Venue: Drogheda and Highlanes Gallery
Room: Upper Gallery
Sponsor: Drogheda Borough Council / Arts Council
Welcome to Drogheda
A conversation with the town and its people
A Project By Fergal McCarthy / Highlanes Gallery /15-18 August, 2013
Artist Fergal McCarthy is about to delve beneath the surface of Drogheda, as part of a major new exhibition at Highlanes Gallery. Setting up a tent (and an all important coffee machine) in the middle of the gallery, he will live there for four days exploring everything the town has to offer - from Ireland’s largest flip-flop to the severed head of an illustrious saint.
On each of the four days, at sunset and sunrise, he will dress in a tuxedo and play a daily trumpet serenade to the town on the roof of Scotch Hall, with music composed for this project by Nick Seymour of Australian band Crowded House.
The discoveries and interactions McCarthy has with the town will be shared on Twitter (@fergalmccarthy1). He will lead a daily walking tour of the town culminating with a ‘Welcome to Drogheda’ talking shop on Saturday 17 August with invited guests discussing their favourite Drogheda jewels, led by art critic Gemma Tipton.
Artist Fergal McCarthy is best known for his site specific installations on the Liffey River in Dublin, the red and green monopoly houses that created Liffeytown in 2010 and his week living on a desert island in the river with No Man’s Land in 2011.
The hidden gems he discovers in Drogheda will inspire a self-penned offbeat guidebook to the town and a giant, illustrated map which will be displayed in the gallery along with a salon hang of Drogheda-centric artworks chosen from the Highlanes Collection (Drogheda Municipal Art Collection).
“The inspiration for the project began with my curiosity about a stunning 19th Century painting of Drogheda by Gabrielle Riciardelli that hangs in the Highlanes Collection,” said McCarthy. “I was inspired to seek out the same level of beauty that Riciardelli portrayed so masterfully on oil and canvas. But in the 21st Century Drogheda’s charms have evolved, so instead of a walled town bathed in golden light, I am discovering world class graffiti under bridges and multi story car parks with panoramic views.”
Living and sleeping in the gallery for 3 nights, the artist will camp in the space, bringing his own tent and coffee machine. Visitors will be welcome to view the work while the artist makes them coffee. A collection of reading material referencing Drogheda will be displayed onsite including the artist made guidebook which will also be available from the tourist office, the train station and cafés.
All these interventions will create a multi faceted map of Drogheda both conceptually and physically and the exhibition will stay on in the gallery for a further 2 weeks after the initial 4 day project. Artists are often invisible within the context of a gallery, their work is on show but they themselves are rarely glimpsed by the general public. By living and working onsite McCarthy hopes to engage with as many people as possible, especially those that live in Drogheda. This is the essence of the project – a conversation with the town and its people, from the perspective of an outsider.
Meet Fergal before his residency:
Do you have any suggestions or ideas for Fergal McCarthy on his Drogheda odyssey, do you want to hear more about the project or how you might get involved, or simply just meet him? Come and have an advance coffee with Fergal next Wednesday 31 July at 10.00am in the upper gallery.
Just telephone or email the gallery to let us know T. 041-9803311 E.email@example.com;
15-18 August (Artist in Residence)
19 Aug - 1 September (Exhibition)
Public Talk: 4pm, Saturday August 17
Admission: Free, donations of €2 encouraged
Online: www.highlanes.ie www.fergalmccarthy.com
For Further Media Information:
Christine Monk | 087 675 5329 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Highlanes Gallery is open 6 days a week, Monday - Saturday 10.30am-5.00pm, closed Sunday, however we will be open for the final day of Fergal's Welcome to Drogheda Project on Sunday 18 August, which is also Walled Town Sunday, from 10.00-5.00pm.
Highlanes Gallery is grateful for the ongoing financial support from Drogheda Borough Council and the Arts Council, as well as Patrons, Benefactors and Friends.
Highlanes Gallery is a municipal art gallery for Drogheda and the North East, developed in 2006 to house the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection, and a dynamic programme of temporary and site specific exhibitions. The gallery is sited in a former Franciscan church in Drogheda on the Boyne, in the heart of the Boyne Valley, and aims to be one of Ireland’s most important visual art spaces. Highlanes Gallery, Laurence Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland T. +353 (0)41 9803311 W. www.highlanes.ie; E. email@example.com;
Follow us on Facebook: Highlanes Drogheda and Twitter: @highlanes
Listen back to radio interviews with the artist:
Daire Nelson interviews Fergal McCarthy on (The Midmorning Show, 26 minutes in to show) Wednesday 31 July 2013 http://utv.vo.llnwd.net/o16/LMFM/2013/07/31/jul31.mp3
Sean Rocks in conversation with Fergal McCarthy on (RTE Radio 1, Arena, 17 minutes in to show) Fridy 2 August, 2013
Sean Moncrieff interviews Fergal in the Guinness Storehouse on (Moncrieff, 22 minutes in to part 2 of the show) Tuesday 6 August 2013