Below is one of a series of poems inspired by works from the Waterford Art Collection and developed in 2022 by The Waxed Lemon in association to Waterford County and City Arts Offices. Joe Meagher is a writer, director, actor and musician based in Waterford. This work was inspired by the Tony Ryan painting ‘Five Figures in the Landscape’.

In Ekphrastic Memoriam by Joe Meagher

Through closed eyes now I see them best.

Gaunt, grim figures they are, palely grey and loosely draped in sombre full length robes of faux-ecclesiastical black. 

Thusly shrouded, their figures seem to disappear, firstly into formlessness, and then, through lack of relief against the bleak, light deprived hillside, into apparent nothingness. Shadow into further shadow. Darkness deepening in depth.

Above this austerely dreary and desolate topography, the evening sky in contrast is a vibrantly riotous explosion of charcoal and pastel tones. The grey-black clouds are pierced here and there by breaks of shining blue and banished there and again by streaks of lustrous pink, until all hues meet the edge of the abyss and terminate in a single thickly daubed line of vividly hot, volcanic red. 

On the other side of sunset they stand,

their backs resolutely turned to what remains of it’s ever changing, slowly dying light, as if in open defiance of all inevitabilities. Their faces, bathed in harshly bright white light, revealing every pain and sorrow and loss of hope of laughter. Or maybe that’s just me. Trauma is, after all, in the eye of the beholder.   And all the world’s a mirror. 

Somehow, in the resolute stillness of this captured moment I sense movement, progress, if not towards a goal or destiny, then at least towards a resolution, or perhaps at least an acceptance of resolution as destiny enough for beings such as they. Such as us. Somewhere in its unyielding silence, sound resounds. Bird voices. Autumn music. A song of wind. Sound-colour melody. 

And so, side by side we leave them now, to continue on inexorably and in solemn procession, walking towards the moon. Positively hopeless. 


This summer, as part of the fantastic SprÓg festival, Waterford Gallery of Art have Collaborated with Garter Lane Arts Centre and Waterford Youthreach to create some truly inspired window artworks.

Each window and panel has been inspired by a portrait from the Waterford Art Collection and has been designed by a different youth group from the city.

Images above by: Amanda Alexander

Artwork by Waterford Youthreach inspired by ‘Face’ (1963) by Diether Ritzert
Artwork by Waterford Young Art Critics inspired by ‘Portrait in the Style of Albert Ekhout’
(artist and date unknown)

Artwork by Ferrybank Cubs and members of the local community inspired by ‘Portrait of a Girl’
by Michael O’Malley

SprÓg is a summer arts festival for children and families, with a week of arts & science experiences at Garter Lane Arts Centre.

Waterford Youthreach is a firm believer in the power of education to change lives and is committed to constantly improving the courses, facilities and extra-curricular activities provided for its students. Youthreach staff are instrumental in giving a second chance at education to many young learners who otherwise may have given up on learning.

Supported by Garter Lane Arts Centre & Waterford City Council Arts Office, the mission statement of the Waterford Young Art Critics is: “DISCUSS, ATTEND, CRITIQUE AND ENGAGE”

Thank you to all that took part and helped create these artworks.
This project was kindly sponsored by SIGNPRO, Waterford and Waterford Arts.


Ekphrastic Poetry is the Greek word for poems inspired by other works of art. Listen below to two poems inspired by the Waterford Art Collection by Molly Twomey and Frank Farelly. This project was delivered by The Waxed Lemon and support by Waterford Arts.


Collect in the gallery, or download our below, our free art activity packs for ages 8+ (or younger if assisted by an adult).

Now available in English, Irish and Ukrainian.

English (pdf)
– Irish (pdf)
Ukrainian (pdf)

The Waterford Gallery of Art offer a programme of free activates, workshops, talks and tours for all ages, abilities and interests.

If you are a group, organisation, school or colleague and would like to know more, or book a gallery tour with one of our staff, please email: WaterfordGallery@waterfordcouncil.ie


For National Drawing Day (21 May) have a go at making your very own Picasso-style self portrait and be in with the chance to win a €20 book voucher.

Simply download the instructions HERE or view the clip on our Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page.

Send images of your favourite self-portrait creations to our Facebook (@waterfordgalleryofart) / Instagram (thewaterfordgalleryofart) or Twitter (@WaterfordArt) account on, or before, 21 May.

All ages and abilities welcome!

The winner will be selected by WGOA at 5pm on 21 May.