independent

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Wexford artists reach new heights at Kathmandu gallery

Maria Pepper

A Wexford group had nothing to declare but their art when they boarded a plane bound for Nepal on Monday, their suitcases filled with paintings for display in an exhibition in Kathmandu.

The first ever Irish Art in Nepal exhibition will open this weekend at the Siddhartha Art Gallery in Kathmandu, under the shadow of the Himalayas and Mount Everest, featuring the work of Wexford-based artists including organiser Declan Cody, Paddy Lennon, Kate Murphy, Olivia O'Dwyer, Bernadette Doolan and the photographer Michael Duggan.

Cody, Doolan, Duggan and O'Dwyer will be travelling to Nepal with their work and will be accompanied by Elizabeth Whyte, Executive Director of Wexford Arts Centre, Trish Robinson of the Pigyard Gallery in Spectrum and Wexford teacher Kathy Kane. Wexford Arts Centre helped secure funding from Culture Ireland towards the travel costs of the trip. While there, the group will stay in the residence of the European Ambassador to Nepal Veronica Cody who is a sister of exhibition organiser Declan who runs ArtSpies.com an online market place for art works. Ms. Cody was formerly based in the European Commission in Brussels and was appointed European Ambassador six months ago.

'We're bringing four or five smaller works by each artist. We'll be carrying them in our suitcases. As far as I know it's the first group show by Irish artists in Nepal. It's very exciting', said Declan who contacted the Siddhartha Gallery to organise the show.

Lonely Planet has described the Siddhartha gallery as the best for contemporary Nepali and international art with a wide range of top-notch exhibitions. The Wexford exhibition will run for a week.

Bernadette Doolan who lives in Enniscorthy is a widely-exhibited artist whose work is part of Wexford County Council's art collection. Paddy Lennon, a resident of Kilrane is a leading contemporary artist known for his equine portraits and abstract paintings whose work has been shown in venues through Ireland and abroad. Olivia O'Dwyer is a mixed media painter who captures the essence of the natural landscape around her. Michael Duggan is an accomplished Wexford photographer with a keen eye and a special interest in arts and entertainament photography. Kate Murphy is a multi-media visual artist who also works on community art projects and Declan Cody is a artist who has been painting since he was a teenager and has exhibited in galleries in Dublin, Cork, Wexford, Berlin and New York but never Nepal before. His work has been purchased by Wexford County Council, Kompass Ireland and the Office of Public Works. Elizabeth Whyte said Wexford Arts Centre is 'delighted to support Wexford-based artists travelling to Nepal to exhibit at the Siddhartha Gallery in Kathmandu with the support of Culture Ireland'. Elizabeth will give a talk at the gallery and will also explore the possibility of future collaborations and exchanges between Nepali and Irish artists and arts institutions.

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