A portrait of Seamus Heaney painted by the artist, Jeffrey Morgan, has a new home in the literary centre which is to celebrate the life and work of the late poet.
‘In the attic’ which shows Seamus Heaney seated in his Dublin study, reading and surrounded by books and personal objects, now hangs in Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, at the heart of the area where Seamus Heaney spent his childhood and which inspired so much of his work across a career that spanned almost five decades.
The portrait is on long-term loan from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s collection. Visitors to HomePlace, which will open to the public later this month (Friday 30 September), will be able to view the portrait as part of their tour of the exhibition, before stepping into an interpretation of the same attic study depicted in the painting, complete with some of the items which also appear.
The painting is framed in walnut from a 200 hundred year old tree which fell in the artist’s garden during a storm and, on a visit to the Morgan’s home, the salvaged wood was much admired by Seamus Heaney.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, which is responsible for the development of HomePlace, Councillor Trevor Wilson, said:
“To have this original artwork on display is a very fitting and welcome addition to the building and its exhibition, and we are both pleased and privileged to be giving the portrait a new home, thanks to the generosity of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the artist, Jeffrey Morgan”.
Noirin McKinney, Director, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:
“We are delighted to loan the Heaney portrait to HomePlace. Jeffrey Morgan’s work looks superb in its new position on the ground floor. In fact, it was quite emotional to hand over the portrait in Bellaghy and experience the thrill of seeing this beautifully crafted, large-scale painting of the poet, quietly reading in the corner. It feels as though the painting has come home”.
For more information about Seamus Heaney HomePlace visit www.seamusheaneyhome.com