PAULA NOLAN :: If you like to visit the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Annual Exhibition of visual art, you might be interested to know that this year it includes a photograph taken in Manresa House, the Jesuit Novitiate in Birmingham.
Last December, as part of my work with Messenger Publications I visited Manresa to take photographs for a book called Saintly Feasts », a cookbook with recipes by long-time Sunday chefs at Manresa, Martina Maher and Colette Scully.
Over the years I’ve built up a large collection of Jesuit-related photos, including this collection » for a project called ‘’The Jesuit Community in Leeson Street 2014′, one of which » to my delight was purchased by the State Art Collection. Some time later they chose it for inclusion in the ‘Portraits of a Nation’ exhibition » in the Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park. So I was very happy to take the opportunity in Birmingham to photograph the house and gardens of the Novitiate.
My visit was timely, as the building and grounds are due to begin demolitions and renovations this coming August, so I was glad to capture a setting about to change dramatically.
One of the photos I took on that occasion, the one at the top of this post, was chosen by the RHA selection committee for their exhibition this year. You can view it in the Photography section of the exhibition. It is titled ‘Tea & Coffee Room: Manresa Jesuit Novitiate, Birmingham’, and is a limited edition of three, plus two artist proofs.
I was, you can imagine, enormously pleased to have my photo chosen. It is a huge honour, as out of approximately three thousand works submitted, only around three hundred are selected.
The exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday 21 May, and continues right through the summer until Saturday 10 August, 2019. The RHA Gallery is on Ely Place, Dublin 2.