2009