European bankers come bearing art to Limerick

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'Splendour of Myself IV' by Zofia Kulik features in the 'Belonging' exhibition.

OFFICIALS from the European Investment Bank (EIB) were in Limerick this morning when the purpose of their visit had more to do with art than commerce.

The artistic element was on display at the launch of ‘Belonging’, an exhibition of 82 artworks from all 27 countries of the EU and the UK, which is on loan from the EIB art collection.

Limerick is the first non-capital city to host the exhibition which will be displayed in eight locations across the city until April 24. Admission is free.

Belonging is a pivot for the European Expo, a series of exhibitions, seminars, events, and celebrations over the course of 2022 that communicates national and European culture and cooperation in art and creativity, education, environment, and economics.

The artworks have already inspired creative responses from the students of Technology University of the Shannon: Limerick School of Art and Design in this 50th anniversary year of Ireland’s accession to the European Union.

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EIB President Werner Hoyer said the art collection was a quintessentially European body of work offering a wide spectrum of artistic creation. Its focus reflects the EIB’s role in promoting economic and social development in Europe.

Mayor Daniel Butler said it was significant that the exhibition has the idea of ‘Belonging’ at its heart.

“Limerick is a city where everyone can belong and is very much part of Europe. This prestigious exhibition will offer a very significant European profile to Limerick, truly demonstrating our European Embrace. I hope that Belonging will attract many visitors and give people an opportunity to further explore the wonders of Limerick”

Hunt Museum Director Jill Cousins, who  is producer of the exhibition said it demonstrates through Art the importance of belonging, belonging to our parish, our country, and the European Union.

“It shows the similarities of our struggles and challenges. We are very grateful to the EIB for the loan of this incredible collection to Limerick and thank all the seven partner venues across Limerick City for their huge efforts and collaboration to make it happen,” she added.

The artworks will be on display at the Hunt Museum, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Mary Immaculate College, Sailors Home, People’s Museum, St Mary’s Cathedral, and the University of Limerick’s Plassey House, Bourn Vincent Gallery, and East Room.

Renowned European artists such as Paula Rego, Sean Scully, Isobel Nolan, Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor, and Jannis Kounellis will feature. as well as artists with a strong European connection such as Andy Warhol,  Marlene Dumas and UK artists Fiona Rae and Callum Innes.