At the recent launch of the ’10 Originals Celebrate’ exhibition at Etain Hickey Collections in Clonakilty, well-known author David Mitchell, in his opening speech, compared the shop and gallery to the ‘Tardis’ from the science fiction Doctor Who TV series (an innocuous phone box on the outside, inside the Tardis is a labyrinth of wonders).
To celebrate her 10-year anniversary, Etain invited 10 artists to create work for the exhibition using the theme of ‘Celebration’: Eadaoin Harding Kemp, Muriel Hoey, Paddy McCormack, Hilary Nunan, Christina Jasmine Roser, Alison Ospina, Michael Ray, Julian Smith, Pat Connor and Jim Turner.
Mitchell spoke to a packed house as he went on to extol the shop and gallery, saying how fantastic it is and in such a wonderful place like Clonakilty.
In the past decade the gallery has hosted numerous exhibitions with emerging and established artists and makers. “I am immensely grateful to those artists and makers for their remarkable creative talents and to my many wonderful customers who have encouraged and supported me,” says Etain.
On behalf of all the artists and craftspeople that have exhibited in the gallery over the years, Alison Ospina of Greenwood Chairs thanked Etain for providing a space in which their work can be seen and purchased.
“Of course she is not only providing a space — what is special is the way she displays the work. Etain has a great appreciation of beautiful objects, be they paintings, pottery, jewellery or indeed chairs!
“She also has a great eye and a wonderful knack for displaying things in an imaginative way. Over the years this tiny space has been host to literally hundreds of beautiful objects and she always finds new ways to show them.
“Etain Hickey Collections is a great asset to Clonakilty and to the whole of West Cork. It is unique and one of a kind!”
Etain says she loved making her own ceramics and organising exhibitions. “To ask a diverse group of makers including ceramics, metal, automata, textile and painters, to interpret the same theme and then see what develops always inspires a great exhibition and of course my own creative work.”
Etain’s individual work has been widely exhibited both in Ireland and abroad as far afield as San Francisco and Tokyo and is in many public and private collections.
Etain has always loved patterns; tapestries, Persian carpets, icon paintings and Islamic art with its rich colours are all strong influences in her highly decorated pieces.
At her shop in Clonakilty, Etain brings together the best of West Cork art, craft and design to showcase the wealth of talent in the area. From ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, metalwork, baskets, to work from Green Wood Chairs and paintings by a selection of different artists — there is something to suit every taste and budget.
‘In the Flow’ exhibition, featuring 10 new makers, opens at the gallery on August 14. The exhibition will include Sarah Farrelly Ceramics, winner of the Etain Hickey Award at the Irish Contemporary Awards 2014.
Etain Hickey Collections, 40 Ashe Steet, Clonakilty, 023 8821479. Find EtainHickeyCollections on facebook.