Three brand new exhibitions will officially open next weekend as part of this year’s Earagail Arts Festival visual arts programming.

There are a number of free visual arts exhibitions being hosted in various locations around the county as part of this year’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

REMAINS, a new video installation by Willie Doherty will officially open at the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny on Saturday, 7 July at 7pm.

The installation was filmed in a number of locations in Derry, Northern Ireland, used since the early 1970’s to carry out kneecappings, a form of punishment shooting used to control drug use and other forms of so-called ‘anti-social behaviour’.

It builds on Doherty’s interest in the relationship between landscape and memory and in working in locations that are contaminated with untold stories; some forgotten, some half remembered or unacknowledged. REMAINS is on loan from the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Everyone welcome to the exhibition opening! REMAINS will be exhibited at the RCC until 22 September.

Tradition and Innovation, a selection of works from the Royal Hibernian Academy Collection, officially opens at Glebe House and Gallery on Sunday, 8 July at 3pm.

The Royal Hibernian academy is at the very heart of Irish culture with a core remit to support contemporary art and artists in Ireland. It holds the nations oldest and largest open submission exhibition, with the 188th RHA Annual Exhibition running this summer between 22 May and 11 August. As the Academy nears its 200-year anniversary, this exhibition showcases a selection of artworks by more contemporary academy members.

Featured artists include Charles Harper, Richard Gorman, Alice Maher, Eithne Jordan, Maeve McCarthy and Academy President Mick O’Dea. Everyone welcome to the exhibition opening! Tradition and Innovation will be exhibited at the Glebe until 2 September.

Meanwhile, later that evening in Gaoth Dobhair, there will be another official exhibition opening at 8pm, namely Kate Nolan’s Lacuna.

Lacuna is a photographic and audio/visual installation on the border village of Pettigo, County Donegal. Flowing through the centre of the village the River Termon, spanned by three bridges, marks the physical border between County Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland and County Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland.

The exhibition weaves together still and moving images, recorded stories and a commissioned score by Gavin O’Brien to evoke the tangible and intangible, natural and constructed nature of the border. ‘Lacuna’ is presented in partnership with Gallery of Photography Ireland. The exhibition will remain at An Gailearaí until 24 August. Everyone welcome to the opening of Lacuna.

Other exhibitions

There are a number of other free exhibitions taking place through the festival, including Donegal Now at An Grianán Theatre a group exhibition especially curated by the RCC for this year’s festival featuring ten leading Donegal artists. The exhibition will open on Monday, 9 July and will be on display until 17 August.

North West Showbands at Donegal County Museum in Letterkenny opens on Wednesday, 11 July And will be open until31 August. This is an exhibition of photographs and memorabilia from the golden era of the Irish showbands.

A Lost Moment at the RCC curated by Sean O’Hagan, focuses on the short period in Northern Ireland from the early Civil Rights marches to the first killing of the Troubles in summer 1969. Using photography, film, ephemera (posters, badges, pamphlets, periodicals), and recorded interviews, the exhibition shows the often overlooked Civil Rights struggle as a time of collective hope, optimism and even innocence before the onset of the Troubles. The exhibition opens Tuesday, 10 July and closes 4 August.

Following last year’s sumptuous ‘Bothóg’ installation, built out of paper using origami techniques, RCC artist-in-residence (2017-2019) Cathal McGinley continues his exploration of his family home place on the small uninhabited Inishbofin Island, County Donegal. Inishbofin also opens Tuesday, 10 July and closes 4 August.

For a full list of Earagail Arts Festival events click here or pick up a copy of the brochure, which has been distributed around the north-west.

Earagail Arts Festival is funded by the Arts Council Ireland, Donegal County Council and Fáilte Ireland.