Pádraic Reaney was born in Carraroe, Co. Galway in 1952. He studied Fine Art at Galway, Regional Technical College encouraged by the well-known sculptor Oisín Kelly and has been a full-time artist since leaving college. He painted for several years in Galway; later he built a studio in Moycullen, where he now lives and works. He has exhibited extensively in Ireland, Scotland and Wales and his work are in public and private collections in Ireland as well as in Europe, Canada, USA, Brazil, Japan, South Africa and Australia. His work is held in collections such as the Modern Irish Art Collection; Dublin Writers Museum, Ireland; Irish Embassy, London; Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, Quinnipiac University, USA; Siena Art Institute, Italy; Urawa Wood-Cut Prints Association, Japan.
Reaney’s international reputation has grown over the years, and in particular, his work on The Táin and his interpretation of the legacy of An Gorta Mór/The Great Irish Famine has won him wide critical acclaim as a key figure in contemporary Irish visual arts. He represented Ireland in the XVIth Grand Prix International d’Arts Contemporain de Monte Carlo in 1982. A film was made of one of his exhibitions based on The Táin, which was R.T.É.’s entry in the Pan Celtic International Film Festival for 1988 – it was one of the three top films in the festival. In 1996 he was invited to Scotland by the North Ayrshire Council to undertake a series of exhibitions on the Isles and the West Coast of Scotland.
Work in Ireland
A founder member of Western Artists, Island Connection, and Drimcong Press (with Brian Bourke and Jay Murphy), Reaney was awarded the Pádraic Mac Con Midhe Prize at the Oireachtas in 1979 to make a series of etchings recording the rapidly disappearing thatched houses in Ros an Mhíl, Connemara. He later exhibited a series of photographs based on this work of the ruined cottages in Ros an Mhíl (1979-1983) at the Galway City Museum, July-October 2008. Reaney was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Galway Arts Centre in 1996 and served on the Board until 1999.
Reaney was commissioned to design the Liam Ó Flaherty Commemorative Garden on Inishmore, Aran and to create a piece of bronze sculpture for the garden which was unveiled by Minister Eamon Ó Cuív when the garden was officially opened. Also in 2006, Reaney curated the successful Project 06 Exhibition, The Irish Eye in the Kenny Gallery. In 2007 he curated The Oliver Gogarty 50th Anniversary Art Exhibition, at the Renvyle House Hotel.
His Lawrencetown piece, which was commissioned by the Galway County Council, is a seven- foot bronze piece depicting the story of Diarmaid and Gráinne. He was commissioned by the Galway Chamber of Commerce to design the Paddy Ryan Memorial Medal which was presented to the speaker at the first Paddy Ryan Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway in 2007. He has also had work commissioned from the Irish National Parks & Wildlife Service over the years. His work is in great demand for book covers and illustrations, and he has recently created a series of striking wall hangings done in the studio of V’Soske Joyce, now Dixons Carpets, Connemara.
Thank you so much for your mail artwork. They have received. International Mail Art Project Exhibition will be on 16 April – 16 May 2021 at time: 17.00pm in Istanbul/Turkey.
All artworks will be added to the archives to the Ministry of Education (MEB) .
Aiud salutes Europe Day / Aiud greets Europe Day International Online International Exhibition. Romania.
Sketchbooks with images recording island life and landscape over the last 30 years form the basis of a new exhibition by Connemara artist Pádraic Reaney.
Entitled Oileán, it comprises 49 paintings and graphics from Irish and Scottish islands and from Malta. The exhibition was opened by poet Joan McBreen in Galway’s Kenny Gallery late last week.
Reaney, who is from An Cheathrú Rua and lives near Moycullen, began the sketchbooks in the late 1980s when he was part of a group of local artists named the Island Connection.
That group, including John Behan, Vicki Crowley, Jay Murphy and Brendan Fitzsimons, travelled to several European islands including Malta, Tenerife and Inishbofin. Reaney later visited Scottish islands including Lewis and Mull.
As Reaney told Judy Murphy of The Connacht Tribune, he first explored the transience of existence in 1979 when he created a series of prints of cottages that were ruined or disintegrating in and around the fishing harbour of Ros-a-Mhíl in south Connemara.
He took the same approach to housing on the island of Inis Áirc, close to Inishbofin, off the north Connemara coast in 2002.
The last 23 residents left Inis Áirc in 1960, as recorded in Kieran Concannon’s documentary film Inis Airc, Bás Oileáin (Inishark, Death of an Island), which was produced in 2007 by C-Board Films for TG4 television.
“Inis Áirc opened my eyes to the value of what I was putting down,”Reaney told Murphy. “ A sense of capturing something that was slipping away, unbeknownst to the world.”
This work inspired his exhibition entitled Inis Áirc which ran in the Kenny Gallery in 2018, and which forms part of the new display.
Impressions from the Mediterranean island of Malta dating from 1988, and from High Island and Inishlacken off Connemara and Inishnee close to Roundstone are also incorporated, along with Inchagoill on Lough Corrib, the Aran island of Inis Mór, Mayo’s Clare island and recent drawings from Achill island.
Oileán runs in the Kenny Art Gallery, Liosbán, Galway until December 8th, with opening hours Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm.
About The Author
Email The Author Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). Read more articles by Lorna Siggins >