British ambassador opens first Hunt exhibition of Year of Culture

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Agnese DiDonato, museum curatorial intern; British Ambassador Dominick Chilcott; Georgina Garrigan, museum curatorial intern; artist Hughie O'Donoghue and Dr Hugh Maguire, Hunt Museum director, at the launch of Mr O'Donoghue's exhibition A Need for Gardens
A SERIES of works by renowned British artist Hughie O’Donoghue forms the opening exhibition of Limerick City of Culture 2014 at the Hunt Musuem.

A SERIES of works by renowned British artist Hughie O’Donoghue forms the opening exhibition of Limerick City of Culture 2014 at the Hunt Musuem.

A Need For Gardens is based on two enormous stained-glass windows Mr O’Donoghue was commissioned to undertake for the hallowed Henry VII Chapel at Westminster Abbey, final resting place of Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and several other British monarchs.

Launching the exhibition in Limerick, British Ambassador Dominick Chilcott referred to the Manchester artist’s deep Irish roots.

“Not only are these works commemorating a significant milestone for British people but the artist Hughie O’Donoghue himself represents an important link between our two peoples. He is widely recognised as one of the foremost painters in Britain and Ireland today. And having his studies here in Limerick, in the shadow of the medieval cathedral, links our common medieval heritages,” said the Ambassador.

The Hunt goes into the Year of Culture on the back of a record year for visitors in 2013 but faced with what director Dr Hugh Maguire said was “a significant reduction” in annual funding. The exhibition gallery was nevertheless reserved “well into 2015”.

A Need for Gardens runs until January 21.