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  • Northside West

Ireland’s largest watercolours show is underway at Farmleigh

Tuesday, 1st October, 2019 1:00pm
Ireland’s largest watercolours show is underway at Farmleigh

John Short’s ‘Forty Foot Cobalt’ is one of the works on display.

Ireland’s largest watercolours show is underway at Farmleigh

John Short’s ‘Forty Foot Cobalt’ is one of the works on display.

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IT’S that time of the year for the Water Colour Society of Ireland’s annual exhibition, which is now taking place in a stunning Northide venue this month.

The exhibition, the society’s 165th, is taking place at The Gallery, Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park, until Sunday, October 13.

One of the country’s biggest group art shows (featuring more than 120 artists and 300 works), it is sponsored by the OPW again this year.

There will be a significantly increased number of paintings going on show this year at the annual exhibition of the Water Colour Society of Ireland, which is to take place at its prestigious new venue of Farmleigh House for the second year running.

Following the success of last year’s exhibition, the OPW has made available to the Society a second, much larger, gallery at the historic house.

The large amount of space will increase exhibits by about one third, as it enables the Society to offer its member artists the facility of showing up to three works each.

There will be about more than 300 paintings in watercolour, gouache and pastels, plus drawings and limited edition signed prints on sale to the public.

This annual exhibition, the largest watercolours event and one of the biggest national group art shows in Ireland, features some very fine watercolours by around 120 leading contemporary Irish artists from throughout Ireland and overseas, including RHA and RUA artists, who are also members of the Society.

Strong diversity is created by each artist showing one or more works from selected submissions with a wide variety of subjects and styles on offer.

Landscapes, seascapes, still life, animal and life studies, as well as botanical, floral, architectural and figure work, all abound from representational through to abstract treatments.

Prices will be largely around €350 - €850, although there will be less and more expensive works.

Notable works are two very fine watercolours, ‘A Little Bit of County Down’ by Anthony Loughran, which is being offered as the exhibition raffle prize, and ‘St Mark’s Square, Venice’ by Patrick Cahill.

Cahill’s painting has been chosen to illustrate the exhibition catalogue front cover. A number of annual awards will be presented to exhibiting artists for works of distinction again this year.

Well-known showings include those from Jayne Barry, Brid Clarke, Patrick Cahill, Ivor Coburn RUA, Chris Dearden RUA, Aine Divine, Pauline Doyle ANCA, Joe Dunne RHA and Edward Freeney.

The Water Colour Society of Ireland’s annual exhibition was held for nearly two decades on the Southisde, at the former Dun Laoghaire Town Hall gallery.

Its new venue at Farmleigh House reflects the long and prestigious tradition enjoyed by the Society and is proving to be a hugely successful partnership for both parties.

An illustrious body that has included some of the finest Irish water colourists and many eminent artists over the years, the Water Colour Society of Ireland was founded as far back as 1870.

President of the Water Colour Society of Ireland, Liam O’Herlihy, said: “We are privileged to have been invited to exhibit at the historic Farmleigh estate, which is very much in keeping with the ethos of the Water Colour Society of Ireland. And now the OPW has so kindly offered us this second large gallery, we have unrestricted space to present our exhibition.”

‘Firefly’ by John Shortt.

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