The Empty Chair by Maria Noonan-McDermott.


Until 14 March 2022


Mon-Fri 11am-3pm


The Abbey Arts Centre,



Over the last five years while caring for her mother who was living with Alzheimer’s, artist Maria Noonan-McDermott has been ‘unwittingly working towards’ her new body of work. Supported by the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Seed Grants Scheme, Time-Lapse is currently being exhibited in Donegal at The Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, before touring nationally. 

Maria’s exhibition reflects her personal journey, an emotional trial both physically and mentally, a challenging destination where precious memories became a life-line and family bonds are strengthened and reinforced.

The daily tasks, complex emotions, and thoughts arising while caring for a dying parent over a long time inform the work. The exhibition includes paintings, original poetry (hand-created books made in collaboration with Leitrim artist Harriet Myfanwy Nia Tahany), installations in the form of working sketch books, measurement forms, and clothing revealing treasured gems created by Maria’s mother, a fashion designer in the 1950s and 1960s. A short film also accompanies the exhibition.

Maria’s mother slipped away peacefully in late 2021. Maria hopes the exhibition will prove encouraging for those about to embark on a similar journey and cathartic in dealing with grief.

Alzheimer’s affects thousands of families in our communities today and is growing year on year. Currently there are 64,000 people living with this condition in Ireland. In presenting this work, Maria wants to draw attention to the stigma associated with dementia. By heightening awareness, she hopes Time-Lapse  will support and comfort others coping with similar situations by bringing forth a greater understanding of the condition.

The exhibition continues until 14 March 2022 at The Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon.

For further tour dates see the artist’s website: 


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