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Exhibitions on the double in Ennistymon

TWO exhibitions are about to go on display in the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon, both running from August 16 to September 12.

Ennistymon: Vanishing Heritage is a photographic exhibition by The Old Ennistymon Society, celebrating the architectural, economic and social heritage of the North Clare town. Artist Hilary Gilmore is behind Of Stones and Flowers, an exhibition of pen and ink illustrations and watercolours.

The Old Ennistymon Society is having the exhibition to commemorate its 21st anniversary. The voluntary organisation was responsible for preserving the local courthouse and turning it into The Courthouse Studios and Gallery.

It will be launched on August 16 at 8pm with an official opening reception by Ennistymon native Eddie Stack, author and lecturer, and all with an interest in Ennistymon are cordially invited.

On August 21 at 8pm in the gallery, there will be a heritage discussion illustrated by the film I Was Happy Here depicting many of the streets and buildings shown in the exhibition. The following morning, there will be a town walk at 11.30am, which will be led by Frank Davis, Frances Madigan and John O’Loughlin.
Hilary Gilmore is a Galway native, long resident in the Banner County and her exhibition will feature illustrations done over many years for a local publication.

“It’s work from The Other Clare, over the years. I’ve been involved with it for nearly 30 years. The Shannon Archaeological Society brings it out and the exhibition is of illustrations from it.”
She said she finds some of the old sites around the county inspirational.

“I always go to the places I’m going to draw. I find it wonderful, the work of the long-dead masons and sculptors, who feature in The Other Clare. That has inspired me really.

“I also have a few botanical studies in the exhibition as well, of flowers that I love. I’m a member of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists, a newly founded group that I was invited to join.”

The illustrations generally take her a while to complete. “I start it at the site and work on it there, I take photos and do numerous drawings. It could take me a few weeks to do it.”

She said she doesn’t have one favourite illustration or archaeological site but there is a type that she particularly likes. “I don’t know really but things catch my eye if they’re very intricate and if they are inspired by flowers.”

Creativity is certainly in her family, as one son is responsible for the sculpture of hands beside the Cathedral in Ennis and another son is also active in the arts.

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