Major Exhibition of Seán Keating's Paintings comes to Galway

Wednesday, 24 October 2001

Release date: 24 October, 2001

Major Exhibition of Seán Keating s Paintings comes to Galway

A unique exhibition of the work of one of Ireland s most respected artists will be on view at the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from Wednesday, 31 October to Monday, 5 November, 2001. Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI, Galway will officially open the Exhibition on Tuesday 30th October 2001 at 7.00pm.

The Exhibition in NUI, Galway is organised in association with the ESB and includes 18 paintings depicting the story of the development of Ardnacrusha. Fifteen of these paintings are provided from the ESB's own art collection. The painting The Key Men" was made available by kind permission of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland; "Night's Candles are Burnt Out" (1929), was made available by kind permission of the Oldham Art Gallery and Museum, UK; and "The Bunk House" was made available by the kind permission of a private collector.

The work of Seán Keating RHA (1889-1977), spanned an exciting era of Ireland s history when the nation emerged from centuries of repression. Keating was awarded perhaps one of the most important commissions when he was allowed to record on canvas the construction of the Shannon Scheme including Ardnacrusha, the ESB Power Station on the Shannon. The portfolio of work created is staggering in impact and scope, providing a vibrant vision of the progress of the work itself, along with a clear insight to the minds of those responsible for completing the most significant transformation in the history of the Free State.

Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI, Galway said that the West of Ireland, Galway and the Aran Islands in particular, had a lasting influence on Keating throughout his life. "NUI Galway is, therefore, a very appropriate place to celebrate the artist's achievements by the staging of this wonderful Exhibition", he said.

ESB Chief Executive, Ken O Hara said that the Keating paintings are among the most prized possessions in ESB s art collection. "Keating s paintings are not just drawings, sketches and paintings of a major project. They capture the spirit, ingenuity and perseverance of those responsible for making a major contribution to the transformation of our society. They reflect in essence the raison d etre of the ESB", he said.

To mark the coming of the Keating Exhibition to Galway, a number of public lectures will take place in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle, NUI, Galway. These include:  Cumann Céimithe na Gaillimhe Christy Townley Biennial Lecture at 8.00 p.m., on Wednesday 31 October. The lecture, entitled "Rishworth, McLaughlin and the Shannon Scheme", will be delivered by Mr. Paul Duffy.  Reminiscences of Seán Keating, by Dr. John Behan, RHA at 3.00 p.m. on Thursday, 1 November.  Seán Keating, The Man I Knew, by Mr. Tom Kenny, at 8.00 p.m., on Monday, 5 November.

Ends

Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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