The Kingcat of Keshcorran | Sean Lynch, Michael Holly & Liam Byrne

An exhibition by visual artists Sean Lynch & Michael Holly with Roscommon-based ephemera collector Liam Byrne

The ethos of the visual arts programme at Roscommon Arts Centre during this curatorial residency has been developed with a view to expanding the scope for participation in the arts centre’s activities while also initiating relationships with the local population, interest groups and specific communities. This exhibition consists of a film by Sean Lynch and Michael Holly that will be presented alongside items of local historical and geographical interest from the ephemera collection of local history enthusiast, Liam Byrne. Collecting stories plays a huge role in Sean Lynch’s art practice while Liam is the collector of the objects, relics and ephemera that document these stories.

The exhibition begins in the pages of poet and mystic Ella Young’s book The Wonder-Smith and His Son, where the main character An Gubbaun Soar roams aimlessly through a stoney landscape. Suddenly, out of the sky, a bag of tools fell to the ground. He instantly became a master stonemason, and travelled to the nearest town, where he carved, upon a window the Kingcat of Keshcorran, “with insinuating grace and with infinite cunning, losing itself at the last in loops, and twists, and foliations and intricacies that spread and returned and established themselves in a mysterious, magical, spell-knotted forest of emblems.”

Sean Lynch came across the story when researching the carvings of James O’Shea in Oxford of 1859.  Having been rebutted by Oxford authorities for his attempting monkey carvings on the new museum building, O’Shea carved a group of feline-like creatures onto a window at the museum. While the precise details are now lost, one could speculate that O’Shea remembered the story of the Gubbaun, an old folk tale told amongst stonecarvers, and asserted to bring forth evil monstrous cats to the facade of the museum? Liam’s collection features images from Roscommon history that might find a kinship with The Kingcat, while Michael Holly’s video of summer solstice activity around megalithic sites in the region reveal the belief systems around land and history.

In the gallery space, Liam presents a collection of material, underneath glass cases he salvaged from a Museum refurbishment some years back. One presentaion details the medieval sculpture of the Roscommon Abbey alongside early geological studies of the region and more recent magnetic gradiometry imagery, placed amongst other tangential material such as a piece of the Berlin Wall now in Roscommon.  Another case sees county council annual agricultural reports mingle with a fossil Liam found in a carpark in Offaly and an illustration of the Cross of Cong.


Sean Lynch will represent Ireland at The Venice Biennale in 2015.



Linda Shevlin has curated, facilitated and managed both large and small-scale visual arts projects including the 53rd Venice Biennale where she was project manager for the representative artists Gareth Kennedy & Sarah Browne and is Tulca Festival curator for 2018.

In 2017 she was the invited curator for the Hennessy Art Fund, purchasing new works for the IMMA collection and also curated the visual art programme for Bealtaine Festival 2017/2018 where she developed projects, commissions, residencies & exhibitions. with numerous Irish artists including Vivienne Dick, Kathy Prendergast, Kevin Gaffney, Pauline Cummins and Frances Mezzetti.

In 2016 she curated Radical Actions at RMIT Galleries, Melbourne as part of Culture Ireland’s 2016 International Programme ‘I Am Ireland’. The exhibition featured works by Duncan Campbell, Jesse Jones, Kennedy Browne and Seamus Nolan.

Other recent independent curatorial projects include Americana: Future Rural featuring John Gerrard (IE), Brian Duggan (IE), Kim Shively (USA) and M12 Studio (USA) at The Dock, Leitrim and Amharc Fhine Gall X commissioning Ella de Búrca, Ruth Clinton and Niamh Morriarty.

She has been awarded the Arts Council of Ireland’s Visual Arts Curatorial Residency award for three consecutive years (2013 – 2016) and in that time has produced a series of events and exhibitions in County Roscommon including newly commissioned works by Maria McKinney (IE) and Sean Lynch (IE); public art projects by Sean Rafferty (AUS), Ruth E. Lyons (IE) and Deirdre O’Mahony (IE), exhibitions by Martin Parr (UK), Duncan Campbell (IE) & Eamon O’Kane (IE) and a symposium titled The Workers with contributions from Adam Sutherland of Grizedale Arts (UK) & M12 Collective (USA) among others.

Shevlin is currently curator in residence with Roscommon Arts Centre & Solstice Arts Centre.


Linda Shevlin
Tivanagh School
Co. Roscommon
+353 86 605 2571
+353  71 966 4606