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Big London showcase for the art of Ireland

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 07/05/2015

Artist Rita Duffy and son Conor Kelly
Artist Rita Duffy and son Conor Kelly

A painting of a hand-knitted sweater from Belfast-born artist Rita Duffy will take pride of place in a major exhibition of Irish art.

The Art Of A Nation exhibition will take place in London from next week.

The Geansai (Irish for sweater) is one of 70 works from the Allied Irish Bank's and Crawford Art Gallery Collections on show at the Mall Galleries from May 13-31.

The oil is based on a small Aran sweater that Duffy's mother knitted for her son, Conor.

Drawing on Allied Irish Bank's collection of paintings, photography, tapestry, sculptures and video, the exhibition includes works by many of Ireland's greatest artists over a 125-year period.

It references key moments in Ireland's history with works by Aloysius O'Kelly, Sir John Lavery, Sean Keating, Jack B. Yeats and Paul Henry, among others.

It is being presented in collaboration with the Republic's Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.

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