28 April to 16 June 2017 | Opening: 27 April, 7.30pm
Solstice Arts Centre, Railway Street, Navan, Co. Meath
Sven Anderson, Patricia Burns, David Farrell, Clare Langan, Mick O’Dea, Niamh O’Malley, Sasha Sykes
‘A Name Unmade: Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917)’ is an exhibition of new and recent work by contemporary visual artists presented in response to the life and work of the Meath poet, naturalist, activist, nationalist, and soldier. Curated by Sabina Mac Mahon, select archival and biographical material, as well as excerpts from Ledwidge’s poems, also accompany the show, which takes place on the occasion of Solstice Arts Centre’s tenth anniversary.
Ledwidge was born and lived most of his life just outside Slane but was killed in action during preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres. Frequently referred to as “the poet of the blackbirds”, his early work was inspired by the countryside of his home county and the majority of his poems focus on an emotionally intense exploration of the connection he felt to the landscape in which he grew up. Taking as its title a line from ‘Soliloquy’, one of Ledwidge’s best-known poems, this exhibition aims to re-introduce Ledwidge, his life-story and his work to the wider Irish public by exploring, both in relation to Ledwidge and in a wider sense, the conjoined themes of love and loss (of home, friendship, family, romantic love, place, idealism) that were central to his work.
‘A Name Unmade’ is accompanied by the display of ‘Francis Ledwidge: Ireland’s Soldier Poet’, a graphic novel produced by the Nerve Centre, Derry.
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