Shorelines: Dublin Painting and Sketching Club Celebrates 150 Years!

Posted 1 month ago in Arts & Culture Features

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

This month sees the Dublin Painting and Sketching Club (DPSC) mark its 150th anniversary with Shorelines, a gorgeous new exhibition celebrating the history of the club, and the vibrant culture of traditional art practice focusing on maritime subjects in Dublin today.

The 80-strong co-operative of artists currently includes some of the most exciting painters and sketch artists in Ireland. Founded by renowned maritime painters Dr William Booth Pearsall FRCSI and Alexander Williams RHA, the club has a long history of capturing and documenting life along Dublin’s shorelines.  An etching by Pearsall depicting a tall ship moored at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay featured in the club’s 1880 exhibition, and is the first etching ever produced in Ireland as an original artwork.

Past members of the historic club include Nathaniel Hone, John Butler Yeats and Bram Stoker, and in the late 19th century, members would frequently take to the Iris, a shallow-draft yacht owned by member George Prescott, to sketch, paint and photograph along the Poolbeg Peninsula, in often perilous weather conditions.

This fascination with the sea and its shoreline clearly continues amongst members today, as  evidenced in Shorelines, the vibrant new exhibition chronicling the varied seascapes of Dublin. The show contains brand-new works from some of Ireland’s most exciting and dynamic artists, who bring an immediacy to the life of the sea across paintings, etchings and sculpture.

Kathrine Geoghegan Bull Island Tangle 60x60cm

The rich catalogue of works on display reflect the varied perspectives and approaches the club has nurtured throughout its rich history. In all the exhibition includes 55 paintings and one sculpture from 33 members of the club, all based around the life of the sea. These include artist Kathrine Geoghegan’s Bull Island Tangle, which portrays seaweeds washed in on the tide at North Bull Island. Through vivid acryllics with oil glazes, this stunning work finds beauty in the familiar and puts a spotlight on the treasures of Dublin Bay.

Meanwhile Dave West’s richly textured High Tide, Balbriggan Harbour reveals an interplay between light, shadow and reflection across a row of boats at berth in this captivating piece painted at Balbriggan Harbour.

This exhibition is the latest in a dynamic calendar of programming at The Substation, a venue for exhibitions, events, lectures and performances. It follows the success of Solidarity: The Dockers of Dublin Port, an exhibition on the subculture of the dockers curated by The Little Museum of Dublin.

The Substation is part of DPC’s Distributed Museum, which includes The Diving Bell on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and The Pumphouse, a venue for artist residencies and workshops in Dublin Port’s Heritage Zone. The Distributed Museum route will be connected through 5.3km of dedicated cycleway and pedestrian walkways in the Port estate and the surrounding area. The Distributed Museum is part of DPC’s Port-City Integration programme to increase public access and celebrate Dublin’s Port-City heritage.

Aidan Hickey Fish below the Kish

Shorelines runs from March 8th to 20th at The Substation on Alexandra Road, courtesy of the Dublin Painting and Sketching Club  and Dublin Port Company (DPC). 

It is open to the public from 11am-4pm, Monday-Saturday, and admission is free.

Featured Image: Dave West, High Tide, Balbriggan Harbour

Words: Martina Murray


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