Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lost and Found Art Exhibition, Navan

I attended the official opening of the art exhibition Lost and Found in the Solstice Arts Centre Navan, on Thursday evening. The exhibition displays some the Megalithic art found on the passage tombs of Meath, Newgrange, Knowth, Fourknocks, Tara, Loughcrew. Professor George Eogan, a native of Nobber, co Meath, excavated Knowth and discovered much of this art and he has written extensively on the Passage Tomb builders of the Boyne Valley. He has compiled a booklet Megalithic Art in County Meath which is available free at the exhibition.

This factual study of Megalithic art of the county is balanced by the work of four contemporary artists in response to this Neolithic work. The artists are Niall de Buitléar, Fiona Hallinan, Anna MacLeod and Sabina Mac Mahon and the exhibition is curated by Brian Fay.

At the official opening George Eogan was honoured for his work in excavating and studying the megalithic tombs and art of the Boyne/Blackwater valley and he spoke with some enthusiasm of the importance of the area in a European and world context - the Passage tombs of the area are older than the Pyramids of Egypt. The Meath area has more stones with megalithic art than the total found in Europe as a whole.

George Eogan was one of my Archaeology lecturers in 1969/70 when I attended UCD, Earlsford Terrace as a BA evening student. He had just discovered the two passages in Knowth and it was an exciting time to be studying Archaeology.

The modern art seems to be wonderful. I didn't have time to study it in detail - a writers' meeting in Trim called and I must return. I was especially taken with Sabina Mac Mahon's work entitled: St Oliver Plunkett and the Apparition of an Angel and a Tailboard Camera at Loughcrew Cairn T on Carnbane East. She specialises in works which involve photographs.

Top: Art on kerbstone 52, Newgrange. Below: Untitled by Niall de Buitlear from the exhibition. A similar piece in a current exhibition in the RHA in Dublin is pictured in yesterday's Irish Times.

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