Mayo artists host exhibition in GMIT on history of campus building

Wednesday, December 02, 2015 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT Mayo is currently hosting an intriguing and thought-provoking group art exhibition about the GMIT campus building in Castlebar, formerly St Mary’s psychiatric hospital.


The exhibition by Mayo artists Breda Burns, Bryan Gerard Duffy, Jo Killalea and Conor O'Grady reflects the history and current use of the building, which at one time accommodated up to 1,300 people.


The four artists took part in a six-week residency on the GMIT Mayo campus in the summer of 2015, researching the building and its story.


“The exhibition refers to themes of mental illness in terms of its current and historical treatment and perception, the idea of madness and discipline and the transformation of a psychiatric hospital into a third-level college,” explains artist and lecturer John Mulloy.


The exhibition is open to the public and admission is free. The artworks are a mix of video, installation, photographs and paintings, and are dispersed around the college in a way that encourages the viewer to explore and engage with the building itself.


The exhibition opened on 25 November and runs until 8 December. It is open daily from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. A map of the campus denoting where each art installation is situated is available for members of the public.


Separately, students involved in three art degree programmes at the GMIT Mayo campus will offer postcard size paintings, drawings and prints for sale on Wednesday, 2 December, from 12 to 3pm in St Mary’s hall on campus. 


This is an excellent opportunity for members of the public to buy unique Christmas gifts for family and friends.  A festive atmosphere is promised with live music and festive refreshments.


This is the second year such an event has been held.  Students from the BA in Art & Design, BA in Contemporary Art Practices and BA in Fine Art will be presenting their work for sale. All art works will be priced at €10 each. 


Hazel Walker, Art lecturer, says, “This pop-up exhibition is a fun event and enables students to present their works to members of the public, making the collection of art affordable and accessible to all.”


Last year’s event raised €1,200 which was used to fund a student field-trip to visit the Tate Modern and Royal Academy galleries in London in April 2015. 


Mary Nestor, Lifelong Learning Coordinator, added, “We enjoy hosting public events like this pop-up exhibition and art sale, and welcome people into our campus to see first-hand the work that our students are producing. It is also an opportunity for members of the public to learn about our other programmes on offer in this campus.”


The pop-up exhibition is open from 12 noon to 3pm in St Mary’s Hall, GMIT Mayo, from Wednesday 2 December. Admission is free.


For further information on GMIT Mayo’s art programmes, please visit:…