Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, TD launched Sarah Pierce’s ‘Pathos of Distance’ exhibition in the National Gallery of Ireland. The exhibition centres around 42 images relating to Irish migration, created between 1813 and 1912. The images have been brought together from around the world and have been photographed and reproduced to scale. Pierce presents the images in a series of sculptures constructed from items of second-hand furniture.
Speaking before he launched the exhibition Minister Deenihan said:
“It is a great honour to open this impressive exhibition and I am keen to support its aim of exploring the visualisation of the Irish Diaspora both through research and the creation of new, contemporary artwork.
“I think this exhibition will spark new debate and discussion about, and within, our diaspora, about our cultural heritage and our identity and I look forward to taking part in this conversation. I would like to sincerely thank Sarah Pierce for her work and also Donal Maguire of the National Gallery for curating and managing this project, and Katy Milligan and Andrea Lydon for their work on researching it. I would also like to thank the ESB for supporting the project so generously.”
Against a backdrop of change in our own society the exhibition examines diaspora as a means of reflecting on our own cultural identity. Through a diverse range of images ‘Pathos of Distance’ reveals a variety of approaches to the visualisation of the Irish diaspora.