‘Paintings inspired by churches in Limerick, Ireland and Europe’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Popular local artist Kate Hennessy is set to open a new exhibition at the Augustinians Church in the city. Picture: Adrian Butler
WORKS by acclaimed artist Kate Hennessy go on display in the Augustinian Church, O’Connell Street from Wednesday.

WORKS by acclaimed artist Kate Hennessy go on display in the Augustinian Church, O’Connell Street from Wednesday.

Between October 15 and Friday October 31, the walls of the church will be decorated with depictions of holy buildings from across the world.

The artist from Naughton’s Place in the city, is putting a series of her works on display which are inspired by churches in Limerick, Ireland and across Europe.

These include her own take on the Dominican’s Church in Baker Place, with the order set to leave the city after 800 years.

She has also painted a mosaic representing an angel from the Redemptorists Church on the South Circular Road, plus Spanish Angels, at the cathedral in Toledo, central Spain.

Kate says this exhibition is her contribution to Limerick’s City of Culture celebration.

She said: “I believe that churches were the art galleries of the Irish people. Long before I fell in love with Jack B Yeats ‘Chairoplanes’ in the Carnegie library, Pery Square, I was taken to Mass every Sunday, and often Benediction too. It was in these buildings that I enjoyed the sculpture, mosaic and stained glass, not to mention the woodcarving and floor designs.”

Kate recalled that when she was around the age of seven, her grandmother took her to the Franciscan’s Church - ironically the place she later set up a studio - where she was forced to sit through three Masses in a row.

“I amused myself by drinking in the beautiful glittering mosaic of the Coronation of the Virgin in heaven, and I felt I was in heaven myself,” she recalled.

Kate remembers witnessing a tile design in front of the high altar showing two interlocking arms. Initially, she thought it must be a man and a woman, only later realising it was in fact St Francis receiving the stigmata. The exhibition is open between 9am and 5pm every day.