The Irish Nation: Delivered by Irish Mancunian and supported by Wild in Art

Not to be missed! The Irish Nation, a collection of Irish iconography by renowned mosaic artist Mark Kennedy including works featuring George Best, Oscar Wilde, Sinead O’Connor and Shane McGowan, is being exhibited now in cultural and creative venues throughout Manchester City Centre and will be on display ’til 31st March 2024.

Commissioned by Irish Mancunian, an organisation that curates cultural events of Irish interest for Manchester audiences, The Irish Nation has been transformed into a free-to-view art trail with the support of, our good friends at global art producer, Wild in Art (Bee in the City, Gratitude), with each piece placed in a venue carefully selected to provide context to the piece.

Ten years in the making, the project began in 2015, when Mark Kennedy spontaneously created a piece of Samuel Beckett, a piece of work that awakened something within him, reaffirming his deep Irish roots. The stunning collection of original and previously unseen mosaics now portrays seventeen personalities from the worlds of literature, music, sport and history.

To name a few, singer Luke Kelly can be found at Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester United legend George Best at the National Football Museum, music icons Sinead O’Connor and Shane MacGowan at New Century, poet, playwright and wit Oscar Wilde at QueerLit, playwright Samuel Beckett at 53Two, and. John F. Kennedy at the Science and Industry Museum in a nod to the part he played in the moon landings

Sitting alongside the exhibition are QR codes to take you straight to the website to learn more about the fascinating stories behind the art. Ground-breaking architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray, whose mosaic can be seen at Manchester Craft and Design Centre, was overlooked for a long time, as she worked in the male dominated Modernist movement, and boxing phenomenon Katie Taylor, whose portrait can be found at Koffee Pot, broke through the barriers to entry in boxing that meant she had start her career boxing as a boy and is now double World Champion.

We were delighted to share the news, and facilitate a walking press tour, all of which generated huge interest across the city and some lovely pieces on BBC News Online, MEN, I Love Manchester, Creative Tourist, Manchester Wire, About Manchester, Manchester World and Secret Manchester, in addition to an interview with Irish Mancunian’s Ray Boyle and a full feature on BBC Radio Manchester.

Check it out if you have the chance, you’ll see some incredible artwork in some of Manchester’s best venues 🙂

Find out the locations of each mosaic here.

Sundae x


📸: David Oates



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