On Saturday 25 March we officially opened a new exhibition in our Children’s Gallery: Kathleen Lonsdale – an exhibition by Maeve Clancy. Commissioned by Riverbank Arts Centre and Kildare County Council Library Service, artist Maeve Clancy presents the working life of Newbridge-born scientist Kathleen Lonsdale (1903-1971) through an immersive cut paper installation. The paper is combined with drawings, lighting and animation designed to take the visitor out of their world and into the extraordinary mind of Kathleen Lonsdale. The installation allows audiences to follow this pioneer’s thought process, discoveries and scientific process, while looking at Lonsdale’s education, working life and achievements in science. Kathleen Lonsdale was an eminent scientist who helped to develop the science of crystallography, with many important discoveries along the way. One of those discoveries, and probably what is considered her best known find, was conclusive proof that the Benzene ring had a flat planar structure.
In addition to the exhibition, Maeve Clancy has created a graphic novel charting the remarkable life and achievements of Kathleen Lonsdale. This is available free from Riverbank Arts Centre, or through Kildare County Council Library Service.
We were honoured to have Kathleen’s son Stephen Lonsdale joined us to formally open the exhibition. Speaking about his mother he says “Kathleen would be flattered and amused by this excellent graphic book. Although she left Ireland as a child she was proud of her Irish roots.” He goes on “This book displays beautifully and simply that Kathleen Lonsdale had exceptional talents of memory and mathematics but she also had the application to go with them…this charming graphic book should inspire young students to aim at realising their full potential through dedication and determination.”
About the artist
Maeve Clancy is an artist who works in cut paper, drawing and story. She creates immersive exhibitions, writes and draws comic books and designs sets for theatre and TV. Her current work includes a graphic novel documenting the journey of Rouba & Noura Merzah from Syria to Ireland.
Photography by Kelly Hamilton