Imogen – a unique exhibition at the Coach House Dublin Castle

Imogen – a unique exhibition at the Coach House Dublin Castle A young girl interacts with the Imogen exhibition.

Imogen Stuart RHA has long been a fixture of the Irish art scene, and her works can be found in so many church and religious foundations, that many people will be familiar with her skills as a wood carver without knowing they are.

Last week RTÉ One broadcast a film about her created by her grandson cineaste Emile Dinneen, but currently (and until February 18, 2024) the Office of Public Works is hosting a representative exhibition of her work in the Coach House Gallery, Dubhlinn Garden, in Dublin Castle (close to the Chester Beatty Library and Museum which is always worth a visit). Admission is free. This is a unique vision of her work over some 70 years.

As our picture (courtesy the OPW) clearly demonstrates this is an exhibition for all the family, and touching the exhibits is allowed. So that young art enthusiasts can with their own hands feel the faces emerging from the wood in which they are imagined by the artist: a great experience.

Imogen was born in Germany in the last years of the Weimar Republic, before the advent of Hitler in 1932. She married Ian Stuart, the son of novelist Francis Stuart and Iseult Gonne, Maud Gonne’s daughter.

She is one of a fractured clan, but as an artist her background is of less import. To the visitor she is very much her own person. She is very much influenced too by a mixed artistic heritage, but the style of the Irish Romanesque can be seen in her many pieces.

The OPW has brought together some 60 small and medium scale works in wood, stone, marble, bronze, cast iron and also on paper created from 1947 down to the present day. The religious themes that are a part of her outlook since the 1950s place her as one of the few authentic religious artists in the Ireland of our era.

This is an exhibition to be enjoyed by all the family, in one of the finest settings to be found in Central Dublin.