Be That As It May Exhibition and Book Launch

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 10:00 to Friday, November 17, 2017 - 17:00
Library Foyer

A stalwart tale of friendship, creativity and determination to be heard amid the clutter of everyday life prompted two long time friends to create an exhibition, which speaks to many women who are busy ‘getting on with the getting on’. The two women, coming from entirely different artistic genres - one  poet and one visual artist - saw the value, beauty and amazing synergy that existed between them as women and artists, resulting in a joint show and book launch on 13 November in Maynooth University Library, at 19:30. Be That As It an exhibition that will run in the John Paul II Library in Maynooth University from 1 to 17 November 2017. The show is a result of a collaboration between two  artists – poet Clare O’Reilly, and visual artist Nuala O’Dea. The title ‘Be That As It May’ comes from an acknowledgement that life for many women is not planned but a glorious tapestry of unforeseen events, each in their own way important in their unimportance. Funding was received from Kildare County Council and Nass Credit Union to whom they are most grateful.

The two artists are inspired and motivated to make art by their daily lives - typical of many women - Mothers, Daughters, Wives. Both seek beauty in the ordinary through their work and this shared process led them to respond to each others art, allowing them to connect with, and appeal to a broad spectrum of people. Their work blends together and overlaps in many places. Both are driven by similar artistic inspirations, seeking to find and see meaning in people’s everyday lives. They each wish to capture moments in time - memories or experiences that are commonplace but whose importance is elevated beyond the mundane in their significance. In this book and show, they have an open dialogue with the audience through their work; engaging hearts as well as minds - stimulating thinking and emotional responses and encouraging participation in their artistic conversation, which they hope inspires others to join in.

The artists:
Nuala O’Dea has worked as a second level art teacher for over 20 years. She studied Fine Art in DIT; Art and Design Teaching in NCAD and has a Masters in Digital Media Technologies. She works in a range of areas including fine art, teaching, and graphic design. Her work utilises a variety of processes including photography, sculpture, embroidery and digital media. She has exhibited in both the Royal Hibernian Academy and the Royal Ulster Academy annual exhibitions as well as in Vanishing Art, a sculpture trail in Carton House, Maynooth.

Clare O’Reilly’s work has been broadcast and published widely in Ireland. She has received various awards, including the first prize in Poetry Ireland / Trócaire Unpublished Poet Competition, The Jonathan Swift Poetry Awards, Crawford Art Gallery Poetry Award and the Charles Macklin Prize. Her poems have featured in the Sunday Tribune for the Hennessy Award for Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, The Honest Ulsterman, Skylight 47, Golden Pen Journal and the Midir and Etain Anthology. A teacher, living in Maynooth, Co Kildare, her short stories were broadcast in the Francis McManus Awards, Book on One, on RTE Radio. Her stories have been shortlisted for the Over the Edge Writer of the Year Award; Fish Short Story Prize; the Colm Tobin International Short Story Award, Books Ireland. She was recently awarded second place in the Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition. Much of her writing focuses on the experience of the new ‘Irish’ in Ireland and the ambivalent feelings that arise in both societies as they change traditions and narratives.

For further information please contact:
Clare O’Reilly, tel: 086 1547905, e-mail:, or see more here