THINGS TO DO IN WEST CORK: Art Exhibitions on Skerkin Island (you have to get a boat there!)

15 June 2021
By Elaine Murphy

What is Skerin? Sherkin Island, in West Cork, is one of Ireland’s most accessible off shore islands. Sherkin is the ancestral home of the O’Driscoll clan. Sherkin has an automated lighthouse, maintained by locals, that is situated at Barrack Point and dates back to 1835. The lighthouse marks the southern entrance to Baltimore Harbour and the Baltimore Beacon. On the south western side of the island there is a fully functioning RC church. Now… there is also Srt to be seen.

Sherkin Island will hold a series of art exhibitions on the island this summer. Despite the additional challenges of social distancing, the community has decided to go ahead with its plans to showcase the island’s creative and artistic talent.

The exhibitions will all take place in the Community Hall on Sherkin Island, starting with an exhibition by the Haiku group from 25th – 27th June when they will display the Haiku poems they wrote during the recent lockdowns.

Sherkin artists step out for summer: (From the lower step up) Sherkin Tara, Nigel Towse, Jo Ashby, John Simpson and Brigid O’ Connell Madden, seen here on Sherkin Island. Picture credit: Robbie Murphy

This will be followed by the annual Sherkin Island community art exhibition from 29th June –4th July, a celebration of the diverse creative talent on the island. It will include paintings, photography, sculpture, textiles and ceramics. The exhibition will open every day, from 12 noon until 5pm.

Six more art exhibitions will run after that right up until 24th August:

  • 6th of July 11th of July Jordyn Lynch
  • 13th July 21st of July Jo Ashby and Robbie Murphy
  • 23rd July 2nd of Aug Vanessa Richardson & Nigel Towse
  • 4th Aug 9th Aug Tara O’ Donoghue
  • 11th Aug 16th Aug Brigid Madden & Roisin Youell
  • 18th Aug 24th Aug John Simpson

All will operate to strict Covid19 guidelines including the use hand sanitisers, face coverings for all visitors and a one-way system in line with social distancing requirements.

Known as ‘island of the arts’, Sherkin Island has attracted a population of creative individuals including professional and non-professional artists, musicians, writers and photographers.

Aisling Moran, project coordinator with Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) said:

“We have thought long and hard about holding the exhibitions this year due to the additional diligence required by Covid19 guidelines. As always, we are grateful to Cork County Council for their support in helping this to happen. We see it as a great opportunity to showcase the great creative work that is being done here and to welcome people to the island.”

For ferry times see

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