Carlotta Hester: The Pure Drop – Drawings of Traditional Irish Musicians, Singers and Dancers
26/01/16 – 21/02/16

  January –
February 2016

Bernadette Nic Gabhann, fiddle. Live sketch at The Bandstand, Johnston Library, Co. Cavan 18/8/2010 (c) Carlotta Hester / Govinda Gallery

Carlotta Hester | THE PURE DROP

Drawings of Traditional Irish Musicians, Singers and Dancers

From the exhibition "The Pure Drop - drawings of Irish traditional musicians, singers and dancers by Carlotta Hester". On view in Gallery 2 at the Gallery of Photography Ireland, Jan 26-Feb 21 2016. Supported by Stauntons on the Green and TradFest 2016. Free for use only in the context of review/preview of the exhibition

Joe Ward, from Co. Tyrone, fiddle, bodhran and singer at a cross-border session, Peace III Offices, 16//8/2010. (c) Carlotta Hester / Govinda Gallery


During the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012, American artist Carlotta Hester made over 150 drawings in County Cavan. Each is an exquisite rendering of traditional Irish musicians, singers and dancers captured at the height of their creative flow. For this exhibition, the artist has selected 24 drawings which present a visual distillation of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, the largest of all traditional Irish music festivals.

Hester’s drawings are created direct from life, while listening to the music in every festival setting – street sessions, theatres, dance classes, pub sessions, masterclasses, outdoor concerts, cross-border gatherings, and more.

Musical artists from all over Ireland (North and South), as well as Scotland, England, and the United States are depicted in these drawings. Well-known names including fiddlers Tommy Peoples and Oisin MacDiarmada, harpist Catriona McKay and lilter Seamus Fay rub shoulders with new talents and rising stars of the next generation.

Presented during Tradfest as a companion exhibition to Ted Russell’s photographs of Bob Dylan, Hester’s work captures the spirit of traditional music that was such a major inspiration for Dylan back in the sixties. More than this, The Pure Drop is a forward-looking celebration of the artistry of deep-rooted Irish traditions which continue to thrive today.


About Carlotta Hester, the artist:

Carlotta Hester gained a BFA from Washington University, St Louis, MO and has exhibited in Washington DC, in Ireland and in Cuba. She combines her art practice with art teaching, and has been the art teacher at the prestigious Maret School since 1994. She received the Fishman Fellow Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2012.
She is represented by Govinda Gallery, Washington DC.


Special thanks to Jim Staunton of ‘Stauntons on the Green’ for his kind support for this exhibition