Perspectives on Empathy

Artlink, Fort Dunree, Co. Donegal

Launch at

Showing from: 20 February 2017

Showing to: 24 February 2017

An exhibition about empathy in 3 parts. A collection of work by Donegal/Derry-based artist Sinead Smyth.

‘Perspectives on Empathy’ based on people who have encouraged transformation and change (on interpersonal and community levels) in Ireland 1916-2016. I am grateful to the Donegal Arts Council for helping to fund this project.

1. A series of portraits based on individuals who have been catalysts for change and transformation (1916-2016).

Knowing yet not knowing these Individuals, with strong vision and beliefs, leaves gaps in our ability to connect with them on a personal level which can prevent empathy on the most human level, leading to criticism and judgement. These people who have influenced the cultural and political development of the island of Ireland at both local and national levels, are/were also teachers of arts, dreamers, poets, activists and idealists.

2. Aspects of self: a journey in understanding and empathy for the self.

‘The Saboteur’, a self-portrait. There exists an element of this self-destructive character in each of us resulting in unseen/hidden scars.

‘The Inner child’ protecting and nurturing this aspect of ourselves is a path to healing, transformation and opens possibilities for reaching out to others.

‘In and out through dusky bluebells’, mixed media wall mounted installation.

3. Aspects of movement and ‘Dis place’

Abstract works possibly communicating ideas of perception and empathy relating to displacement, change and transformation affecting personal and global developments.

Featured image: ‘The Activist‘, Oil on canvas, in the collection of Bertie Ahern.


Part of a portrait of Michael D. Higgins by Sinéad Smyth