A Broken Sky Revisited by Jack Pakenham

Opening Wednesday March 4th

A Broken Sky Revisited

These works are an intensely personal reflection on the experience of living in Northern Ireland over the last twenty years and are Jack Pakenham’s way of ‘making sense’ of working as an artist in this complex and disturbed society. They are as relevant in 2020 as in 1996.

“Nothing is as it appears to be;
Nothing is ‘only itself’
People must come to see the paintings with their own memories and allow the poetry to speak.”

Jack Pakenham, February 1996.

 

 

A Broken Sky Revisited

Jack Pakenham is without doubt one of Ireland’s most interesting artists. He was born in Dublin in 1938 and has lived most of his life in Belfast which he considers his native home. He graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1959 where he read Philosophy, French and Spanish. He taught English in a Belfast Secondary School from 1961 to 1990, all the time painting and writing. He has painted full-time since then and has exhibited regularly nationally and internationally since 1960.

‘A Broken Sky’ is a collection of sixteen large canvasses produced between 1989-2020 exploring and inspired by the early and middle years of the Troubles, in a way which only someone like Pakenham can with his deep philosophical thought and social awareness.

‘Revisited’ these works are as deeply and poignantly relevant and significant today as they were in 2020. As Eamonn Mallie wrote in 2005:

“Playing out before our eyes are the many manifestations of cruelty, grotesqueness, disorder and brokenness within relationships and within our community….
Pakenham assumes the role of political and social commentator or note taker holding up a mirror constantly in a shattered state symbolically reflecting the increasingly dysfunctional community which was his world and is still ours.”

Those who know Pakenham’s work will recognize the drama, vulnerability, anxiety, sadness, unease in the work, juxtaposed by the courage and fearlessness of his willingness to challenge. The ventriloquist’s doll, the clown and the bride are never far away. For those less familiar this work ‘A Broken Sky Revisited’ at Sea Holly is an ideal opportunity to get up close and personal with this incredible body of work.

Pakenham himself will be present in the gallery regularly, and there will also be the opportunity to view Paul Yates’ documentary film for BBC Northern Ireland which examines his motivations behind this particular series of work.

Everyone welcome. Opening hours and days will be confirmed.

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Find out what’s going on
 at The Sea Holly Gallery by email

Give us your email address and we’ll make sure your plans for the week are sorted, every week. No rubbish advertising and no giving your details out to every Tom, Dick or Harry. Promise.

How to find us

  • Sea Holly Gallery
  • Above the Harp Bar, 35 Hill Street, Belfast BT1 2NB

T: 07754510618

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