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If you go down for your books today

An exhibition of works from the Irish Museum of Modern Art Collection opens to the public on Thursday 10 July in four branch libraries in County Cork as part of a collaborative project between County Cork Library and Arts Service and IMMA’s National Programme. If you go down for your books today combines artworks by Irish and international artists in a wide variety of media and includes a DVD projection by Alanna O’Kelly, sculpture by Dorothy Cross and prints by Albert Irvin. The exhibition will be formerly opened by councilor, Aileen Pyne, in Fermoy library on Thursday 10 July at 6.30pm.

Works in Fermoy library include, ‘Sanctuary/Wastelands’, a DVD projection by Irish artist Alanna O’Kelly. This work was inspired by a walk O’Kelly took around the town of Teampall Dumach Mhor, or Church of the great Sandbank, at Thallabhawn, Co Mayo. The site was originally a monastic settlement and was subsequently used as a burial mound during the famine. When O’Kelly first walked over the mound constant erosion over the years had worn away the surface and human skeletal remains had re-emerged alongside the new vegetation. The installation was created by juxtaposing images of the mound, the bones and the sparse signs of human habitation that remain along this strip of coast. ‘The Old Man and The Sea’, a set of ten etchings and four screenprints by Scottish artist John Bellany, can be seen in Bandon library. The works are inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and portray man’s elemental struggle with nature. Bellany was brought up in the fishing community of Port Seton near Edinburgh and the theme of the sea and its fisherman are central to his work. Like Hemingway, Bellany focuses on the human condition – life and death, good and evil, love and fear.

In Ballincollig library the screenprint, ‘When I woke up this morning the feeling was still there’, by British artist Angus Fairhurst, is part of a series of four prints, originally included in his ‘London Portfolio’. In this work a coloured panel is deliberately blurred around the edges to suggest the uncertainty of the emotions mentioned in the title. The emotions portrayed are further heightened by the contrast of colour, the monochrome background and figure are set against a vibrant yellow square which the figure holds up to the viewer. In Carrigaline library, ‘Pink Halls’, by Dorothy Cross is a wooden tower structure which, like many of Cross’s works, address gender issues. While the tower rest precariously on its base, the top of the structure shows a pink interior symbolizing the female sexual organs.

A series of workshops carried out by Cork-based artists in each library will be held alongside the exhibition as part of the ‘Branching Out’ programme supported by National Irish Bank. In Bandon, print workshops will be carried out by the Cork Printmakers in response to John Bellany’s ‘The Old Man and The Sea’. In Fermoy, the Cork Film Centre will facilitate two-week long courses in video art and documentation and artist Alanna O’Kelly will give a public talk on her own art practice on the 14 July in Fermoy Community Centre. Other workshops and talks will continue throughout the running of the exhibition.

‘Branching Out’ is a programme designed by IMMA and National Irish Bank to be national, inclusive and participative, bringing the visual arts to the community and providing opportunities for the community to get involved. The National Programme is designed to create access opportunities to the visual arts in a variety of situations and locations in Ireland. Using the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and exhibitions generated by the Museum, the National Programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country.

‘If you go down for your books today’ continues until 4 august 2003 at Ballincollig, Bandon, Carrigaline and Fermoy Libraries, Co Cork.

For further information and colour images please contact Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900, Fax : +353 1 612 9999, Email : [email protected]

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.