Iconic ‘Ireland 2016’ Art Exhibition To Open At The Museum Of Australian Democracy At Eureka (M.A.D.E)


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To celebrate the cultural and historical bonds between Australia and Ireland, in this centenary year of the Irish Easter Rising, Brendon Deacy’s exhibition of paintings about pioneering Irishman James Fintan Lalor will travel to the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka as part of the ‘Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme’.

‘Síoraí: Visualising the Words of James Fintan Lalor Today’ came from a commission when Irish artist Brendon Deacy was asked to produce new work as a central feature for the James Fintan Lalor conference in 2014 in Ireland, where Lalor’s legacy and relevance today were discussed.

Lalor (1807- 1849) dedicated his life to lobbying on behalf of the downtrodden and had a profound effect on Irish democratic developments. The exhibition’s title, ‘Síoraí’ (the Irish word for ‘Eternal’), refers to the enduring influence of his words on key parts of Irish history up to the present day. The leader of the Rising, Pádraig Pearse called Lalor ‘one of the four evangelists of Irish freedom’. The timing of the show is befitting to mark the centenary of the 1916 Irish Easter Rising as it highlights the galvanising impression he made on visionaries like Pearse, ,and those who drafted the Democratic Program of the first Irish parliament in 1919.

Deacy has created ten iconic paintings using oils mixed with debris collected from Tenakill House, where Lalor was born, forging a metaphysical connection between the work and the man. To emphasise his contemporary relevance, Lalor’s words are presented verbatim, in the style of Irish posters of his time and juxtaposed with depictions of present-day Ireland.

M.A.D.E is an ideal venue for building upon the strong links between Australian and Irish culture and history. M.A.D.E stands on the site of the Eureka Stockade, an event which shaped Australian democracy, a rebellion led by James Fintan Lalor’s brother Peter.

‘James Fintan Lalor, as Peter Lalor’s brother, is of significant interest to the museum. His influences on his younger brother and the Young Ireland movement can be traced to the events in Ballarat in 1854. The presentation of these influences and issues by Brendon Deacy also resonate with the challenges that both Ireland and Australia face today down through the centuries’, says MADE’s Director, Jane Smith.

Culture Ireland, Laois County Council, The Thomas Dammann Trust, National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin and Midland Legal Solicitors are generously supporting the exhibition as part of the ‘Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.

The exhibition will be launched by Noel White, the Irish Ambassador to Australia, on the 9th of Jul 3:30pm and will run until Sunday 11 September 2016, at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E), 102 Stawell Street South, Ballarat, Victoria 3350. www.made.org. Phone: 1800 287 113

Notes for Editor:

Brendon Deacy is an Irish artist whose paintings, prints, drawings and photographs are inspired by the human effects of culture and history. He has held eighteen solo exhibitions and his work is held in notable public and private collections in Australia, Europe, UK and USA. He has received many awards and in 1999 he represented Ireland at the international print exhibition ‘Linoleum in 20th Century Art’ in Amsterdam. He has published two critically acclaimed artist’s books, ‘The State We’re Out’ and ‘A Life in Relief’. He teaches at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin and has been a visiting tutor to the Universities of Anadolu (Turkey), Birmingham, Helsinki, Leeds, San Diego and the Royal College of Art.

M.A.D.E is one of Australia’s newest museums and is the winner of a 2015 MAGNA Innovation Award. It is located on the historic site of the 1854 Eureka Stockade uprising in Ballarat, the beginning of Australian democracy.

M.A.D.E uses clever art installations and immersive, interactive content, to bring the history alive and to inspire people to contemplate what issues are important to them today.

Please visit www.made.org for more information

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