In conjunction with our theme this year, "A Journey Toward Understanding Through the Arts," Dublin artist, Maura O'Rourke is coming to iBAM! to paint live, and to teach art to those who are interested.
Dublin-based, Irish artist Maura O’Rourke has painted a collection of paintings celebrating Derry as City of Culture.
Last year, while exhibiting works at The Celtic Market Place in Chicago, Cliff Carlson, publisher of Irish American News ,invited Maura to take part in the 2012 iBAM! Celebration. This involved going to Derry and painting a new series of paintings representing Derry and it’s vibrant and diverse culture to present at the iBam Celebrationl this October.
Over the last year, Maura made several visits to the city of Derry. At first apprehensive, Maura found the city to be beautiful, interesting and welcoming with many fine historical and contemporary monuments both civic and private.
While researching and reading about the social history of Derry in preparation of this collection, Maura found that Derry is a city steeped in culture and history that surpasses the many battles and troubles that have often been the focus of this place. For instance, the story about the first issue of copyright recorded in Ireland from the time of Colmcille.
The shirt factories established in Derry were the first to introduce industrial machines and to use them in Ireland. This increased shirt production making it possible to export to world markets. Many jobs were created that supported communities living in the surrounding areas.
The shipyards and docklands were constant places of trade and in later years many emigrants used this same port to leave Ireland for the Americas and Canada in search of a better life. The river Foyle, which flows through Derry, has many bridges that span it including the Foyle Bridge, and the new Peace Bridge. Sailing ships visit the city both for events or pleasure and leave with the tide. The beautiful sunset as one looks back towards the city Church Spires of Derry against the evening skyline is unique. The Bogside, where houses are in rows and rows, and families have long lived in close-knit communities together. The wall murals that represent events that took place over the years and will remain as a constant reminder of Derry’s change and evolution.
When Maura considered the many facets of Derry she chose to paint those events she felt might have affected people in general through the course of their lives there. She considered the future where positive attitudes, sharing of resources and tolerance and care will create a great future. The culture of the Irish is known to be outgoing and friendly, forward-looking in their arts and music, regaling history in their songs and stories.
Maura hopes that her paintings represent the Derry of 2012, which she saw when she visited. She also hopes that others will visit and experience The Walled City for themselves.
By the way, if you come to iBAM! this year to catch Maura's work, you will see the Bogside Artists mural they painted exclusively for the Irish American Heritage Center.
708-445-0700 or 773-282-7035 ext 13 for more info!