• Culture

Dundalk artist Eimear Murphy to exhibit at National Gallery of Ireland

Eimear Murphy
Local artist Eimea Murphy is to have her lockdown work displayed in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Visual artist Eimear Murphy is to have work displayed at the National Gallery of Ireland this summer, as part of a new exhibition focusing on the work of three contemporary Irish artists during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Eimear, who hails from Dundalk, will feature in the free ‘Lace, Paint, Hair’ exhibition which will also feature handmade lace works by Fiona Harrington and oil paintings by Cian McLoughlin. The exhibition begins on July 25.


A tour guide at the National Gallery of Ireland as recently as recently as the summer of 2015, Eimear’s work will appear at the gallery for the first time as part of the upcoming exhibition. Eimear has made significant contributions to the galleries’ public programme in recent years. During lockdown, as the gallery was closed for over 100 days, Eimear’s work was shaped by the ever-changing circumstances brought about by the global pandemic. Her, and other artists’, responses to the events of recent months inspired Lace, Paint, Hair.

The exhibition title references the materials embraced by the three artists while adapting to unfamiliar situations and surroundings.

“My work investigates the properties of everyday or ‘non-traditional art materials’,” Eimear said. “My most recent works, exhibited in Lace, Paint, Hair, explore how materials connect us to the past, the future and each other. During lockdown I was prevented from accessing my studio but presented with the opportunity to consider other resources. I began ‘Hair Correspondence’with a call out on social media for hair clippings. Over 60 contributors sent hair via post which was combined, hand spun, and transformed into raw material for relief drawing.”

Eimear graduated with first class honours from The National College of Art and Design in 2015, and was awarded the FireStation Artist’s Studios Graduate Residency and a landmark sculpture commission from Dublin Port that same year.

The resulting permanent public artwork ‘Drop was unveiled in 2017. In 2018 Eimear received the Arts Council’s prestigious Next Generation Award and presented her first solo exhibition, ‘SHAPE, HEAP. thing’ in Droichead Arts Centre. Her forthcoming exhibitions include the 190th RHA Annual Exhibition as an invited artist in October this year and ‘Less Stress More Success’ in September 2020 in the Kilkenny Arts Office Gallery. Several of Eimear’s works are held in the collection of the OPW.

A tactile and visual artist, she creates sculptures with both visual and touch based access. Closer to home, Eimear has also delivered workshops and engagement sessions with local primary and secondary school students from across Louth, as well as with local youth groups.

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