The Copper House Gallery – Art of Superstition

I loved The Copper House Gallery’s Art of Superstition exhibition last October, but sadly never got back after the opening night to get some photos and write a review. However, when I visited recently to review their exhibition Encore! for tn2 magazine (check out the review here!) I was delighted to find that some of the Art of Superstition illustrations were still on display upstairs. I have selected three very different responses to the theme of superstition, just a small selection of the works on display. These few pictures give an idea of the wide range of styles in contemporary Irish illustration. The full exhibition will be touring in future – if it comes to a gallery near you, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Niamh Sharkey – Three For A Funeral


One of many magpie images on display, Niamh Sharkey’s work appealed to me for her striking yet simplistic style (love the stick legs!), and strong characterisation. A touch of humour is added by the magpie with a stethoscope, and the sorrow of the other magpie is conveyed minimally with the alarm lines and the single tear.

Steve Simpson – The Monarch


Steve Simpson has done many illustrations of sugar skulls, and this is one of the best I’ve seen. The Monarch of the title refers to the butterfly on the forehead, and used elsewhere in the work too. I love all the detail, and how distinctive his style is. I also appreciated the fact that Day of the Dead is written not just in Mexican (Dia de les Muertos) but Irish too (Lá na Marbh).

Derry Dillon


Dillon’s picture of Italia ’90 (the legendary football final)  is very humorous. My favourite thing was all the little details in the work – there are so many different lucky symbols to find in the image, such as horoscopes, a horseshoe, a black cat, two magpies (for joy), Paul the Octopus, and even a bobblehead Jesus! It’s a lot of fun.

Check out all the illustrations from the exhibition here on The Copper House Gallery website. There are such an amazing variety of responses to the theme of superstition, as well as these pieces, I also loved the illustrations by P.J. Lynch, Tarsila Kruse, Steve Cannon, Poppy & Red, Margaret Anne Suggs and many more!