On ‘Return to Irelantis’

Talk by SEAN HILLEN on Return to IRELANTIS
Tuesday 30 March 6.30pm at the
Alliance Francaise

Sean Hillen was raised in Newry and studied at the Belfast College of Art. In 1982, he travelled to London to continue his studies at the London College of Printing, and then at the Slade School of Fine Art.

The Man from IRELANTIS shows many examples of his highly acclaimed work from the 1980’s up to his most recent and talks about its genesis and history. Best known for his ‘Irelantis’ series, where competing myths and visions cohabit a deliciously witty montage, Hillen is one of the most significant artists of his generation. Hillen has also undertaken sculptural pieces, most recently the Omagh Bomb Memorial which has received both popular and critical acclaim.

As the ‘Irelantis’ images have come to be seen as the most vivid and emblematic expression of the dreams and anxieties of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland, his works from the ‘Troubles’ era, based on his own gritty photographs, have become more widely-known internationally and are now studied as masterworks of the medium.

The ‘Irelantis’ images have since burrowed deep into Irish culture, appearing on nearly 20 book covers and in this exhibition the public will get a rare opportunity to see several of the delicate almost miniature original collages, together with a selection of a new definitive edition of archival prints.

Read a review here from the Irish Independent

Admission free
RSVP: info@alliance-francaise.ie

‘Return to Irelantis’, by Sean Hillen


Opening: Thursday 11 February at 6:30pm
12 February – 10 April
Admission free

To launch the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Alliance Française in Dublin, a collection of acclaimed work by the important Irish artist Seán Hillen will be shown for the first time in Dublin since the 1990’s.
Best known for his ‘Irelantis’ series, where competing myths and visions cohabit a deliciously witty montage, Hillen is one of the most significant artists of his generation.
Hillen has also undertaken sculptural pieces, most recently the Omagh Bomb Memorial which has received both popular and critical acclaim.
As the ‘Irelantis’ images have come to be seen as the most vivid and emblematic expression of the dreams and anxieties of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland, his works from the ‘Troubles’ era, based on his own gritty photographs, have become more widely-known internationally and are now studied as masterworks of the medium.


The ‘Irelantis’ images have since burrowed deep into Irish culture, appearing on nearly 20 book covers and in this exhibition the public will get a rare opportunity to see several of the delicate almost miniature original collages, together with a selection of a new definitive edition of archival prints.

From the book’s introduction by Fintan O’Toole
“Seán Hillen’s Irelantis images are maps of a world in which the imagination is part
of reality, the visual equivalent of the sound the sun makes as it sinks into the sea.
As soon as they strike the eye, Hillen’s collages also hit whatever remains of
the bold child within us. They have the lawless energy that impels people to draw
moustaches on photographs of the Mona Lisa, or to decorate mundane stories with fantastic lies…”

A full colour catalogue presenting the exhibited work will be available for sale at the Alliance Française.

Check also
Sean Hillen: http://www.seanhillen.com
Irelantis: http://www.irelantis.com

‘EXHALE’ by Mandy O’Neill

EXHALE by Mandy ONeillEXHALE by Mandy ONeillEXHALE by Mandy ONeill

Norman Mailer has stated that boxing is a metaphor for life. Investment of time and energy in a tradition like boxing can be explained through the desire to achieve stability in a rapidly changing world. It may also engender a yearning for a more vital existence and a longing for authenticity. In this photographic work, Mandy O’Neill uses the world of the amateur boxer to explore such ideas and to examine aspects of the human condition.

These images were taken over a two-year period at St Saviours Boxing club, Dorset St in Dublin.

Mandy O’Neill is a Visual Artist based in Dublin. She graduated with a BA in Photography from the DIT College of Photography in 2005. She has recently exhibited at ‘RUA RED’ Dublin 2009 and the RHA Dublin 2009.

Alliance Francaise
1, Kildare Street , Dublin 2

Opening Thursday 26 November at 6.30pm
Admission free
27 November 2009 – 6 February 2010