THIS year contemporary art enthusiasts can enjoy the works of renowned painter Stephen Bennett, when his incredible collection launches exclusively at Lough Eske Castle, Donegal.
The exhibition will begin on Friday, February 24 with a select opening ceremony at the castle, where guests will be able to view and appreciate Stephen’s inspiring portfolio.
From 6pm until 10pm, guests will enjoy a drinks reception, as well as speeches from Stephen Bennett himself, and Jeroen Quint, general manager at Lough Eske Castle.
Drawing his inspiration from the people and landscape around him, Stephen has developed a vigorous and expressive style in a variety of media including acrylic, oil pastel, mixed media and gouache.
The subject matter of his work is varied, including both figurative paintings and landscapes but he has a special interest in people in their day to day activities.
His reputation has grown and he is now an established exhibitor in galleries throughout Ireland and his paintings are now included in private collections worldwide.
Stephen has a particular affinity with Donegal, after moving there in 1992 to follow his lifelong ambition to be a full-time artist.
Since the move Donegal has become an integral dimension of his work, and even before he recalls the town having a profound effect on him.
“I was inspired by the people of Donegal and enthralled by their way of life – hardworking by day in the fields or the bog, but always ready to enjoy themselves at night.
“The sing-songs, the fiddle music, the storytelling, the dancing and the natural humour of the people made a powerful and lasting impression on me. I felt at home here and the urge to come back to live and paint in Donegal was born in these early days.”
The February launch will be the first of a series of select dates in 2012 when Stephen’s exhibition will be on display.
Each day the collection will be on show at the hotel from 11am until 6pm: March 16 to 19; April 7 to 9; May 5 to 7; June 2 to 5; August 3 to 6 and September 7 to 9.
Jeroen Quint, General Manager, said: “Stephen is a local legend, and as Donegal’s only five star hotel we feel Lough Eske Castle is the perfect place to showcase his talent to the world. We are honoured that he has chosen Lough Eske Castle to display his breathtaking collection.”