Geraldine O'Riordan

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An tÉalú (2011)

The focus of this work was to record memories of familiar environments. For example, the River Lee Project (2008) was a study on the evolving cityscape of Cork, juxtaposed against the unchanging backdrop of the River Lee. That unchanging presence brought thoughts of past generations to mind, as I sketched and painted from the quay walls. That was the inspiration behind this project. The late nineteenth century saw my Grandfather crossing the River Lee in Cork, along with two of his brothers, as they made their way to Cobh. These Ballyvourney men were blacksmiths and their intention was to seek employment in America. Like Many Irish people who made that journey, they found work in Montana. On a visit there in 2006, President Mary McAleese spoke of how tens of thousands of Irish made Montana their home, while "they kept Ireland in their hearts". This exhibition records parts of that journey, the landscape and environment that so many emigrants had to leave behind. I wanted to share something of the environment of my ancestors as it now is, and record that experience.

Admirals View
2011
80x80 cm
Acrylic on Linen