|Filter A-Z by Artist|
|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z|
Bernard Canavan’s paintings are figurative and deal with Irish and emigrant life; in particular of the make do life of Irish people in the UK in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In this exhibition, which could be described as social realism, we see the pain of women and men, girls and boys, leaving home for an unknown destination for the first time and records the change they felt moving from rural Ireland to the big anonymous atomised city. We see the indignity of the boat train, the apprehension of the new arrivals, the harshness of the building sites, the limited horizons, the crowded pubs where men went ‘home’ to drink their dinner, how big men were worn down. This was a different world where men did not always look after themselves, a world of subbies, piece work, being ‘on the lump’, of tunnels and motorways, of smokey dancehalls, of isolation and sometimes of heroic lives.
HISTORY TEACHING AND SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Since then Bernard has taught Irish and European history at various London colleges and has had a number of solo and mixed shows in Britain and Ireland:
May 2003 'The Backward Glance' at the Irish cultural Centre, London
November 2004 'Nurses and Navvies: Remembering the 60s London Irish' also at the centre.
March 2006 'Over the Water' an exhibition of paintings at The Gallery, Willesden Library
March 2007 'Scenes from a Receding Childhood' Longford County Library
June 2007 'Ireland and the Irish' exhibition at the Excel Centre, Tipperary Town
October 2007 'Ireland and the Irish' an exhibition on Irish identity at Cork City Library
November 2007 'The Streets of London' at the London Irish Cultural Centre Gallery.
February 2008 ‘Encountering the Future’ at the Dublin City Library and Archives,
March 2008 Exhibition of paintings on the theme of Irish Identity at the London City Hall.
November 2008 ‘The Faithful Departed’ at the Irish Cultural Centre, London
September 2009 ‘Changing Times’ Dublin City Library and Archive
March 2010 ‘Emigrant Ireland’ Seven Gallery, Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds
July 2010 solo exhibition at Environmental Summer School and Arts Festival, Lanesboro, Co Roscommon opened by Brian Keenan.
March 2011 Solo exhibition of paintings at the Irish Club Tudor Street, London
May 2011 ‘Pictures of A Vanishing Ireland’ Laois Bealtaine Festival, Portlaoise, Co Offally.
2009-2010 ‘The Quiet Men’ A touring exhibition of paintings by five Irish artists at the Pitshanger Gallery, Ealing opened by Fergal Keane, the ‘Celtic Fringe’, Liceo de Noya, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2009), and Villanova University Art Gallery Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA (2010).
My work in public collections: Limerick University; Ruskin College, Oxford; Longford County Council, Libraries Department; and in many private collections.
They have also been the subject of the film documentary ‘Half Lives’ in 2009 by Anna Bowman which was premiered at the Tricycle Theatre Kilburn http://cotleighstudios.co.uk/halflives.html); and featured on Ireland’s TV3 Channel, in a two part documentary, ‘The Forgotten Irish’ broadcast in 2010 and repeated in 2011.