Boyne Shapes, Oil on Board, 45 x 60cm, Private Collection
Highlanes Gallery marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Irish artist, Nano Reid, with a unique exhibition celebrating her life, work and legacy. Adamantine is a word suggesting something bold, unswerving, powerfully itself, attributes which pertain, not just to Reid’s work, but to the way she lived her life. Born in Drogheda in 1900, she forged her way determinedly through an artistic landscape dominated by males to become one of the most exciting and original artists of her generation, with a rich, brooding, evocative style completely her own.
The exhibition will present over sixty of her works, borrowing from major public collections such as the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Crawford Art Gallery, the Arts Council of Ireland, National Museums, NI, not to mention the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection and many private collections across the island.
Through the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, the Gallery has received two grants under the Regional Museums Exhibition scheme to activate research and commission new texts across a broad range of perspectives and disciplines, including art history, community history, and creative writing, and by writers including Nathan O’Donnell, Roisin Kennedy, Kathryn Milligan, Niamh Campbell, and Brendan Matthews.
Themes explored will include gender in art, then and now; history and mythology in both urban and rural environments (specifically her beloved Boyne Valley and Drogheda); and ethnicity and belonging (Reid had a deep engagement with, and interest in, Ireland’s Traveller community).
To mark the exhibition, two significant gifts will be presented to the Highlanes Collection: the first is the artist’s own personal Paint Box, complete with brushes and paints, gifted by the artist, Roger O’Reilly; the second is Rath Bran Mhór, a painting not seen in public since it appeared in the prestigious ‘Twelve Irish Painters’ Exhibition in New York almost 60 years ago. This has been gifted by David Britton and Karen Reihill.
A new book on Nano Reid’s life and work will also be published to coincide with the exhibition in mid-November, along with a public programme of talks, lectures, poetry and music.
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