OPW delighted to host 'Derek Hill and the View from Donegal'. An exhibition of the visionary work of Donegal’s Adopted son at The State Apartments, Dublin Castle

20 June 18

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is delighted to host 'Derek Hill and the View from Donegal', an exhibition of the visionary work of Donegal’s adopted son at The State Apartments, Dublin Castle.  The exhibition to be officially opened today at 5.30pm by Joe McHugh,T.D.,  Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht explores Hill’s time in Italy in the 1950’s, his close association with Tory Island and the folk artists there, and features many of the highlights from his collection of artworks and objects.  Hill’s legacy is also examined with a look at the contemporary art scene in Donegal.

The portrait painter Derek Hill lived in Donegal from the early 1950’s until his death in 2000.  He left his home and collection to the people of Ireland.  It is now known as the Glebe House and Gallery.  Derek first arrived in Donegal in the late 1940’s as a guest of Henry McIlhenny to stay in Glenveagh Castle and, like many who visit, fell in love with the countryside and the pace of life in West Donegal.

Speaking in advance of the opening of the exhibition Minister Joe McHugh said, "As a native of Donegal it is my great pleasure to open this exhibition.  It is important to say at the outset that this exhibition is only a small representative sample of the wonderful collection, which was bequeathed to the State by Donegal’s adopted son Derek Hill.  Hopefully this exhibition will encourage you to take a trip to Donegal and visit the Glebe Art Museum which is the oldest art institution in the North West."

Donegal acted as an inspiration for Derek Hill’s painting, due to the remarkable, almost horizontal light, often seen from under cloud on the long summer days.  The Donegal weather can be unpredictable but that suited Derek - he painted quite quickly and could catch countryside illuminated by the ever-changing light around him.  Derek saw Donegal as a landscape of closed vistas, with subjects often seen framed between the lines of the hills.

Minister McHugh went on to say, "There’s a strongly family oriented cultural programme and an active and successful education programme at the Glebe.  The Glebe Art Museum operates partnerships with Donegal County Council, The Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny, and The Earagail Arts Festival.  The county has a particularly good history of delivering world class visual art programmes in rural environments.  Derek Hill was ahead of his time in his appreciation of the beauty of Donegal; only last year National Geographic named Donegal the coolest place on the planet.  I am particularly delighted that the Glebe Art Museum has ambitions to develop and grow, to continue to bring the legacy of Derek Hill to the public and to provide a space for the best of contemporary exhibitions in the North West."


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Notes to Editors:

Photography will be available after the event from Julien Behal Photography, E-mail: julienbehalphotography@gmail.com, Telephone: 087 978 2542.

Derek Hill donated his home, studio, and gardens to the Irish People in the early 1980’s and it became the Glebe Art Museum. The Museum opened in 1985. It is now the oldest Art institution in the North West.  Derek’s contribution to the arts in Ireland was acknowledged by the Government, when Derek was made an honorary Irish Citizen in 1999.

The exhibition at the State Apartments also includes works by James Dixon, Pietro Annigoni, Giacomo Manzu, Emilio Greco, Paul Henry, Jack Butler Yeats, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Cecil Beaton, Basil Blackshaw, Roderic O’Connor, Mainie Jellett and Edward Molyneux.

Visitors can visit Derek Hill’s home from the start of June until the end of September each season, and much of this exhibition is drawn from the permanent collection.  The Gallery, formerly his studio, provides a venue for visiting contemporary and historical art exhibitions.  The Glebe Art Museum runs an Open Art Competition every Easter, which has become a highlight in the artistic calendar of the North West.  The last room of this exhibition includes work by artists who have recently exhibited at the Gallery. The gardens are open all year round from dawn until dusk.  Touring exhibitions, like this one, are a feature of the Glebes exhibition programme.


Exhibition:                   Derek Hill and the View from Donegal

Location:                     State Apartments, Dublin Castle

Dates:                         Daily until 20 August 2018

Times:                         Monday to Sunday 09.15 – 17.45 (Last admission 17.15)

Website:                     www.dublincastle.ie

Admission:                  Admission included in your ticket to Dublin Castle (for ticket prices and visitor options see dublincastle.ie)