Kildare Town will become an open air art gallery to celebrate  

by Aishling Conway
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Brigid 1500 in January and February 2024  

Kildare Town will transform into an open air art gallery, when more than 20 local businesses will exhibit 60 works of international and national art in their windows as part of the Brigid 1500 celebrations in the new year.

This uniquely accessible art exhibition titled “Unravelling an Icon, Celebrating and Remembering Brigid and her Legacy,” was organised by Sult Artist-led Collective based in Kildare, to reflect the traditions, customs and symbols associated with Brigid’s legacy, to mark the 1500th anniversary of the death of Brigid in February 2024.   

Following an international open call in May this year, 215 pieces of art were submitted by artists from all over the world including England, Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Ethiopia, Australia, Japan, Canada, USA and New Zealand as well as from across Ireland.  

The huge number of entries blew us away – it really shows the international reach of Brigid. Our team at Sult had the difficult task of shortlisting the entries down to 50. Fortunately we had invaluable help from a member of Co. Kildare Arts Service as well as a curator from IMMA.  The exhibition will also include works by our Sult Collective members.  

The idea behind the exhibition is to make art as accessible as possible and create more opportunities for people to interact with art. We hope the local community and visitors to the town will really enjoy the artworks and learn more about Brigid and her messages of inclusivity, generosity and the power of women,” said Pamela de Brí, Sult Artist Collective member.   

The exhibition will include paintings, ceramics, photography, film, sculpture, animation, printmaking, stitching, felting, weaving, digital art, stained glass, drawing, embroidery, mosaic, mixed media, batik and textile works.   

The exhibition art trail, “Unravelling an Icon, Celebrating and Remembering Brigid and her Legacy,” will be accompanied by a high-quality, limited-edition catalogue of the selected artworks and this will be available during the celebrations to mark Brigid’s anniversary.  In addition, the local children from Ballyshannon National School and Kildare Town Educate Together are currently working with Sult Artist, Liza Kavanagh, on their interpretation of Brigid and their work will be displayed on a monitor in Southwells in Kildare Town. 

Ann McKenna, Sult Artist Collective member, said: ‘Brigid has always been a unifying force and this exhibition art trail will bring businesses, the local community, national and international artists together to celebrate and mark Brigid 1500. 

The artworks will be displayed in windows to be seen from the outside and will be illuminated in the evening, so people can view the work at all times even when the businesses are closed. 

The unique art exhibition will give visitors and locals to Kildare Town an opportunity to enjoy the diverse range of work from all over the world that have been created to celebrate Brigid.”  

There will be a guide map of the exhibits available to direct visitors to each shop window exhibit.  The free Brigid 1500 Art Trail in Kildare Town will be launched at 4.00p.m. on Saturday 27th January and will run from 28th January – 18th February 2024.   

This project is supported by Brigid 1500 and Kildare Co Council. 

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