Donnacha Cahill at ballYnahinch

We at The Whitethorn Gallery are privileged to present this exhibition of Donnacha Cahill’s wonderfully whimsical sculptures, in the beautiful surroundings of the Walled Gardens of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel.

The oldest landscaped gardens in Connemara. Originally designed by Rachel Lamb, and lovingly and expertly renovated and maintained by Cian Cunniffe and his team, they have opened their gates to us, and allowed us to exhibit a selection of Donnacha’s endearing woodland creatures which will make you smile, laugh out loud, or just roll your eyes with their unique personalities. They will most certainly entertain you as you sip a coffee, and partake of the delicious homemade treats on hand in the most restful of surroundings. Donnacha, a Fine Art Graduate of The Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, specialises in Bronze and Steel Sculpture. He has created his own family of endearing creatures full of mischief and fun. For more information on Donnacha check out his biography.

Was born as a result of a Public Commission for a School situated along the Eiscir Riada. which is a system of Eskers, or elevated ground that stretches across the middle of Ireland traversing the boggy land between Dublin and Galway, allowing people safe passage across the bogs for thousands of years. Our hare is a Guardian for the School. He is also on the lookout to protect his family from people who used to travel along the Eskers to catch Hares for coursing.

All the Hares in Donnacha’s collection are based on the Inquisitive hare in whimsical incarnations and story lines. They are the other members of his family if you will. Donnacha has his own ideas about their individual stories, which you will see in the descriptions below – However he also likes people to come up with their own narratives for the various forms and is always interested to hear these stories…

Came about as a result of the Inquisitive Hare trying to get across to Hare Island in Galway Bay. A safe haven for his family, free from most predators – He’d need Scuba Gear!

Is the Super Hero – flying over the dog tracks, teasing the dogs and distracting them so that the Hares on the course can escape.

He is the fighter. Defending himself and the family from predators (and in the walled garden in Ballynahinch from the big Bronze Monolith towering over the family!)

Based on a family of Goats that live in the Sleive Aughty Mountains spanning Galway and Clare. Malachy is part of a trilogy – he is the mature Male. They were brought in as domestic farm animals in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds. Their families have long since gone, and they are all that remain of these lost settlements.

Based on The Galway Races. This lad is trying his luck on the Horses – he probably shouldn’t be there – but what else is there for doing during that week in Galway!

Is the Curious Scientific one, he is so obsessed with his hobby that he needs the Inquisitive Hare to look out for him while he is absorbed in his study.

Again based on the deer of the Sleive Aughty Mountains. The deer wander around and you can come across them if you approach downwind – Fawn is about catching one of those fleeting moments in time.

He is the party animal. Slightly irresponsible, organising the social events while the others look out for him.