COMING HOME: ART AND THE GREAT HUNGER EXHIBITION
In the period from 1845 to 1849, Ireland was experiencing one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of Europe. The great famine, caused by a potato blight, killed over a million of victims, and an another million was forced to emigrate to the unknown lands. In result, the population of the country was reduced by, at least, one-quarter of the 9.2 million people. Even though Ireland was an integral part of the United Kingdom, the most powerful Member States of that era, did not grant too much help. Throughout the four years, people died from starvation, malnutrition, and diseases.
The Great Hunger exhibition at the Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle, provides an insight into many aspects of the Great Irish Famine. Through amazing pieces of paintings, sculptures, audio and video tools, you get an idea of what life looked like back in those times. It also aids in the understanding of the terrific measures the Irish people had to go through in order to survive.
As Ireland is my second home, I decided to visit the exhibition to get a better understanding of my friend’s and co-worker’s past. The vivid imagery and the poem called “Slievemore: The Abandoned Village” by John F. Deane really touched me, and the short video led me to an edge of shedding a tear. It is heartbreaking to see how the lives of those people had changed over such a short period of time.
I strongly agree with the main message of the exhibition. The impacts of the famine should be stressed and reminded in order to cease the possibility of such disaster happening again. If you’re like me, and you prefer to take your time, reading and taking in the information slowly, then I highly advise you to go and visit the exhibition. It’s the real definition of beauty and pain. There are no entrance fees, therefore you have no excuses why you shouldn’t dedicate some of your time to see the artwork.
I experienced it, have you?