Tipperary artist's exhibition reconnects community to its history, culture and heritage

The Bleach Field Exhibition at the South Tipperary Arts Centre

Eileen McCarthy

Artist Eileen McCarthy (right), whose exhibition The Bleach Field at the South Tipperary Arts Centre in Clonmel was opened by Maureen Purcell (left)

Eileen McCarthy's The Bleach Field exhibition at the South Tipperary Arts Centre in Nelson Street, Clonmel continues until tomorrow, Thursday, August 26. 

The exhibition was launched under Covid-19 restrictions by Maureen Purcell, a co-founder of South Tipperary Arts Group (STAG) and the group's organiser for the past 53 years.

Eileen McCarthy is an Irish contemporary artist and holds a B.A. Hons in Fine Art from the Limerick School of Art and Design.

Eileen is a native of Loughmore, Templemore and has lived in Cahir for over 36 years. Her passion for art lies in her love of the Irish landscape, environment and community. Her focus in this body of work is rooted in the human condition and its present relationship with the landscape of The Bleach Field site at Cahir.

Above: One of the Blue series images in Eileen McCarthy's exhibition. The artist says "it is named Human Rights, which calls to the sense of mankind to reconsider its position of rights and entitlements, our behaviour to each other and to our planet. In the greater scheme of life nature holds the balance, it will take back and it doesn't do right."

In reviewing the exhibition, Maureen Purcell noted the different mediums presented and the influence of Eileen's academic qualifications from UCC and her many years of professional practice.

Eileen gives expression through painting, poetry, photography and combined media, which includes When Blue Makes Darkness Visible.  This calls the viewer to awaken to the knowledge that nature is holding the balance, not humankind.

The artwork highlights the dichotomy of The Bleach Field environment, where mankind left its mark and left a huge edifice that was so important in its time and built in the middle of nature. Now, it crumbles away. Nature holds the balance. 

The pivotal point of this exhibition is to reconnect community to its history, culture and heritage.

During the darkest days of Covid-19, Eileen worked remotely and collaboratively with the community on a piece of land art within the Bleach Field. This was very profound for everyone who participated, some of whom were young children.

The community is very excited to see the images of the fruits of their artwork exhibited.

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