The Sligo Wave
Fri. 31 May 2024 – Sat. 7 Sep. 2024

Tinka Bechert / Daniel Chester / Patrick Collins / Barrie Cooke / Patricia Doherty / Patrick Hall / Ronnie Hughes / Hazel McCrann / Seán McSweeney / Nick Miller / Cormac O’Leary / Andy Parsons / Emma Stroude / Cléa van der Grijn / Lorna Watkins / Jack B Yeats


7pm   |  Exhibition Preview with special guest Brian Leyden
8pm   |  Drinks Reception
9pm   |  After-Party with Dónal Dineen's Backstory Summer Dance and special guest Hewan Mulugeta €10*

8 – 10pm   |  Catering by Koha Street Kitchen €15*


There is no alphabets, no grammar, no rules whatever’
Jack Butler Yeats


The Sligo Wave provides an opportunity for audiences to explore Sligo’s place in the development of painting in Ireland. For over a hundred years, the county has attracted many different generations of artists to find inspiration in the ever-changing light along its rugged Atlantic coastline. This show features work that demonstrates this strong association with the medium – from the iconic painter Jack Butler Yeats, who won the silver medal for painting at the Paris Olympics in 1924 – to successive generations of artists connected to Sligo from the mid-twentieth century onwards.

While the artists represented in The Sligo Wave approach painting in myriad ways, they all have the ability to meld pigment into beautiful fields of cobalt, jade, crimson or tangerine, to offer us images that hum with an essential energy. In many of these paintings we feel a deep connection to the North-western landscape. Mountains meet the sea in dramatic form. Bog pools, foggy marshes, stars and sunlight create ethereal visions, and animals take on charged, new mystical meanings.

The themes expressed encompass the physicality, spirituality, fragility, and temporality at the heart of the human condition, articulating on canvas ancient knowledge and emotions that go beyond words. The dynamic processes that underpin these paintings find their way to the viewer in playful and unexpected ways, through abstract and figurative representation, and states of being are expressed through form, light and colour.

You are invited to contemplate these exciting gestures, from that of an electric elk, a rising swan, and a human kiss; to a winter dawn, a cluster of stars, or a sudden godbeam of light.

On the occasion of this exhibition, author Brian Leyden has written a poetic response to what it means to live and work as an artist in Sligo, which can be read in the galleries. The exhibition continues until 7 September.

The Sligo Wave is funded by Creative Ireland.


* Tickets for the After-Party can be bought online here or at reception & food tokens will be available at reception on the day of the opening.


The Sligo Wave is funded by Creative Ireland, Sligo.

Sligo County Council


Current Exhibitions