Fiona Cribben – a retrospective

19th May – 18th June, 2024

Fiona Cribben was an Irish artist from Rathfarnham who created art, for the living and for the dead. A graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Fiona worked for Calvin Klein and DKNY as an art director, fashion forecaster and costume designer. She also taught fashion design at the Icelandic Academy of the Arts and the Reykjavik Academy. She instinctively had creative flair and knew how to connect deeply to others through her art and many other forms of self-expression.

When dealing with metastatic breast cancer, Fiona pulled together pieces of her life – from London to New York, to Iceland and back to Ireland – and delved into creating ‘Lifewreaths’, to celebrate being alive. In her own words: “My collection of Lifewreaths (or healing mandalas) came from adversity and contemplating death. Instead of creating a floral wreath for my funeral, I wanted to create something more special that would emulate my life.”

During this journey, she also wrote and performed music, painted, and documented living with cancer in a journal – all with grace, tenderness and a mischievous charm and wit. Fiona’s journal, which she used as a form of therapy to help her cope with her diagnosis, was later compiled into a book, Love Life.

Fiona Cribben: A retrospective, features a large collection of the artist’s Lifewreaths, canvas paintings, and a selection of prints with her own poetry.  Also featured are collaborations including photographs of the artist by Charles Moriarty and a bespoke jewellery collection, ‘Whale Teeth’, by Irish jewellery designer, Emer Roberts. She describes “working collaboratively with Fiona in death” for the collection of whale teeth pendants and rings.





12th April – 5th May, 2024

Gender equality globally has progressed over the last decades: More girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women are serving in parliament and positions of leadership, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality. Despite these gains, many challenges remain.

In this exhibition, the fifth-year art students in Loreto High School Beaufort explore the theme ‘Girlhood’, in the context of their own personal lives. Their work was created in collaboration with the artist Dragana Jurišić and supported by their art teacher Clare Bowe. Each artist brought their own unique perspective to a collaborative interpretation of the theme. Jurišić provided artistic guidance and empowered the students to explore their individuality. Jurišić says:

 We explored girlhood and the gender stereotypes that often limit aspirations and self-expression in teenage girls. Today, young girls are bombarded with conflicting ideas about who they are supposed to be and what they should value, causing confusion and insecurity. Exploration of this topic will hopefully be empowering to the participants and enhance self-confidence and self-awareness.

The Pearse Museum has strong connections with the history of Irish education and Ireland’s struggle for political autonomy. Loreto Beaufort is also proud of its own history in educating girls which dates back to the seventeenth century and the foundation of the Loreto Order by Mary Ward. In the 1820s, Frances Teresa Ball set up the first Irish Loreto school here in Rathfarnham. Working in the face of great prejudice, the movement these women began has spread to all five continents and has educated many thousands of girls.

This project was supported by WorldWise Global Schools 2023-24 and Loreto High School Beaufort.




Before Me in A Dream

Until early 2024


Dorothy Macardle Archive and Performance Project (DMAPP)


Before Me in A Dream

 “I dreamed all night I was out among trees
but prison was before me in the dream.”

Dorothy Macardle
Prison Notebooks, 1922-23

Before Me in A Dream

A Short Film by Colm Mullen conceptualised by DMAPP Sharon Mc Ardle and Declan Gorman
Music Composed and Arranged by Paul Gerard Campbell
Songs by Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin

Before Me in A Dream is the final part of the Prison Notebooks trilogy. Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958) was imprisoned without trial by the Irish Free State in October 1922 for her anti-Treaty views. She kept a series of diaries over six months in Mountjoy Prison and later Kilmainham Gaol. Her papers and manuscripts were burned by Free State soldiers at the time of her arrest in 1922. Upon her death in 1958, several more of her private and literary pages were incinerated, this time by a member of her own family. Fragments of her gaol journals survive, in which she writes not only of politics and the deprivations of prison, but also describes her sleeping and half-waking dreams in which she travels beyond the walls, and at times “visions” events yet to happen. Her dream writing and vivid accounts of subconscious worlds anticipate Dorothy’s later emergence as a Gothic novelist of international renown.

Sharon Mc Ardle lectures at the School of Arts Education and Movement, Dublin City University. She is a performing artist and co-creator of DMAPP, which produced a trilogy of artistic works titled Prison Notebooks, including a one-woman theatre show and a documentary for RTÉ Radio, The Lyric Feature.

 Declan Gorman is a playwright, director and performer. He is a co-creator of DMAPP. Among his plays are ‘Falling Through The Universe’, ‘The Dubliners Dilemma’ (after Joyce) and ‘The Big Fellow’. He was formerly Artistic Director of Upstate Theatre.

Colm Mullen is a cinematographer known for his work on Frank Berry’s, ‘I Used To Live Here’ and Luke Hanlon’s, ‘The Troubles A Dublin Story’. Colm lectures at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) and is artistic director of the Louth International Film Festival.

Paul Gerard Campbell is a diverse multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator based in County Louth. He is a full time member of the Music Generation Louth team and is currently on the board of the Louth Contemporary Music Society.

For more information on DMAPP and the Prison Notebooks series. See documentary for RTÉ Radio, The Lyric Feature – Podcast Link:


The Film was kindly funded by the Bank of Ireland Together Arts Fund.


Slow Time With a Butterfly

6 September to 5 November 2023

Contemporary Tapestry Artists Ireland (CTA) is a group of professional tapestry weavers working in studios all over the country who come together to collaborate and exhibit their work together to raise the profile of this textile medium. The title of this exhibition, Slow Time with a Butterfly, refers to the slow, detailed practice of tapestry weaving. The technique uses “butterflies” or bobbins of coloured yarns woven through a cotton or linen warp to create the image of the artist’s design. Tapestry making  is by its nature a solitary occupation, so CTA Ireland gives its members an opportunity to connect, network and collaborate. In 2021, when face to face gatherings were prohibited due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, the group took to meeting online and exhibiting their work on social media platforms. Plans were made to exhibit as soon as freedom allowed, and Slow Time with a Butterfly emerged as a travelling exhibition in 2022. For artists working in a medium which dates from ancient times, the irony of 21st century technology being instrumental in bringing the group from strength to strength, is not lost.




We Will Not Sit Down and Be Quiet!

Gallery: 16 September – 30 September      Walled Garden: 19 September – 6 October

Tallaght Community Art – DoubleTAKE Supported Arts Studio artists present their Advocacy through the Arts – film and portrait installation.

The Artist Advocates, many of whom have spent their entire lives living and working within Ireland’s institutionalised disability care sector, speak out about their rights. They do this not just for themselves but for those who are unable to and for those who follow in their footsteps. By siting the exhibition /installation at the OPW/Pearse Museum; – a place of arts, education and activism; a place borne of the desire to reclaim culture and identity a place steeped in Irish history; – our Artist Advocates stand shoulder to shoulder to claim their rights, demand respect and request your solidarity. Their film in the OPW/Pearse Museum Gallery is accompanied by an installation of the 17 advocate’s images on aluminium in the museum’s walled garden



Glas, Gorm, Uaine

2 June to 13 August, 2023

A solo exhibition of new work by Orla Whelan, the exhibition title Glas, Gorm, Uaine can be translated from Irish to English as ‘Green, Blue, Green’. However it could also be translated as ‘Light Grey, Dark Blue, Artificial Green’. In the Irish language, colours were traditionally grouped according to degrees of brightness rather than hue, with ‘glas’ suggesting light blue or grey, as much as light green. The shift towards categories of hue, which occurred through colonisation and globalisation, eroded the context and descriptive information conveyed in Irish colour words, and influenced our perception of these colours in the world.

Orla Whelan’s exploration of the complexity of categorising and naming of colour when shifting between the English and Irish language, resonates deeply with the history of this Museum which is the former home of Patrick Pearse’s bi-lingual school, Scoil Éanna. Many of the works in the exhibition are site-responsive, perhaps most notably Bedroom Chairs for Patrick and William which use the traditional hand-weaving technique of wicker furniture typical of the period when the Pearse brothers lived here, while also employing contemporary nylon instead of the traditional cane.

‘Intervals of Peace’: The Civil War Prison Art of Alfred McGloughlin

22 February to 22 May, 2023

On 21 October 1922, several months into the Irish Civil War, Alfred McGloughlin was arrested in his home by Free State forces and brought to Wellington Barracks in Dublin. He spent the following year as a political prisoner, first in Wellington Barracks, then Hare Park in the Curragh, before a final stay in Mountjoy Prison from where he was released on 13 October 1923. While he experienced periods of ill-treatment during this time, according to his obituary in 1932, he also found ‘intervals of peace in prison, sketching in watercolours, and filling a portfolio with pencil-drawings of his comrades’. This exhibition consists of thirty-nine of his portraits of his fellow prisoners as well as a number of watercolour sketches of Mountjoy Prison.

The Pearse Museum is a particularly fitting location for this exhibition as Alfred McGLoughlin was not only a nephew of the Pearse brothers, he also lived with the Pearse family for many years and came with them when Scoil Éanna relocated to Rathfarnham in 1910. He played an active role in the running of the school, and in particular the school’s theatrical productions. The exhibition will also feature the illustrations of the grounds of St. Enda’s Park which he made for the school magazine, An Macaomh.

Landmarks – Fragments of Nature in Patterns, Imprints and Voice

August to October, 2022

This exhibition is both an exploration of humanity’s relationship with the natural world, and a lament for the mindless destruction which we have wreaked upon it. While the work on display draws inspiration from landscapes across Ireland, much of it is rooted in the hinterland of the Pearse Museum and St. Enda’s Park.

The Landmarks Collective is made up of three South Dublin-based artists: Charleen Hurtubise, Lisa Dowling Scott and Beatrice O’Connell. The collective was formed in response to a shared concern with the fragile status of our natural heritage in the face of environmental crisis. In addition, a number of other artists who have similar interest in environmental matters have been invited to contribute to the exhibition.

International Felt Stained Glass Exhibition

14th April to 26th June, 2022

This exhibition of felt stained glass comprises work by thirty artists from across Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Japan and the USA. Using traditional felt-making techniques, the pieces are inspired by stained glass art. However, in the place of coloured glass, the artists have used small pieces of handmade woolen felt to create intricate images and patterns, drawing upon the contrasting forces in nature, going from chaos to structure and from destruction to mending. These different pieces of felt have then been bound together and further embellished with needle-felting or embroidery. The combination of shape, texture and colour has resulted in a remarkable collection of complex and subtle artworks.

The work has come about as a result of a series of online tutorials from the past three years led by the exhibition’s curator, Dr. Niki Collier. These classes took place during the Covid-19 lockdown, bringing people together and creating a sense of community during a time of unprecedented isolation. The creativity unleashed by the project proved to be a source of both comfort and resilience for the participants.

A Spaciousness of Soul

Paintings inspired by St. Enda’s Park by Christine Lennon Carey


17th February to 27th  March, 2022

Patrick Pearse first discovered what is now St. Enda’s Park when he came out to Rathfarnham in 1910 to explore places associated with his great hero, the Irish revolutionary leader Robert Emmet. As he walked along the tree-lined paths, Pearse felt an immediate sense of connection with Emmet’s memory. He was also enchanted by wild, dramatic beauty of the place and quickly determined to move his school here. Christine Lennon Carey shared that sense of wonder when, over a century later, she first visited the Park. She has described it as secret oasis, hidden amongst the suburbs of modern Dublin.

Like Pearse, Christine was struck not only by the natural beauty of St. Enda’s, but also by the numerous ‘follies’ scattered throughout the landscape. Built in imitation of ancient Irish monuments and ruins, these decorative structures were built at the behest of Edward Hudson, the original owner of the house who laid out the grounds in the late 18th century. Through her painting, Christine excavates the layers of history, both real and imagined, which overlay the landscape of St. Enda’s Park. Her work seeks to capture its unique atmosphere and the sense of connection with the past that it evokes.

Double Estate

Works from the OPW State Art Collection
& Pearse Museum Collection, curated by Davey Moor

Open Daily

Double Estate is a group exhibition that considers the human form through a selection of over fifty works from the OPW State Art Collection across print, painting, photography and sculpture. These are offered against the historical backdrop of William Pearse’s figurative sculpture from the collection at St Enda’s and Patrick Pearse’s writing on physical archtypes. The exhibition is curated by Davey Moor. A 64-page full-colour catalogue, designed by Oonagh Young will accompany the show. This will include essays by Brian Crowley (Collections Curator, Pearse Museum and Kilmainham Gaol) and Davey Moor. The exhibition is open to the public daily.

Due to Covid19 restrictions on the number of people permitted in the building at one time it is advisable to book a time to visit by calling 01 493 4208 or emailing pearsemuseum@opw.ie


of the grass and woods and water’: A photographic exhibition by Robert Keogh

13 November 2019 to 31 January 2020

If our boys observe their fellow-citizens of the grass and woods and water as wisely and as lovingly as they should, I think they will learn much. That was one of my hopes in bringing them here from the suburbs

Patrick Pearse, An Macaomh, 1910  

The opportunity for his students to engage with nature at first hand was one of the primary reasons Pearse moved his school here to Rathfarnham in 1910. The extensive parkland which surrounding the house teemed with life and led him to speculate that it would be impossible to find ‘more of wild life … crowded into fifty acres anywhere else so near Dublin’. Observing and understanding the natural world is also central to the photographic work of Robert Keogh. His practice is based on patiently watching animals and birds, learning their ways and then capturing them on film at the exact right moment.

Robert has a keen interest in portraiture, landscape and wildlife photography. His photographs have won many accolades and acceptances in international salons in countries such as Australia, Slovenia, Iraq and the UK, as well as here in Ireland. He is an accredited member of the Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique and an active member of Dublin Camera Club. Speaking about his work he has said: “As a wildlife photographer it is incredible the amount of wildlife you can find on your own doorstep, if you just take a moment to look. Many of my wildlife photographs were captured within the city limits.”

‘Where Shadows Drifted By’, an exhibition by Mairead O’Byrne

6 June to 21 August 2019

Like Patrick Pearse and his pupils more than a century ago, Mairead O’Byrne has drawn inspiration for her work from the unique landscape of St. Enda’s Park and the area that surrounds it. The paintings here depict the stunning parklands and rivers of Rathfarnham which have been Mairead’s playground all her life. She is fascinated by the ever-changing effects of light on the landscape, the way it dances though leaves and reflects off water. Many of her works capture the movement of water as it journeys through the landscape ‘carving reflective furrows in which the sky mirrors itself’

Mairead was originally a textile artist, but an accident in 2013 led to her working with oil paints instead. Combining oils with Japanese washi paper has allowed her to find a way to express the rich layering effects found in textile art. This new medium has also enabled her to capture the freshness of a particular moment, and give full voice to the richness of the landscape.


By A Better Deed – Creative Campus ’18

31 May to 31 August 2018


You cannot conquer Ireland. You cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom.  If our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom, then our children will win by a better deed.

Patrick Pearse

 Drawing on the location and history of the Pearse Museum, Creative Campus ‘18 investigated contemporary perceptions and interpretations of who or what a hero is.

Creative Campus is an annual site-specific arts programme supporting emerging artists to create work that engages diverse audiences in South Dublin County. The project engages annually with second level students from schools throughout South Dublin County as part of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) Access programme.

This is an initiative of Tallaght Community Arts, South Dublin County Council’s Arts Office and Noise Dublin in partnership with NCAD and the Office of Public Works / Pearse Museum.

Lead Artist / Curator: Terence Erraught

Artists: Emma Brennan and Siuán Ní Dhochartaigh

Producer: Jennifer Webster

Participating Artists: Daria Cassidy, Megan Fay, Róisin Ní Mhaoldhamhnaigh, Sailí Áine Ní Mhurchú, Jordan O’Toole from Colaiste de Híde and Mount Seskin Community College


Primal Landscape

An exhibition of painting by Kate Nolan

9 March to 20 May 2018

Kate Nolan’s work has always been deeply affected by the landscape around her. She describes herself as being happiest when she is surrounded by mountains and  the stillness of woods and forests.  The environment of St. Enda’s Park has had a particular influence on her work as she has lived on its doorstep for many years.

Trees in particular have provided the inspiration this latest collection. Reflecting on these paintings she wrote:

“I am particularly drawn to trees.  For as long as I can remember they have been a part of my life.  As a child I climbed up, fell down, hung ropes and made swings from their branches. I collected dazzling coloured leaves in the autumn and made prints, fashioned toy weapons from twigs, hid in them, sat under them and sheltered from the rain.  When I stand at the base of a tall tree and look up, I feel connected to the sky.  To me, they are like mighty living monuments of nature and I never cease to be amazed by their size, strength, calm and beauty.  Even their barks resemble vibrant, textured, abstract paintings.”


The Space Between

An exhibition of artworsk from the OPW State Art Collection and the collection of the Department of Finance Northern Ireland

3 November 2017 to 14 January 2018

The Space Between is an exhibition curated by 12 undergraduate students studying on the BDes Graphic Design and Illustration course from Belfast School of Art, Ulster University. This group worked with the curatorial teams in the Department of Finance, Belfast and the Office of Public Works, Dublin over two days to select artworks from their respective public art collections. This exhibition is the culmination of the individual gut instincts of the students in response to viewing the artworks and the discussions had between the cohort in response to each other and the works.


Derrinlough: A view from above

An exhibition of paintings by Michael Bulfin

21 June to 30 September 2017

Viewing landscapes from above – either from a plane or through Google Maps satellite imagery – has provided the inspiration for many of Mike Bulfin’s recent paintings. In this exhibition he turns to a far more personal landscape – the area around his old home at Derrinlough in County Offaly. Derrinlough was also the home of his father Eamonn, a former pupil of Patrick Pearse and a veteran of the 1916 Rising.

Derrinlough is an island of green farmland surrounded by a vast sea of bog and the wilderness of Lough Coura, an old drained lakebed which used to flood each winter. Growing up Michael knew every inch of the place and regularly traversed it with his two dogs. Industrial-scale harvesting of peat and turf has utterly transformed the landscape Michael knew as a youth. In his Derrinlough series of paintings he has mythologised and abstracted this land as it was 60 years ago. Taking a ‘birds-eye’ view, he uses vivid colours to emphasise the changes in vegetation and terrain.


1916: Portraits and Lives

An Exhibition by David Rooney

7 February to 31 May 2017

As part of the 1916 centenary commemorations, the Royal Irish Academy and the Office of Public Works published 1916: Portraits and Lives, a book of biographies of 42 people whose lives were in one way or another deeply involved in the Easter Rising. The artist David Rooney was commissioned to illustrate the book and created scraperboard portraits for each of the subjects. The exhibition consists of all of the original illustrations which were acquired by the Office of Public Works for the State Art Collection


Museum of August Destiny

Aideen Barry, Mark Clare, Amanda Coogan, Anthony Haughey, Dragana Jurisic, and Sarah Pierce

4 November 2016 to 25 January 2017

The Museum of August Destiny is an exhibition of contemporary art exploring the resonance of the Proclamation a century after it was written. It presents a small ‘capsule’ museum responding to the final line of the 1916 Proclamation, in which the Irish nation is exhorted to ‘prove itself worth of the august destiny to which it is called.’

 Curated by Dr. Emily Mark Fitzgerald (UCD), the artists were commissioned to create new works responding to the six ‘visions’ of Irish destiny set out in the Proclamation: (1) sovereignty and ‘unfettered control of Irish destinies’; (2) religious and civil liberty; (3) equal rights and opportunities for citizens; (4) the pursuit of happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts; (5) cherishing the children of the nation; and (6) oblivion of the differences ‘which have divided a minority from the majority in the past’.

The exhibition is sponsored by the UCD Decade of Centenaries Programme.




Ceramics Ireland: Annual Members Selected Exhibition

4th – 18th December 2016

Ceramics Ireland’s Annual Members Selected Exhibition features the work of thirty-five artists selected from submissions by members of Ceramics Ireland. The exhibition takes place in the historic Halla Mór of the Pearse Museum. The work on display reflects many aspects of ceramic practice – functional, decorative and sculptural – and offers a wonderful insight into the diversity of ceramic work being produced in Ireland today.

Commemorating 1916 : An exhibition of work by students of the of the Higher National Diploma in Classical and Computer Animation at Ballyfermot College of Further Education

9 September to 7 October 2016

In autumn 2015 second year students studying animation at Ballyfermot College of Further Education spent several days on location at the Pearse Museum to research backgrounds and characters for a proposed animated film based on the 1916 Rising. This project formed part of their course module on Visual Communication. While the main body of work was carried out in the Museum, students also visited other locations relevant to the Rising, including Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Castle and a former tenement building on Henrietta Street in Dublin city centre.

The students’ own historical research greatly influenced the style and content of their work. The have used both traditional and digital techniques to recreate historic spaces associated with the Rising and render them as they might have appeared in 1916. They have also tried to capture the very special atmosphere of places like the Pearse Museum which formed the backdrop to the momentous events of one hundred years ago.

Pearse and Shakespeare

25 April to 30 August 2016

The 1916 Rising was originally planned to take place on Easter Sunday, 23 April 1916, which was also the 300th anniversary of the death of the poet and dramatist, William Shakespeare. This fascinating historical coincidence was something which Patrick Pearse was undoubtedly aware of as he was a devoted admirer of Shakespeare’s writings all his life. Shakespeare was also a major influence on him as a writer and playwright.

The stories of Shakespeare first captured Pearse’s imagination as a child when he and his siblings would act out the plays in their family home. As he grew older Pearse developed his skills as a public speaker at literary and debating societies where he would sometimes recite speeches from Julius Caesar and Hamlet. Shakespeare’s writings also occupied a central place on the curriculum of Scoil Éanna. His love of Shakespeare is reflected in his library which contained numerous editions of Shakespeare’s plays, many of which are on display in this exhibition.


A Nation Rises: An exhibition of paintings by Carol Wallace

13 February – 3rd April 2016

This exhibition was inspired by the 1916 Rising and, in particular, the book Last Words by Piaras Mac Lochlann. Last Words is a collection of the last letters of the sixteen leaders who were executed after the 1916 Rising. Reading this book was a very emotional experience for the artist Carol Wallace. She was deeply moved by the stories of the last days and hours of these men and their bravery in the face of death.

The thirty-two paintings in this collection include portraits of those involved along with depictions of specific episodes and events from the Rising. They seek to convey the emotional aspect of this pivotal event in Irish history and, hopefully, lead the viewer to reflect upon the past. The collection stands as both a memorial to those who fought and a tribute to their sacrifice.

Ceramics Ireland: Annual Members Selected Exhibition

1 – 15th November 2015

Ceramics Ireland’s Annual Members Selected Exhibition features the work of thirty-five artists selected from submissions by members of Ceramics Ireland. The exhibition takes place in the historic Halla Mór of the Pearse Museum. The work on display reflects many aspects of ceramic practice – functional, decorative and sculptural – and offers a wonderful insight into the diversity of ceramic work being produced in Ireland today.

P.H. Pearse and the O’Donovan Rossa Funeral Oration

Until 5th January 2016

The OPW has marked the centenary of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa’s funeral on August 1st with this exhibition at the Pearse Museum which commemorates both the funeral and Patrick Pearse’s now-iconic graveside oration. The exhibition features the original manuscript of Pearse’s eulogy, alongside rare news reel footage of the funeral. The exhibition also gathers together a collection of objects and documents related to the event, including original posters and handbills, and a signed copy of O’Donovan Rossa’s book, Irish Rebels in English Prisons.

The exhibition runs until January 5th, 2016, and admission is free. The museum is open seven days a week, from 9.30am to 5.30pm.

Ceramics Ireland: Annual Members Selected Exhibition

19th October – 29th November 2014

Ceramics Ireland’s Annual Members Selected Exhibition features the work of thirty-six artists selected from submissions by members of Ceramics Ireland. The work on display reflects many aspects of ceramic practice – functional, decorative and sculptural – and offers a wonderful insight into the diversity of ceramic work being produced in Ireland today.

The Palimpsest/ Rianú Project

6th September – 30th November 2014
Curated by Claire Halpin and Eoin Mac Lochlainn

The Palimpsest/ Rianú Project is a collaborative art project which brought together eight Irish artists to develop work to represent Ireland at Artisterium VI in Tbilisi, Georgia in October 2013. Continuing with this collaboration, the project was then presented in An Gailearaí in Gweedore, Co. Donegal in June 2014 and the final exhibition will be shown in the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin in September 2014. The eight participating artists were: Colin Martin RHA, Brian Fay, Mary A.Fitzgerald, Claire Halpin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Aoife McGarrigle, Kate Murphy and Nuala Ní Fhlathúin.

Each artist was invited to develop an initial image which was then emailed on to the next artist in the group. The second artist responded to it by working over it or manipulating it in some way and then emailed it on to the third artist who also responded to it and passed it on. The process continued until each of the eight artists had worked on each of the eight images. It proved to be a very creative and rewarding experience for the artists involved, each gaining a lot from encountering the varied working methods and creative processes of the other artists. The title “Palimpsest / Rianú” refers to the original palimpsests – ancient manuscript pages which were erased so that they could be reused and overwritten – and Rianú, the Irish word for tracing. There is a trace of each of the eight artist’s hand left in all of the final works.

The idea of the project was to explore how we deal with the ‘other’ in our lives – other ethnic groups, other nations, other people – so a collaborative project between artists seemed particularly relevant. The Pearse Museum at St Enda’s in Rathfarnham was chosen as an apt location for the final presentation because of Padraig Pearse’s special interest in bi-lingual education. Each artist also developed an individual artwork responding to the location and to the curatorial themes.

From A Hermitage to Harlem: Pearse in America, 1914

2nd March – 31st August 2014

On 8 February, 1914 Patrick Pearse left Ireland aboard the RMS Campania for a lecture and fundraising tour of the United States. St. Enda’s College had been losing money for many years and Pearse felt the tour offered ‘the only chance of placing the school on a sound financial footing’. He hoped his skills as a public speaker would convince the Irish-American community to donate money which could be used towards clearing some of the school’s substantial debts.

This exhibition traces Pearse’s travels around the Eastern states of the United States between February and May of 1914. Although he was primarily based in the home of the McKenna family on 144th St. in Harlem, Pearse also gave lectures in places such as Wilmington (Delaware), Philadelphia, Springfield (Massachusetts), Providence (Rhode Island) and La Rochelle in upstate New York. A fundraising Field Day in aid of the school which also marked the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf took place in the grounds of the Irish Athletic Club in Long Island on 19 April 1914. The exhibition contains the original programme from this event as well some fascinating letters written to and from Pearse while he was away. Also on display is a silhouette of Pearse’s profile which he had made when he visited the top of the Woolworth building, then the tallest building in the world.

While audiences were interested in St. Enda’s, they were often more anxious to hear about the recently formed Irish Volunteers. As one of the founders of this new Irish nationalist military organisation, Pearse also attracted the attention of Clan na Gael, an Irish-American organisation devoted to the establishment of an Irish republic. He made important contacts with prominent Irish Americans like John Devoy and Joseph McGarrity. Pearse was inspired by their militant republicanism and returned to Ireland firmly committed to pursuing a radical path to Irish independence.

Deich: The Life of P. H. Pearse in Ten Objects

11 July – 27 August 2013

The ten objects in this exhibition represent various aspects of the extraordinary life of Patrick Pearse. Although he died at the young age of 36, Pearse lived a life of great variety and achievement. He was a leading member of the Irish language movement, the editor of a newspaper, he wrote plays, poems and stories, was the founder and headmaster of Scoil Éanna and, most famously, led the 1916 Rising.

Some of items on display relate to important aspects of Pearse’s public career, such as his editorship of An Claidheamh Soluis and his famous speech at the funeral of Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa. Others are more private and personal and reflect his imaginative childhood growing up over his father’s sculpture business in Great Brunswick (now Pearse) St., or the last hours he spent with his family before going to fight in the 1916 Rising. Together these ten objects give us an insight into Pearse’s complex and many-sided personality.

Click here to see the items that formed this exhibition.

You may also be interested in viewing items from the permanent collection.