Patricia Hurl kept a container of almost 100 pieces of her artwork in her home, untouched, for the best part of her life as an artist. After a period of extensive restoration by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the collection opened Hurl’s most significant exhibition in the spring of 2023. The retrospective display primarily focused on the lived experiences of women using paint, performance, textiles and Hurl’s own body. For instance, the Warrior Series was inspired by media coverage like the Belfast rape trial of 2018. Also on view was a number of early works in which Hurl drew on her experience of suburban life in the home. These earlier works formed Hurl’s first solo exhibition in the Temple Bar Gallery in 1988, called Living Room Myths and Legends, which she coupled with works dealing with issues like the Kerry Babies Case. She received letters from women at the time to say they were praying for her, because her work was seen to “cast aspersions” on Ireland. Now in her 80th year, the Dublin artist, who lectured in the Fine Art
Department at Dublin Institute of Technology from 1984 to 2009 and delivered art workshops to working-class communities in North Dublin, now runs the Damer Gallery in Co Tipperary along with artist Therry Rudin. She is a part of Na Cailleacha, a collection of eight female Irish artists all over the age of 75.

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