Elizabeth Cope | Last Picnic on London City Island | 2020 | Oil on canvas
For Culture night 2023 the Arts Council will once again proudly showcase a selection of works recently added to its extensive Visual Art Collection.
To celebrate the evening we are sharing some insight on each of the artist and artworks which will be on display:
‘I began this painting in December 2019 and finished it in February 2020. London City Island is in the east end of London, not far from the Millennium Dome. Canning Town Underground is the closest train station that links you to the island,
via a red iron bridge. Recently London City Island has been developed by an Irish man, from Co Kildare, who has built skyscrapers, fifteen stories high. Everyone lives there, including many Somali people. (I painted in Somalia on two occasions with
Trocaire in the 1990s’). London City Ballet is here, as is the Princes Drawing School, they are bringing in supermarkets and other businesses. London City island was marsh land or slop land, surrounded by the River Lea, which is a tributary of the
River Thames. The painting is of Sybil having a picnic. The sea lion has been seen swimming up as far as the Houses of Parliament. I started to work there in June 2019 until lockdown in March 2020.’
Irish Artist Elizabeth Cope was born in 1952 in Co. Kildare. She currently lives and works in Co. Kilkenny.
Cope has exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world for the past 40 years and is found in many important public and private collections.
The Arts Council Collection was established in 1962 and now comprises almost 1,350 works of modern and contemporary Irish art.
This year we are delighted to once again welcome audiences to the Arts Council buildings on Merrion Square to engage with some our most recent acquisitions.
Works by many of Ireland’s leading artists will be shown on the night including pieces by: Elizabeth Cope, Miriam De Búrca, Mollie Douthit, Justin Fitzpatrick, Marie Holohan, Helen Hughes, Catriona Leahy, Jialin Long, Kevin Mooney, Doireann Ní Ghrioghair,
Emma Roche, Mark Swords, Amna Walayat and Orla Whelan.
As well as this glimpse into the Arts Council Collection for Culture Night, artworks can be seen all year round throughout the country as part of exhibitions and long term loans in public buildings such as hospitals, universities and schools.
Explore the Collection and more on our website here.