Kevin Mooney: Revenants

Thursday 1 December 2022 – Sunday 19 March 2023
Kevin Mooney, Blighters, 2021. Photograph by Jed Niezgoda | Kevin Mooney: Revenants | Thursday 1 December 2022 – Sunday 19 March 2023 | IMMA

Revenants presents a series of recent paintings by Cork-based artist Kevin Mooney. Informed by Mooney’s engagement with Irish mythology, history and cultural migration, Revenants is an exercise in speculative art history which imagines the ‘lost’ art of an Irish diaspora.

Artists In-Conversation
Wed 30 Nov, 5pm, Lecture Room, IMMA
In Conversation with Kevin Mooney and curator Sarah Kelleher
Admission free, booking essential

Revenants assembles a significant body of recent work by Cork-based artist Kevin Mooney. Bringing together paintings made between 2016 and 2022, Mooney’s practice visualises under-explored areas of Irish history.

As a colonised nation, there are large gaps in the record of our art history and material culture caused by poverty, famine and mass migration. Mooney’s work reconsiders these lacunae and reverse-engineers  the ‘lost’  visual culture of this Irish diaspora, imagining it as a mutant absurdist folklore, and, in the process opening up thorny questions about cultural influence and transformation. His paintings hybridise imagery and visual languages from disparate transatlantic cultures to puncture some of the clichés of an Irish vernacular aesthetic and open up a space for critical reflection on the highly selective character of popular history.

Mooney has adapted his materials to reflect these concerns, moving from oil on canvas to work with acrylic, distemper and oil on jute. Jute is the material in which commodities are shipped around the world, foodstuffs like grain, rice or potatoes; and alongside these, movement of peoples, culture and ideas.

Revenants marks the gaps in our visual culture as a reverberant event in the Irish psyche, a traumatic break caused by famine and forced migration. Mooney’s uncanny imagery imagines the ghosts of these lost futures, reminding us that ghost stories are as revealing as they are disturbing, pointing to the complexities of our culture, past and present.

Revenants is curated by arts writer and a Government of Ireland Scholar, Sarah Kelleher. This exhibition is accompanied by a major new publication designed by Pony Ltd, with texts by Sarah Kelleher and Seán Kissane, Curator, Exhibitions, IMMA.


The exhibition is accompanied by a significant new publication, designed by Pony Ltd, featuring texts by Sarah Kelleher and Seán Kissane. Price €15 from The IMMA Shop.

About the Artist

Kevin Mooney is a Cork-based artist who graduated from the MFA program in NCAD in 2012, and from the MTU Crawford College of Art and Design in 1997. The exhibition is curated by Sarah Kelleher, arts writer and Government of Ireland scholar. The exhibition at IMMA is the culmination of a major series of exhibitions in which Mooney explores the ‘what might have been’ in Irish art history and visual culture.

Image: Kevin Mooney, Blighters, 2021. Photograph by Jed Niezgoda
Thursday 1 December 2022 – Sunday 19 March 2023
Royal Hospital, Kilmainham
Dublin 8
Telephone: +353 1 612 9900
Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday 11:30 - 17:30
Wednesday 11:30 - 17:30
Thursday 11:30 - 17:30
Friday 11:30 - 17:30
Saturday 10:00 - 17:30
Sunday 12:00 - 17:30
Admission / price: Free
Bank Holidays open 12:00 – 17:30.

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