Artistic insight into Shannon aviation goes on show at airport

Shannon Airport Group chief executive Mary Considine with artist Philip Brennan at his exhibition launch.

A COLLECTION of paintings inspired by Shannon’s aviation history and biodiversity, has gone on display at Shannon Airport.

The exhibition ‘Rineanna/Shannon Time Past,’ by renowned Clare-based artist Philip Brennan, will run for six weeks in the airport’s transit lounge.

The paintings, which were influenced by a collection of photos taken at the airport from the 1930s onwards, depicts aircraft from a bygone era and the airport environs.

Wings of both metal and feather feature in this series of water colour paintings by the Newmarket-on-Fergus native, due to the airport’s location in the original townland of  “Rineanna” which means “meeting place of the birds”.

Speaking about the collection, Philip said: “I have been working on this project since 2018 and am finally delighted to have it completed and on display in the very place that inspired it.

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“Since 1974, I have spent a great amount of time in the environs of the airport and have lived nearby since then. In that time, I’ve done a lot of observation of the bird life at the estuary and the airport lagoon.

“In the mid-eighties, I was taken on as the airport ornithologist to advise on bird hazard issues as well as being involved in the relocation of wildlife found on the airport grounds.

“The spur to start this collection came from old photos that featured all sorts of activities since those early days at the airport, from the building of ‘The Base,’ as it was called locally, to the sowing and harvesting of grain crops.”

“All of these things have contributed invaluable material for this project. Of course, it is an enormous topic, and this show just scratches the surface. However, it is a start.”

Launching the exhibition in the airport transit lounge, Shannon Airport Group chief executive Mary Considine said that, given his work over the past 35 years as airport ornithologist and his love of the airport and its wildlife, it was fitting to host the collection at Shannon Airport.

“This is a unique opportunity to engage the public in local art, while visually communicating that rich history of aviation, innovation, and biodiversity that all forms part of Shannon’s story,”  she added.