From Galway to Leenane: perceptions of landscape
15 June - 6 October 2013
Curator: Anne Hodge
In 2008 the National Gallery of Ireland acquired a collection of 41 watercolours of West of Ireland scenes by the English topographical artist William Evans of Eton (1798-1877) who taught at the famous public school. Evans travelled to Ireland in 1835 and 1838, touring around Galway and Mayo, recording images of the landscape of Connemara and its inhabitants. Few images of pre-Famine Ireland exist and Evans’s watercolours help us to understand life in the West of Ireland in the first half of the nineteenth century. These rare watercolours were included in this exhibition for the first time since they were acquired. Evans’s traditional watercolours were shown alongside new work by Irish artist, Wendy Judge, who examined the idea of virtual travel and the authentic experience. Two sculptural landscapes, together with related drawings, looked at how perceptions of landscape can be mediated through travel, literature and art. While loosely related to Evans’s watercolours, these works, specially created for the show, aimed to prompt visitors to think about the connections between Victorian and contemporary travel and tourism.