Castle Coole To Host Unique Basement Art Exhibition With National Trust

The National Trust in partnership with a voluntary committee, the Castle Coole Exhibition Group, is delighted to announce their upcoming spring art exhibition at Castle Coole.

The exhibition will feature works from a wide range of artists, most of whom have roots in Fermanagh.

Bronze sculpted head_Peter FlanaganThey include, Amanda Brooke, Lois Eadie, Jane Fallis, Philip Flanagan, Louise Hardman, Jeremy Henderson, Rachael Johnson, Susan Mannion, Patricia Martinelli, Ann McNulty, Mavis Thomson and Rosemary Wilkinson, a variety of artists who will ensure a diverse range of work that will add depth and interest to the exhibition.

Of the twelve artists whose work is on display, five have exhibited before. Mavis Thompson celebrates her contribution this year with a new departure: very colourful abstract collages, youthful and joyful, belying her octogenarian status.

She will also include one of her objet trouvé constructions, a tribute to her friend Joan Trimble, the composer, entitled ‘Sonatina’. The work, which was shown at the Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition in 2015, is a fitting acknowledgement of the composer’s centenary year.

Many of the artists this year are women with highly successful careers, like Susan Mannion, who was recently awarded an artist residency in Japan to undertake an intensive study of the Japanese woodcut tradition.

Philip Flanagan, one of the male artists, is a scion of the ancient Fermanagh family, and has established an international reputation, first as a sculptor and, more recently, as a painter. We are very privileged to include six of the sculpted heads which formed part of his Bronze Voices exhibition which was shown in prestigious museums and galleries round Ireland.

Water Goddess_Susan MannionJeremy Henderson also has an international reputation and is part of a love story, tragically cut short by his untimely death exactly seven years ago. Jeremy met Patricia Martinelli in 1993 in London.

It was the beginning of sixteen years together. Five each of their paintings are shown together which movingly demonstrate their profound admiration for and influence on each other’s creativity.

An introduction to all of the artists and a preview of the art works on show at the Castle Coole Gallery is available online at

Jim Chestnutt, National Trust Fermanagh General Manager said: “We are very pleased to be hosting this exciting exhibition at Castle Coole. Once again we are delighted at the standard and quality of the work being exhibited.”

The exhibition will be open daily from Saturday 23 April to Sunday 1 May from 11am-4pm. The Tallow House tea-room will also be open throughout the exhibition. Normal admission charges to Castle Coole apply with National Trust members enjoying free entry.

All proceeds from the Castle Coole Gallery go towards the conservation charity’s ongoing restoration of Castle Coole Basement.

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Abby Williams
Belfast based author/writer specialising in entertainment, mental health and human interest.