Light Exhibition Opens In Downpatrick Museum

Architecture of Light Exhibition opens up at Down County Museum

A new exhibition of work by artist Sheena Devitt and the pupils of Holy Family Primary School, Teconnaught, will opened today (23 June) at Down County Museum.

The exhibition is the culmination of an Arts Council of Northern Ireland funded project which encourages artists to work in collaboration with local communities and schools to develop new work and provide opportunities for young people and others to explore artistic techniques.

Pictured are pupils from the Holy Family Primary School in Teconnaught with their principal Chris Curran; Arlene Matthews, Down County Museum Keeper of Collections; Mike King, Museum Curator; Sheena Devitt, sculptor and artist; Newry Mourne and Down District Council Vice Chairperson, Cllr Willie Clarke.

The exhibition runs through the summer and autumn. Admission to the exhibition is free. The Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Roisin Mulgrew, said: ‘This exhibition features beautiful examples of carving on marble and sandstone all lit to show the amazing play of light and shadow in the designs.

“The drawings that accompany the pieces created by the artist and the pupils of Holy Family Primary School are wonderful and the project has been a great success in creating a unique artistic collaboration between a local school and artist, the museum and McConnnell’s. I would encourage people to visit it and experience the atmosphere of tranquillity it created.”

This project focused on using drawing and stone carving as a way of researching the use of light, space and proportion in Cistercian Architecture, in particular Inch Abbey, Downpatrick.

Based near Saintfield, Sheena Devitt carves into stone and slate to create site specific sculptural artworks. She trained in drawing and painting and stone letter carving and is the recipient of numerous awards. Her work has been on display in galleries in Ireland and Scotland she is particularly interested in pieces that are related to landscape and the influences of shape, texture and light.

As well as pieces created by Sheena and stone carvers at McConnell’s Stone Carvers, Kikeel, the exhibition includes pieces of sandstone carved by the pupils of Holy Family Primary School, Teconnaught.

The pupils participated in the project leading to the exhibition spending time with Sheena to learn the basics of stone carving, taking part in drawing and design workshops with her and working on carving in the museum. They also visited sites in the local area to see how buildings, topography and building styles relate to ideals and styles of architecture, the use of light and shade and how the function of buildings relate to their construction and vice versa. Pupils spent time at Inch Abbey, Down Cathedral and the old gaol buildings of the Down County Museum to learn more about the world of stone carving.