Eilis O’Connell: A Family of Things

Eilis O’Connell: A Family of Things

17 June – 30 September 2023


Eilis O’Connell: A Family of Things is the first major survey exhibition of one of Ireland’s most important contemporary artists. Including both previously unseen early sculptures and key examples of her work from throughout her career, the exhibition explores the development of O’Connell’s practice over almost five decades.

Born in Derry in 1953, O’Connell studied in Cork and Boston and spent several decades working in England where she was celebrated for her large-scale sculptures in steel, stone and bronze. Exploring how she has utilised a wide variety of media including resin, canvas and jesmonite and has incorporated found materials including moss, feathers, bones and birds’ nests into her work, this exhibition aims to reveal the diversity and innovation that is central to O’Connell’s practice.

An international fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors, O’Connell has an extensive exhibition history at home and internationally. However, her work has not received the public recognition it deserves. Initiated by the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, Eilis O’Connell: A Family of Things aims to correct that omission and confirm O’Connell’s place in the canon of British and Irish art.

Successful £3.5m bid to extend and enhance the F.E. McWilliam Gallery

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council announce successful £3.5m bid to extend and enhance the F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio.


One of ten successful Northern Ireland projects from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.


Welcoming the announcement, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Paul Greenfield said,

“I’m delighted to welcome today’s announcement from the UK Government to support the expansion and upgrade of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio.

“The £3.5m funding is a significant investment for Banbridge and our borough, which will positively enhance the gallery as an internationally renowned cultural space.

“Situated along with A1 corridor, the gallery and studio is a major gateway to drive and boost tourism across our borough.”


Commenting on the investment, Chair of the Economic and Regeneration Committee, Alderman Ian Burns said,

“This significant investment will transform our tourism facility, by expanding the exhibition space it will increase visitor capacity and create more engaging opportunities to host events and educational programmes.

“As a council we will continue to deliver on our commitment to improve and enhance our tourism facilities to attract international visitors and develop our borough as a key destination.”


The project is supported by an additional £397,000 investment from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.


The F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio opened in 2008 attracting over 500,000 visitors in its first decade.


The UK government has announced that more than 100 projects will be awarded a share of £2.1 billion from the second round of its Levelling Up Fund.