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'For The Hills' – first solo Donegal exhibition for Orla McHardy

Orla McHardy 

A month long exhibition featuring the work of a Donegal Town artist opened at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny on Friday night


39-year-old Orla McHardy left her native town twenty years ago to attend college. She returned home in 2013 to begin making the work for her current exhibition which is called ‘For the Hills’ which features the landscape around Donegal Town. 


Indeed ‘For The Hills’ is Orla’s first solo exhibition in the county. It includes new and recent animations, films and sculptural installations. The artist returned to Donegal, allowing the place to function as the main generator and backdrop to this body of work. She attempts to record the complex interactions linking her memories of her home place, the landscape and the people that had become interrupted, disconnected and reconnected again over time. The artwork inhabits a poetic territory that straddles the intuitive and the conceptual.


Looking forward to the event Regional Cultural Centre (RCC) Manager, Shaun Hannigan, said “we are delighted that the RCC was in a position to host this exhibition, particularly as Orla was a local artist whose work had its roots in Donegal.  Events like this copper fastened the fact that the RCC was one of Donegal County Council's Cultural Flagship venues and an ideal location for such a prestigious exhibition” he said.


Currently based in Dublin she is on research leave from her position as Assistant Professor of Animation, Dept. Kinetic Imaging at VCU University in Richmond, Virginia, US.

Orla graduated with an MFA from the Dept. Film, Video, New Media and Animation at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BA in Animation from the National Film School, Dublin, Ireland. 


Her work spans across traditional single channel films made for broadcast to mixed media site-specific gallery installations. She has exhibited internationally and her films have been included in prominent international film festivals. She has been the recipient of many awards, most recently the Irish Film Board’s Frameworks Award. ‘For The Hills’ was made with the support of an Arts Council Ireland /An Chomhairle Ealaíon Film Project Award in 2012.

This exhibition is part of a year-long programme of events curated by Eilís Lavelle. and is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, Curator in Residence award in partnership with Donegal County Council, Regional Cultural Centre and the Glebe House and Gallery (Derek Hill Collection, OPW).


The exhibition will continue until Saturday, April 25.

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