The Uncertainty of History: Remembering Eileen Quinn | Bernadette Burns at Galway Arts Centre

The Uncertainty of History: Remembering Eileen Quinn | Bernadette Burns at Galway Arts Centre


10/01/2020 - 21/02/2020    
10:00 am - 5:30 pm


Galway Arts Centre
47 Lower Dominick Street, Galway, Galway

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Bernadette Burns’ multimedia art practice of focuses on memory and change, on how there are many strands and versions of a story rather than a single factual truth. The paintings, sculpture, audio and artist’s books in this exhibition grew from a diary entry by her grandmother Tessie Burns referring to the shooting of Eileen, her younger sister.

Ist November 1920 (Monday)

My sister, Eileen Quinn was shot at Corker by the Black and Tans at 3pm, she died at 10pm. She was 25 years old.

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon of 1st. November 1920, Eileen was standing at her front garden gate holding her infant daughter Tessie, and was with her two young children Alfie and Eva. She was seven months pregnant. Two trucks drove along with ‘Auxiliaries’  in them. Someone from the first truck shot Eileen and they continued driving. She was brought into her home, and survived to tell the story to a few visitors. It took a long time for the doctor and priest to get there, and she slowly bled to death, dying after 10 that night.

This exhibition explores family memory as a valid addition to the canon of history.

Bernadette is a painter who works with drawing, photography, sculpture, video and book making. Bernadette was a lecturer in Fine Art at the Dublin Institute of Technology for many years. She was one of the instigators of BA Visual Art, an innovative honours degree programme delivered by DIT on Sherkin Island. She has given up teaching in order to focus on her own art practice. She has exhibited her work in Ireland, Spain and Greece.

Exhibition opening 6pm Friday 10 January by Dr. Siún Hanrahan

Orla Higgins will give a talk on Saturday 11th January entitled Reprisals – the short Life and tragic Death of Eileen Quinn.
Gerard Quinn will give a talk on Saturday 18th January ‘Legalised Illegality – Reflections on the Killing of Eileen Quinn in the Irish War of Independence and the Value of Forgiveness

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