Contemporary Art & Design in the heart of
Irish Horse-racing


Take the Curragh turn-off from the motorway, and the Kilcullen Road across the Curragh, and you will come to Summerhill house, and Simply Art. Summerhill House was formerly Mallicks Hotel at the turn of the century, and was aresidence for John Redmond of the Irish Nationalist Party.

The location is an historic one, adjacent as it is to Donnelly's Hollow, where 17 years after the 1798 rebellion, an Irish hero emerged, in the form of Dan Donnelly, to take the world heavyweight bareknucklw boxing title from its British holder, George Cooper, for a purse of 60 sovereigns. Donnelly, who was later knighted, was reputed to have had a reach that extended beyond his knees while standing erect. Over 20,000 people travelled the 28 miles from Dublin to Donnelly's Hollow to witness the event, and Simply Art is hoping to attract some of their descendants back, according to Mary Fehily-Hobbs, Simply Art's owner.

"I wanted to create in Simply Art a relaxed and informal atmosphere in a period house, which rolls directly onto the the lovely open spaces and walks of the Curragh. Although I call it a shop, I suppose it is really a gallery, choc full of one-off works of art and design from a fantastically talented array of artists, including many newcomers from all over the country, including Northrn Ireland. I also have some work from Belarus, Scotland and Wales.

I think it is the mix and the presentation which people appreciate, ranging from beautiful Raku from andy Russell in Co. Clare; works in crank clay from Olwyn Ellis Brady in Cork; wood turnings from Louth; combined copper, metal and ceramic clocks from Scotland, and hand built ceramics from Co. Donegal, Belfast and Co. Kilkenny."

There is plenty for everybody, with prices ranging from a couple of pounds for hand made ornamental candles, to over 1,000 for a 17th century Bowman, carved from sycamore. I wanted to make Simply Art a highly enjoyable place to visit, presenting no barriers between people and beautiful works of art, at prices they can afford. The works are ideal as personal gifts, particularly for weddings, and as personal items to enjoy. They also make good corporate statements, instead of the usual crystal offering. A carefully selected one-off piece of art can say fantastic things about your company and how you value your clients.

Although Simply Art's opening hours are from 11am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, groups can also arrange to visit by appointment outside of these times, by giving us a ring at 045 441063. Or e-mail us at fdm@fcs.iol.ie


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