Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger
20 July to 13 October 2018

For programme of events please click here.
For information regarding the publication please click here.
For information about the Prize Draw that took place please click here
For information regarding our Cultural Collaborators please click here.
Watch the closing event of Coming Home: Art and The Great Hunger - Representing the Unrepresentable: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Atrocity here

For regular updates on the exhibition and programme of events please see our blog written by Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger project intern Sarah Long. 

Please click here for a review of Coming Home by Dr. Janet McKenzie for Studio International 

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger is an exhibition of artwork from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA (IGHM), which has the largest collection of Great Hunger-related art in the world.

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger will be shown in three locations in Ireland only - at Dublin Castle (March -June 2018), at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen from 20 July to 13 October 2018 and finally at Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Derry (January-March 2019).

This unique opportunity to have the exhibition in Skibbereen was made possible by having a suitable venue - Uillinn - to accommodate and showcase the artworks to the highest standard.

The exhibition of artworks at Uillinn, including work by major Irish and Irish American artists of the past 170 years such as Daniel Macdonald, Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, William Crozier, Hughie O'Donoghue, Dorothy Cross and Alanna O'Kelly, will be accompanied by a rich and diverse programme of performances, talks, lectures and events at Uillinn, and off-site in other locations in West Cork. These will resonate with the history and legacy of the Great Hunger and also amplify the contemporary themes explored in the exhibition. The themes include famine, the politics of food, poverty, displacement of peoples, refugees, emigration, identity, memory and loss.

The programme includes a west Cork-wide Schools Programme; a series of Artists' Residencies in association with the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork and University College Cork; a series of lectures and seminars in partnership with UCC and IGHM; a unique Performance Event by acclaimed Irish artist Alanna O'Kelly for Schull Workhouse Anáil na Beatha, bookings here; and an Arts for Health project with artist Toma McCullim, celebrating the legacy of the 110 Skibbereen girls who emigrated to Australia after the Famine.

Several of the local festivals including Skibbereen Arts Festival, West Cork History Festival, West Cork Literary Festival and A Taste of West Cork are also getting involved and putting famine related events into their programmes this summer and autumn. The exhibition has caught the imagination of our local communities, festivals and individual artists and will be a major event for Skibbereen and West Cork.

This is an unique opportunity for the people of Cork and visitors to the region alike to experience this art collection in Skibbereen, described as 'ground zero' of the Great Irish Famine. The exhibition of artworks at Uillinn will be further amplified and contextualised by the ‘Skibbereen Famine Story’ exhibition at Skibbereen Heritage Centre, where an historical exhibit from Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum will also be on display.

Skibbereen Heritage Centre’s ‘Famine Story’ exhibition will provide the historical context to the visiting art exhibition. Skibbereen is the most important and significant town in Ireland in terms of its Famine heritage and many of the buildings and streets of the town have direct links to this tragic time. The ‘Famine Story’ walking trail app, leaflet and book provide the means to experience these sites and learn about the Great Hunger in the places where the events took place. Staff historians at Skibbereen Heritage Centre will offer guided tours of the Famine exhibition and the town while the Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger exhibition takes place in Skibbereen.

Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger is a major cultural, educational and tourist event worthy of local, national and international interest.

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is running a Schools Tours Programme for Primary and Second Level schools throughout Cork, in conjunction with Skibbereen Heritage Centre and supported by Scoilnet's curriculum-related digital RESOURCES including an interactive Exhibition Guide, History and Visual Art Resources and Worksheets and The Hunger Times, a short drama on film about the Irish Famine commissioned by IGHM which explores the legacy of the Great Irish Famine and its relevance in a modern context. For booking and further information contact Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre at 028 22090 and and Skibbereen Heritage Centre at 028 40900 and

Conor Tallon, The Art House, C103 interviews Director Ann Davoren regarding the exhibition. Listen here.

John Bowman’s Programme in Radio 1 on Sunday morning 5 August featured Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger. Listen here.

Chairman of the Board of Directors Cyril Thornton speaks to Adrian Flannelly on his show on Irish Radio Network USA about Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger. Listen here.




Top Image: Robert Ballagh, Roimh After, 2017. Image courtesy Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA
Image below: Black 47 by Michael Farrell. Image courtesy of Ireland's Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University, Connecticut, USA
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