Unique event remembers Nano – Independent.ie
The Highlanes Gallery Drogheda will mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Louth-born Irish artist Nano Reid with a unique exhibition celebrating his life, work and legacy.
damantine is a word suggesting something daring, unshakeable, powerfully itself, attributes that belong not only to Reid’s work, but to the way she lived her life.
Born in Drogheda in 1900, Nano was an expressionist artist largely influenced by the landscapes and life of Drogheda. She determinedly worked her way through a largely male-dominated artistic landscape to become one of the most exciting and original artists of her generation, with a rich, dark and evocative style of her own.
The exhibition will present more than 50 of his works, borrowing from major public collections such as the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Crawford Art Gallery, the Arts Council of Ireland, the Ulster Museum ( National Museums, NI), not to mention the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection and many private collections across the island.
Through the Department of Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, the gallery received two grants under the Regional Museums Exhibition Program to activate research and commission new texts in a wide range of perspectives and disciplines including art history, community history and creative writing and by writers such as Nathan O’Donnell, Roisin Kennedy, Kathryn Milligan, Niamh Campbell and Brendan Matthews.
Themes explored will include gender in art, yesterday and today; history and mythology in urban and rural environments (especially his beloved Boyne Valley and Drogheda); and ethnicity and belonging (Reid had a deep commitment and interest in the Irish Traveler community).
To mark the exhibition, two important gifts will be offered to the Highlanes Collection: the first is the artist’s personal Paint Box, complete with brushes and paints, donated by artist Roger O’Reilly; the second is Rath Bran Mhór, a painting that has not been seen in public since it appeared in the prestigious “Twelve Irish Painters” exhibition in New York nearly 60 years ago. This was donated by former art dealer David Britton and art historian Karen Reihill.
A new book on the life and work of Nano Reid will also be published to coincide with the exhibition which will launch in mid-November with a weekend seminar.