ODYSSEYS marks the centenary of James Joyce’s modernist masterpiece Ulysses, which was published in Paris on 2 February 1922. The exhibition offers an exploration of journeys through art, from Ancient Greece to 1920s Samoa, with a special focus on Joyce’s own often overlooked relationship with Cork. Ulysses holds many parallels with Homer’s Odyssey, turning the hero of the latter’s epic voyage home into Leopold Bloom’s day-long journey across Dublin. Joyce would himself depart Ireland to live in Trieste, Pola, Rome, Zürich, London, and Paris.
Closer to home and connecting with his earlier novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), this exhibition traces Joyce’s semi-autobiographical experiences in Cork – his father’s native city – through the fictional character of Stephen Dedalus. A chapter from the new documentary, James Joyce: Framed in Cork (dir. Marcella O'Connor), accompanies works from the collection by artists Louis le Brocquy, Mahrea Cramer Lehman, Harry Aaron Kernoff, Norah McGuinness, among others.
ODYSSEYS also embraces the wider sense of journeys in art, from the mythic to the everyday, and from leisurely travel to necessary migration. In what ways do journeys shape our identities, express our desires, and define our existences?
Brian Maguire, 'Arizona 3' (2020) and Isabel Nolan, 'Electrons don't have scars.' (2020) are both in the collection of Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.
ODYSSEYS features artworks by James Barry, Alfred Bendiner, Henry Bishop, Alicia Boyle, John Carr, Patrick Collins, Aoife Desmond, Rita Duffy, Agnes Frost, Robert Gibbings, John Gilbert, Beatrice E. Gubbins, Derek Hill, Seán Keating, Raymond Kelleher, Harry Aaron Kernoff, Louis le Brocquy, William John Leech, Mahrea Cramer Lehman, Daniel Maclise, Brian Maguire, Alice Maher, Yvonne Mariotte, Norah McGuinness, Cormac Moore, Walter A. Mulligan, Peter Nash, Isabel Nolan, Padraig O'Conchubhair, Roderic O'Conor, Robert Lowe Stopford, Mary Swanzy, John Verling.