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Cathal Butler. Photograph by Eugene McCafferty

Plans for an interactive exhibition of Clare

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NEW paintings of iconic Ennis scenes have gone on display at the West County Hotel. They were painted by Cathal Butler, and he explained that they follow on from earlier pictures he painted of famous Clare locations.
“Initially I did ten and as you walk into the foyer they are on the right and left hand sides. They are of places like Bunratty Castle and Loop Head lighthouse,” he said.
“Then I did another five recently, which are of Ennis itself.”
The idea for the Ennis scenes came following a competition, where people were invited to send in photographs from the town. Cathal then selected his favourite five photographs whcih were then turned into paintings.
As well as the paintings, Cathal has further plans and wants to create an interactive exhibition that can be used to promote the Banner abroad.
“There’s a group called The Pub Runners, an American group, who are in Ireland at the moment on a tour. They came along on Tuesday to sing It’s A Long Way From Clare to Here,” he said.
“There’s going to be a virtual tour of the exhibition, with a video of that added to it. Potentially the exhibition could be a kind of a travelling roadshow. It could be taken to places like London or Boston.”
He also wants to add videos of people talking about the places captured in the paintings.
“When it’s finished there is going to be a small framed head shot of people with each picture,” he said.
“These will be head shots of people who have reminisced stories about the place pictured. As the exhibition travels around the world, people will be invited to do a video clip if there is a picture that strikes a chord with them. That will be added to the exhibition as well.
“When it’s finished, if it was in New York or somewhere, you could look at the picture and click on a QR code with the headshots for people reminiscing on stories.
“There would be information under the picture and you could click on another QR code to be brought into a virtual tour of Bunratty Castle or wherever. The idea is that it would organically grow. There is a generation now that is the last connection to an older Ireland. The idea is to capture some of that, and hopefully it will attract people who wouldn’t necessarily go to an art exhibition.”
Cathal is an artist, registered as a professional member the VAI or Visual artists Ireland, and works from EASI Art Studios in Ennis.
He mainly does landscapes in oils and has done several collections for hotels around the country.
He has previously exhibited in some of Clare best venues and galleries including exhibitions at the Scariff Library Gallery in East Clare and the Clare Museum in Ennis as well as in the Cultúrlann Sweeney Gallery in Kilkee in West Clare.

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About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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