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Margaret Corcoran: A Further Enquiry, Love & Independence

25 Jul 2020 - 29 Aug 2020

A Further Enquiry: Love & Independence features new and recent work from one of Ireland’s most respected painters, Margaret Corcoran, presenting three strands of work, and reflecting areas of focus in her practice over the last two decades, from The Enquiry Series, where her two daughters act as subjects as she explores her relationship to art and history through the Collection of the National Gallery of Ireland; to a series using a magazine as source material exploring Bhutan, and specifically since the 1970s where Bhutan has compiled an index of happiness as a way of measuring social contentment; and the third series where photographs a friend took in Rwanda offer the artist inspiration to explore aspects of a country emerging from a long history of colonisation and conflict.
Corcoran in her essay Painting in a Pandemic says of the first series – ‘I have painted the Enquiry II series through Brexit unfurling and now a pandemic. The piece from that series that I have painted for this show – A Further Enquiry – The Taking – depicts the bottom foreground of Maclise’s The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife,  a layer of colonialism which describes the horrors of human greed in terms of the lives lost. I found myself tackling the wrung postures of the dead as we entered the pandemic. Facing the canvas daily with these dying figures was surreal – as our own death count rose nationally and globally.’
The exhibition received an Arts Council Touring & Dissemination Award and is presented in partnership with Wexford Arts Centre and Custom House Gallery & Studios, Westport, where it will travel to in autumn 2020 and spring 2021, respectively.
A full colour catalogue accompanies the exhibition with texts by Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, art historians Yvonne Scott and Zaena Sheehan, Seán Hoy, Ambassador of Ireland to Brazil, and the artist Margaret Corcoran. It is designed by Neil Gordon and Ismael Kepp of 256Media.
The exhibition is on view until Saturday 29th August, please note the gallery’s adjusted opening is from Wednesday – Saturday, 11am-4pm, with booking advised on, or by telephone, with walk ups still welcome too.

To support best practice for staff and your health & safety, we capture your details for contract tracing across whichever way you access the gallery.


We are beginning to present some public programme on site, as well as online, in tandem with this exhibition and the current Collection display.

Expect to experience two traditional music events, two walking tours of Drogheda where the Collection and building offer inspiration, two children’s workshops, as well as more texts and musings from artists, academics and others.

Check out Eventbrite and our website for the latest news.


For more information contact the gallery by email at or telephone +353 (0) 41 980 3311

Highlanes Gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday with opening times 11am-4.00pm.

  • Date: 25 Jul 2020 - 29 Aug 2020
  • Location:Margaret Corcoran