Episode 22: Kiss My Arts – Jackie McKenna

Today Breifne visits the Leitrim Sculpture Centre in Manorhamilton to meet Jackie McKenna, one of the centre’s founders and the undisputed Queen of the arts in Leitrim.

Responsible for some of the best loved art installations around the county and the region Jackie discusses her love of art which began at an early age and when her college professor suggested she should focus on her art hobby rather than the agricultural science degree she was registered for, but not attending, she didn’t need much convincing.

Her ‘The Meeting Place’ installation or ‘The Hags with the Bags’ as it’s affectionately known in the capital put her on the map and now her work can be seen across the county including in Carrick on Shannon, Drumshanbo, Ballinamore and further afield in the monastic settlement of Clonmacnoise.

Until recently Drumcliffe Churchyard was part of that list but a week prior to Christmas 2018, thieves stole the life sized bronze figure element of the installation. Jackie talks about her feeling of loss and devastation at it’s destruction, believing it to have been cut up, melted down and sold as scrap metal.

She details the birth of the Leitrim Sculpture Centre and it’s development into a home for the creative community in the region with education courses, creative businesses and workshops all based in the facility in Manorhamilton.

Jackie outlines the possible further development of the centre with the necessary resources and supports that would be necessary to make further expansion possible.

Also on the show today, Breifne also speaks to Irish Under 19 International Niall Morahan from Leitrim Village fresh from his sides 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic yesterday evening setting up a semi final clash with defending champions Portugal on Wednesday.


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