Eileen MacDonagh has quietly been establishing herself as one of the greats of Irish art over the last few years. It’s not through the strength of her ego or her manipulation of the press, but simply through the quality of her work. I saw her in Eigse (Carlow) about two years ago, and heard her talk about her sculpture, and was blown away by her commitment and love for she does. She is quietly spoken and unassuming, which adds to her charm, and makes the size and scale of what she does all the more surprising.
The trees (as above) are the first exhibition I’ve seen to take on the size of the main gallery in Visual, which each standing at over 8 metres high. You feel like you’ve entered a nursery rhyme, and are reduced in stature to be standing beside such massive creations.
The stars (as below) formed the major part of the earlier exhibition I saw, and each one is cut from a single piece of stone, and would be almost impossible to estimate the amount of hours of work that goes into each one of them.
There is also a video showing how she went about making each of the pieces in the exhibition, which really adds to the experience. The trees became a community project, which a variety of people, old and young helping her in such a massive task.
Eileen MacDonagh’s show in Visual in Carlow is running until early May, and it also has the major plus for day trippers like myself to have a really good quality restaurant beside it. Go see!