Launching on Saturday, 27th January at 4pm, Kildare Town will transform into an open air art gallery. This new exhibition follows the success of Sult Artist Collective's collaborative exhibition with other Kildare artists Brigid Unfolding during Brigid 1500, in 2023. More than twenty local businesses will exhibit 60 works of international and national art in their windows as part of the Brigid 1500 celebrations in 2024.
This uniquely accessible art exhibition titled “Unravelling an Icon, Celebrating and Remembering Brigid and her Legacy" was organised by Sult Artists, an Artist led collective, to reflect the traditions, customs and symbols associated with Brigid’s legacy, marking the 1500th anniversary of the death of Brigid.
Following an international open call in May 2023, 215 pieces of art were submitted by artists from all over the world including England, Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Ethiopia, Australia, Japan, Canada, USA and New Zealand as well as from across Ireland.
The official launch of the exhibition took place in Market Square of the beautiful and historic Kildare Town, on Saturday 27th January 2024, at 4pm. Dr. Niamh Wycherley. This event was kindly sponsored by Kildare Credit Union.
The exhibition runs until Sunday, 18th February 2024. All proceeds from the souvenir catalogue will de donated directly to Médecins San Frontiére.
Brigid's Monastic settlement in Kildare Town was a centre of learning and with that in mind, Sult Artist Liza Kavanagh has collaborated with students from Ballyshannon National School and Kildare Educate Together on a wonderful art project!
The aim of the project was to facilitate child led, process driven creativity in the classroom inspired by the symbology, myth and stories of Brigid. Liza worked with different age groups from Senior infants to 6th class, and in partnership with the teachers, planned and prepared each project. The student's work will be exhibited alongside work from artists around the world in Sult Artist's exciting, open air Art Trail during Brigid 1500 celebrations.
Special thanks to the pupils and teachers of both schools for their contribution.
Explore a stunning collection of art from around the world, with 60 pieces of work inspired by Brigid. Twenty Kildare businesses form a unique open air gallery, accessible 24 hours a day throughout the exhibition.
Drop into our exhibition headquarters, pick up a paper copy of the map along with a beautiful, colour catalogue. All donations for the catalogue go to Médecins Sans Frontiére.
Thank you to Kildare County Council and Brigid 1500 for supporting 'Unravelling Brigid', and Kildare Credit Union for supporting the launch event. Many thanks to Kildare Library Service for hosting the information sessions.
Our gratitude to Johanne Mullan, Curator at IMMA and Paula Barrett, Assistant Arts Officer, Kildare Co. Council Arts Service for their assistance in judging the open call.
Michael Donnelly, www.michaeldonnellystudios.com and Artists' own.
Catalogue by Mir Fitzgerald, StudioMir
Social Media and website content management by Aoife Brennan, WithHoney
Please see the special souvenir catalogue for full details of all of the artists and contributors to this project. All donations made for this catalogue will be directed to Médecins San Frontiére.
Five speakers, experts in their field, were invited by Sult Artists to share their insight into and knowledge of Brigid.
This information session inspired the attendees and viewers from around the worl to create their submissions in response to Sult Artists' open call.
The event was graciously hosted by Kildare Town Library, with thanks to Celine Broughal. We encourage you to enjoy these excellent and fascinating talks on our YouTube channel.
Image: Brigid Greeting Red Calf by Sult Artist Lia Laimbock.
Author Dr Shauna Gilligan looks at Brigid through the lens of artistic creativity, specifically literature. The series of talks were organised to inform artists when researching Brigid for the Open Call Art Trail, February 2024 in Kildare Town, organised by Sult Artists. For more information see www.sultartists.com
An Exhibition of Paintings, Glass, Prints and Sculpture, Brigid Unfolding was the inaugural exhibition by SULT and invited artists as part of the Brigid 1500 Programme of Events 2023 -2024. It was held in No.8 Gallery, Academy St., Kildare and was a thought- provoking exhibition celebrating the life and lore of Brigid of Kildare.
Artists approached the theme of Brigid Unfolding from various different viewpoints: Brigid as patroness of Ireland, of poetry, learning, fertility, healing, blacksmithing, livestock, among others. She shares her name and feast-date with Brigid, the Celtic goddess associated with the pre-Christian festival Imbolc. Her fame and influence are worldwide. Since there are few historical facts, debate continues as to her existence as Christian or pagan.
Whatever her origins, folklore states that she founded a monastery in Kildare and is widely associated with a variety of customs and traditions. Take, for instance, the practice of manifesting wishes or prayers using trees. This practice emerged in ancient times and continues to this day in many cultures all over the world. In Ireland it is common to find a tree growing near a holy well which has an assortment of rags or ribbons hanging from its branches. People tie these rags, known as clooties, to 'The Rag Tree' as symbols of their prayers and wishes.
Along with SULT Artists, the invited artists were Vera McEvoy, Hilary Kinahan, Mir Fitzgerald, Bríd Óg Norrby, Bríd Ní Rinn, Karen Hickey, Greg Hallahan and Angelina Foster.