‘HOME’ art exhibition at Cultúrlann Sweeney Gallery, Kilkee
This wonderful exhibition is in memory of Betty Cauldwell (née Counihan), the artist who passed away in April, 2020. Betty’s discerning eye and her ability to capture the essence of her subject is truly reflected in this exhibition which runs from 30th August to 2nd October, 2021.
Betty has left us a wonderful legacy to include outstandingly beautiful west Clare sea and landscapes. Born in Kilrush in 1926, the eldest of five children of Dr Dick Counihan and Enid (née Glynn), Betty was educated in Kilrush, Limerick and University College Dublin where she studied to be a dentist. Married to Peter Cauldwell, also a dentist, who wrote poetry in his retirement, they spent much of their lives in England. Both their hearts remained in the west coast of Clare and they returned ‘home’ as often as they could. Betty took up painting seriously in her 50s and continued to paint until her eyesight began to fail shortly after her husband died in 2001.
Betty trained at Lichfield School of Art and exhibited with the Lichfield Society of Artists and the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. She won several awards including the Armour-Brown prize in 1991. She also exhibited in Kilkee at Krazy Krauts Gallery in 1992. Following that exhibition, she received a number of commissions, largely to reproduce those wonderful Clare seascapes, rural pictures and portraits. She worked in a variety of media: oils, watercolour, acrylic and pastel.
In Kilkee Library, on permanent display, hangs one of Betty’s paintings, depicting Moore Bay, Kilkee. It is an action picture of Kilkee Air Sea rescue. The picture was temporarily moved to an exhibition in the library commemorating Caitriona Lucas, the Irish Coast Guard volunteer whose ‘sunrise’ was on 18th June, 1975, and whose ‘sunset’ was on 12th September, 2016, searching for a lost soul – a premature and deeply tragic death that all Kilkee remembers.
This exhibition captures the essence and growth of Betty’s life as an artist from early simple sketches to the later immensely detailed and textured paintings. There are themes within the exhibition to include Kilkee coastal scenes, Lahinch Golf Course, fruit and flowers, portraits and unique art. Betty’s time has passed but her art lives on and this exhibition gives attendees the opportunity to acquire Irish ‘local’ original art and prints and to help others.
Through this exhibition the family are looking to raise funds for the local charity, West Clare Cancer Centre. All sales will be donated to this voluntary organisation. West Clare Cancer Centre’s funding comes from their community through many different events held each year.
‘HOME’ at the Cultúrlann Sweeney Gallery, Kilkee, Co. Clare, runs from 30th August to 2nd October, 2021.
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