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Betty’s legacy remembered through art

The “Home” art exhibition will be held at Cultúrlann Sweeney in Kilkee from August 30 to October 2 in memory Betty Cauldwell, the artist who passed away in April, 2020.
Having been born in Kilrush in 1926 and educated there thereafter, West Clare’s sea and landscapes feature in the legacy that Betty leaves behind.
She was the eldest of five children of Dr Dick and Enid Counihan, and studied in University College Dublin to become a dentist, only taking up painting in her 50s and continuing to paint until her eyesight began to fail, shortly after her husband, Peter Cauldwell, died in 2001.
Betty spent most of her life in England with Peter, a fellow dentist who wrote poetry in his retirement, but the pair returned “home” to West Clare as often as they could throughout their lives.
Betty trained at Lichfield School of Art and exhibited with the Lichfield Society of Artists and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, winning several awards including the Armour-Brown prize in 1991.
It was during the following year that Betty exhibited in Kilkee at Krazy Krauts Gallery, receiving a surge of commissions afterwards to reproduce wonderful Clare seascapes, rural pictures and portraits.
One of Betty’s original paintings is on permanent display in Kilkee Library, depicting the local Moore Bay; it is an action picture of Kilkee Air Sea rescue.
The picture was temporarily moved to an exhibition commemorating Caitriona Lucas, the Irish Coast Guard volunteer who lost her life on September 12, 2016 during a search – a premature and deeply tragic death that all Kilkee remembers.
This exhibition aims to capture the essence of Betty’s style and her growth as an artist from simple sketches to the later immensely detailed and textured paintings, and will include Kilkee coastal scenes, Lahinch Golf Course, fruits and flowers, portraits and unique art.
Through the exhibition, Betty’s family are hoping to raise funds for the local charity, West Clare Cancer Centre, with all sales being donated there.

by Conor Clohessy

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