In 1914, attracted by the beautiful scenery and the low cost of living, the charismatic Australian artist Margaret McPherson took a party of lady art students to Bunmahon on what is now Ireland’s Copper Coast. In the 19th century Bunmahon had a thriving copper mining industry. Unfortunately the ore ran out and the industry collapsed. The villagers now struggled to survive on subsistence farming and fishing. Nonetheless McPherson wrote about the area ‘such cliff scenery, it’s quite heroic’.
With the advent of war in Europe, Margaret relocated from Paris to London where she studied ceramics and design. In the summer of 1914, aged 39, Margaret travelled to Bunmahon in Southern Ireland with her friend and assistant Gladys Reynell. They returned again in the summer of 1915. While lodging cheaply with the local people Margaret ran a summer school teaching painting and woodblock printing. Twenty one students attended the summer schools including the New Zealand born artist Edith Collier. Edith attended both years.
Painter and printmaker Margaret Rose McPherson (later Preston) is regarded as one of Australia’s leading early 20th century modernists.
from the Edith Collier’s Bunmahon Heritage Society.
Following on from the success of last year, on Saturday 10th of June 2017 we held our second Bunmahon Gala. This year we were part of the Copper Coast festival. The sun shone on upon us, much to everyone’s delight and great fun was had by all. Our gratitude to those who attended and gave so generously.
We had surprise guests on the day. A curious coincidence brought Rob and Amanda Collier all the way from New Zealand to share the Gala with us. Rob is the grand-nephew of the artist Edith Collier. They happily agreed to become our guests for the afternoon and judged the costume competition.
The Edith Collier’s Bunmahon Heritage Society would like to thank everyone who made the Bunmahon Gala such a fantastic success this year! Our Period Costume Competition prizes were generously sponsored by Devereux Manshop The Copper Coast B&B and the Copper Coast Geopark The staff and children of Knockmahon National School kindly hosted our event. The students created a filmed history project with the help of Angela Mulcahy. It was screened on the day, and it was enjoyed by young and old.
Our special thanks to all those who worked preparing and helping on the day; Breda Colfer, Seamus O’Brien, Mary Daye Guiry, Gretta Whelan, Orlaith Hamersley, Shirley Walsh, Helen Walsh, and Katherine Walsh. Thank you to those who donated cakes and treats for the tea room and prizes for the tombola special thanks to Rosie O’Donoghue.
We are delighted to have with the help of the public pinpointed the location of the Edith Collier painting “Farmhouse” more about that soon!
The Sarjeant gallery in Whanganui New Zealand recently sent us a digital copy of a painting that we hadn’t seen before.
The painting titled ‘Farmhouse’ depicts a building nestled in a green valley with a stream. Jennifer Taylor Moore, curator of the Sarjeant gallery, has given the Edith Collier’s Bunmahon Heritage Society permission to reproduce the oil painting. We will have the reproduction on display at our Gala on June 10th and we are trying to pinpoint the local site which inspired Edith Collier. We would love to hear where you think the location of the painting is, as would the Sarjeant gallery! Last year we successfully identified the location of the watercolour ‘Buildings and Boilers’. A reproduction of this painting will also be on display. The 2017 Bunmahon Gala on June 10th is part of the Copper Coast Festival. The event is in aid of the Bonmahon Community Society and will take place in Knockmahon school between 1pm and 5pm on Saturday June 10th. A wide selection of activities are planned such as old fashioned lawn games, a tombola, historical costume competition, photo booth, and more. Fun for all the family, entry is free and all are welcome! see http://www.edithcolliersbunmahon.wordpress.com for more details.
Preparations are under way for the 2017 Bunmahon Gala on June 10th as part of the Copper Coast Festival. The event organised by the Edith Collier’s Bunmahon Heritage Society is in aid of the Bonmahon Community Society and will take place in Knockmahon school between 1pm and 5pm on Saturday June 10th. A wide selection of activities are planned such as old fashioned lawn games, Mrs. Colfer’s famous tombola, historical costume competition and more. Fun for all the family! Our friend Seamie O’Brien will be MC on the day.
The children from Knockmahon school will also unveil their latest innovative history project. The audio visual presentation by the school children is a short video of the pupils dressed as their favourite historical figures connected with Bunmahon and giving a brief description of their lives. One of the historical figures will be Edith Collier. The video will be researched, written and directed by the children themselves. The children will also have a stall selling herbs, jam, and more on the afternoon.
We are delighted that Devereux Manshop in Dungarvan will sponsor the first prize for the best dressed man in our historical costume competition. The Copper Coast Geopark will sponsor the best dressed boy and girl. Best dressed lady prize will be sponsored by Copper Coast B&B.
Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday June 10th!
Edith Collier the artist from New Zealand visited Bunmahon in 1914 and 1915, she was so inspired by the people and locality that she produced in excess of 70 paintings drawings and wood block prints during her stay. Edith used many of the paintings and drawings for reference and inspiration long after she left Ireland.
The Sarjeant gallery in Whanganui New Zealand have recently sent us a digital copy of a painting we haven’t seen before. The painting titled ‘Farmhouse’ depicts a building nestled in a green valley with a stream. Jennifer Taylor Moore curator of the Sarjeant gallery has given the Edith Collier’s Bunmahon Heritage Society permission to reproduce the oil painting, we will have the reproduction on display at our Gala day in Knockmahon NS on Saturday June 10th, we would love to hear where you think think the location of the painting is as would the Sarjeant gallery! Last year we successfully identified the location of the watercolour ‘Buildings and Boilers’ a reproduction of this painting will also be on display.
The “Bunmahon Gala” on the Saturday June 10th is part of the Copper Coast Festival. Enjoy a fun filled afternoon in aid of the Bonmahon Community Society on the lawn of Knockmahon NS. Vintage inspired activities will include a historical costume competition, tombola, bun fight, an audio visual history presentation by the students of Knockmahon NS, Edith Collier display, and much more! Admission is free and gates open at 1pm refreshments will be served in our tea tent.