The Mystery of Broighter

The Mystery of Broighter was a recent exhibition that I presented in a number of galleries.

  1. The Roe Valley Arts Centre, as part of the Derry City of Culture year.
  2. The exhibition then travelled to the Sean Holywood Gallery, Newry, The Duncairn Arts Centre, Belfast and the Signal Arts Centre, Bray, Co Wicklow.

This exhibition featured important new works exploring the important discovery of the mysterious ancient Broighter Boat Gold Hoard - themes of spirituality, time dimensions, story telling and journeys; presented through sculpture, painting and installation.

The Broighter Boat and Gold Hoard are one of Ireland’s most unique national treasures; the treasure was discovered by a ploughman Tom Nicholl in 1896, as he worked in a field outside Limavady.

The National Museum of Ireland believes that the Boat may have been a spiritual votive offering, probably to Manannan Mac Lir, Irish God of the Sea.   According to Irish mythology Manannan resides in Lough Foyle.

My recent exhibitions of bronze and wood sculptures, paintings and installation work explore many themes especially the idea that boats are a means of transportation to other worlds and dimensions. One important piece on display is a large scale bog oak sculpture based on Manannan’s mythical boat known as ‘The Wave Sweeper’, that was believed to be commanded by his thoughts.

It is fantastic to have the opportunity to explore themes and artefacts of the Broighter Boat story and its mythology.  The more you delve into this story the more intriguing it becomes.  Besides the visual art for this exhibition I also collaborated on the composition of a unique and beautiful soundtrack celebrating the discovery of the Broighter Boat, performed by Jenny and Paul, singer songwriters from New Zealand.

See gallery for images from Broighter exhibition.