Highlanes Gallery: Perfectly Coiffed

3 Women fixing a rug

Highlanes Gallery: Perfectly Coiffed

01 August 2017
2 min read

On St. Laurence Street in Drogheda – one of Ireland’s oldest towns – there’s a beautiful Franciscan church dating back to 1829. Intricate stained glass windows adorn its walls, depicting saints and biblical stories.

But inside this magnificent structure, surprises await. Marking the end of a 760-year association with the town, the Franciscan church gifted this property to the people of Drogheda in 2000. In 2006, it was reborn when the Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery opened on the site.

The Drogheda Municipal Art Collection is the jewel in the gallery’s crown. The brainchild of artist Bea Orpen and her husband Chalmers Trench, the couple embarked on their 35-year mission to build the collection in 1946. They collected over 60 works of art that represent a cross-section of 18th, 19th and 20th century Irish artists, including Simon Coleman, John Cassidy and William Leech.

The brainchild of artist Bea Orpen and her husband Chalmers Trench, the couple embarked on their 35-year mission to build the collection in 1946.

As well as its impressive permanent collection, Highlanes regularly showcases thought provoking temporary exhibitions. The latest – Bristles: Hair and Hegemony – explores the significant role hair plays in a range of fields, from scientific to literary to political and, of course, aesthetic.

With artworks and objects dating from the 17th century and newly commissioned pieces, the exhibition grapples with modern grooming, ancient folklore and everything in between. Admission is free and the works can be seen until 23 September.

Bristle is part of County Louth’s 2017 Creative Ireland plan. This five-year initiative is designed to boost culture and creativity in the region through a range of programmes, events and festivals.