John Kingerlee retrospective a highlight of the Beara Arts Festival

July 17th, 2016 5:35 PM

By Southern Star Team

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BEYOND the Beyonds is a retrospective of the work of artist John Kingerlee which will be on show at this year’s Beara Arts Festival. 

Conceived by art collector Larry Powell and curated by Beara Arts Festival director Marc O’Sullivan Vallig, the exhibition will feature over 100 works from 1962 to the present.

Kingerlee, an English artist of Irish ancestry who turned 80 this year, moved to the Beara peninsula with his wife Mo in 1982, living first in Cleanagh and later in Kilcatherine in the parish of Eyeries. 

The couple are converts to Islam, and regularly visit Morocco, where they maintain a second home. They became naturalised Irish citizens in 2004.

Kingerlee exhibited regularly in Cork, Dublin and Belfast before coming to the attention of Newry-based businessman Larry Powell in the early 2000s. 

‘Powell began buying art in the 1960s, and his private collection of Andy Warhol’s artworks was once the largest in the world,’ explained Marc. ‘He was so smitten by Kingerlee’s paintings, and particularly his Grids series, that he assembled an exhibition to tour museums across America.’ The tour, which began in Dallas, Texas in June 2005, continued through New York, Florida, California, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Philadelphia and Oklahoma before returning to Texas for a final showing at the Visual Arts Centre in Austin in October 2010.

Powell’s faith in Kingerlee’s talents as an artist remains undimmed. This year, he has organised exhibitions in Athlone and Dundalk. ‘He is delighted to bring the Beyond the Beyonds retrospective home to Beara, where Kingerlee produced so much of his iconic work,’ Marc added.

 The exhibition is supported by the Arts Office of Cork County Council and Castltownbere Development Association.

 A public seminar on John Kingerlee’s work, featuring guest speakers Dr Medb Ruane, Alannah Hopkins, George Kingsworth, Gerard Gibson and Larry Powell, will take place at Beara Community School in Castletownbere from 11.30am to 1.30pm and 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Saturday July 23rd. All are welcome.

Beyond the Beyonds opens at Beara Community School in Castletownbere at 2pm on Sunday July 24th. The Beara Arts Festival runs from July 23rd – August 5th.

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