Picture Special: ‘The Great Big Art Event’

The Great Big Art Event has showcased the work of local artists from across Donegal.

The exhibition was officially opened earlier this month in Annagry by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

“The opening was really busy, there was a lovely atmosphere and everything went really well,” said organiser, Mórag McCafferty.


This is the second successful show organised by Mórag and she hopes for The Great Big Art Event to become an annual exhibition.

The Artists

Mórag Mc Cafferty’s style is influenced by her scenic surroundings. She is self-taught and now working full time as an artist in her home studio in Ranafast.

Michael Friel worked as a psychiatric nurse in Glasgow for over 30 years, when he returned home to Donegal he rekindled his old love of painting.

Michael has a passion for emotive portraiture.

“In my 30 years of working as a nurse, I am fascinated by the diversity of emotion and capturing it with people on canvas. A glance can tell so many stories,” he said.

Bernie Anderson an artist since the age of eight took an early retirement to focus on her art work.


She expresses herself through the use of intuitive colour and form.

Niall McGinley is an artist, blacksmith, sculptor and welder.

He loves making practical things that are beautiful. In recent years, he has focused on learning how to make traditional currach.

Tina Gallagher a Rosses native, is predominantly self-taught.

She had a piece selected at the renowned Glebe Easter Exhibition, it was then bought by Glebe House for their private collection.

Morgan Ferriter, a Donegal native, moved to Cork to study art. His paintings are predominantly focused on the Donegal landscape.

“I have always been inspired by atmospheric light and dramatic cloud formations, which I try and recreate in painting. I find most of my subject matter in the north west of Ireland,” he said.

Terrence Gallagher is a primary school teacher who found his love of art and crafts. His busy schedule means his work is produced sporadically.

His son Cathal Gallagher also featured in the exhibition, he is studying for his Masters in Art Education.

Cathal is known locally for murals he has painted around the village.

Johnny Boyle from Glenties is another self-taught artist, his art work focuses almost exclusively on the landscape of the west of Ireland.
Fiona Higgins paints Donegal landscapes on silk using the batik process.

Fiona’s work has been presented to former Taoiseach Enda Kenny and King Charles.

Antoin Duffy from Kincasslagh’s work was exhibited for the first time, his oil paintings are both massive and magnificent.

James Gallagher is another Donegal native, who loved sketching as a child. He moved to Germany where he has become inspired by the countries expressionist artists.

Cathal Gallagher and his father Terrence Gallagher.

Artist Tina Gallagher at the exhibition opening.

Sculptor Niall McGinley standing beside his artwork.

Artist Morgan Ferriter playing a tune at the opening.

Mórag McCafferty standing proudly next to her artwork.

Portraits of musicians Luke Kelly and Christy Moore by artist Michael Friel.

Artist Michael Friel with Pat Friel and Hugo Duffy.

Artist Johnny Boyle standing beside his artwork.

Artist Fiona Higgins at the exhibition opening.

Organiser Mórag McCafferty with Altán singer Mairéad Mooney.

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