Following an exhibition of Contemporary Artists from Celtic Regions during a Celtic Festival,Curated by Derek Culley; held in The Windsor Community Art Centre, Denis Bowen approached Derek to consider a bigger model; including all 7 Celtic Regions in Europe. Celtic Vision was born. Denis and Derek plus John Bellany put together a framework based around contemporary Celtic Regions with the aim of exhibiting contemporary visual arts from these regions. Being contemporary we sought to do something new – something fresh. No Politics – no linguistics predetermining selection but a mix of contemporary artwork / artists from the 7 Celtic Regions; namely Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Galicia and the Isle of Man.
Denis and John knew the art world; Derek's job was to provide the logistics and framework upon which to make “Celtic Vision” a reality.
Denis performed / was overall Curator for the final visual presentation of the artists and catalogue.
First things first! We needed a logo and committee. The late Gordon House provided a wonderful take on an image from the Book of Durrow. We then needed a Committee for credibility, marketing and fundraising purposes.
CELTIC Vision: Formed 1984 Founding members were Derek Culley with Denis Bowen & John Bellany - Committee members included: Hon.D.Browne, A.Irvin, G.Boulay, R.Pillard, J.Halkes, J.R.Lopez Calvo, B.Sanchez-Walker, E.Colman, Prof.B.Kneale, W.Crozier, Dr.I.Davies, T.Copplestone, Prof.R.Driscoll, V.Rea.
With this letterhead, we formed loosely structured committees in each region. All done on a voluntary basis we built an organization which in a sense was truly chaotic and democratic! Applying all standard business practices and organizational parameters “Celtic Vision” was a success despite its peculiarity.
Central to Celtic Vision becoming a reality was the support from many and luminaries such as Prof Robert (Bob) Driscoll from the University of Toronto - Celtic Studies (Author of “Celtic Consciousness” 1981) Dr. Ifor Davies and Brendán Mac Lua co-founder of The Irish Post. Ivor wrote the “Celtic Vision introduction” for our marketing / soliciting support from the 7 Regional Celtic Authorities. The Spanish Cultural authorities in La Coruna (Jose Ramon Lopez Calvo -Ayuntamiento de La Coruña ) and Madrid (Luis María Caruncho Amat - Director del Centro Cultural del Conde Duque) were a significant catalyst through their generous initial financial contribution to the Project.This encouraged other authorities throughout the 7 Celtic Regions to support the Project.
1986 Celtic Vision Tour
Conde Ducqe Gallery Madrid Spain
Kiosko Alfonso La Coruna Spain
Crawford Art Gallery Cork Ireland
Glasgow Arts Centre Glasgow UK
1987 Celtic Vision Tour
Orial Mostyn Llandudno UK
Bede Gallery Jarrow UK
Newlyn Gallery Penzance UK
Chapter Gallery Cardiff UK
1988: Celtic Vision Invitation Exhibition Artist List by Region. (1988 Dublin - Celebrating a Thousand Years) Bank of Ireland - Exhibition Centre Dublin Ireland
1986/ 87 Celtic Vision Tour Artist list by Region.
Scotland: John Bellany, William Crozier, Alan Davie, Neil Ferguson, William Thomson.
Brittany: Guy Bigot, Guy Boulay, Bertrand Bracaval, LANOE, Robert Pillard,
Wales: BECCA, Denis Bowen, Ivor Davies, Gordon House.
Ireland: Francis Bacon, Eamon Colman, Derek Culley, Mary Fitzgerald, Roy Johnston, Cecil King, Elizabeth Magill, Sydney Nolan, Kathy Prendergast, Patrick Scott.
Galicia: Rafael Baixeras, Luis Caruncho, Javier Correa Corredoira, Menchú Lamas, Leopoldo Nóvoa, Xavier Toubes,
Cornwall: Trewin Copplestone, Michael O'Donnell, Tony O'Malley, Jack Pender,
Isle of Man: Bryan Kneale, Michael Sandle.
1988: Celtic Vision Invitation Exhibition Artist List by Region. (1988 Dublin - Celebrating a Thousand Years)
Ireland: Cathy Carman, Eamon Colman, Derek Culley, Felim Egan, Conor Fallon, Sean Fingleton, Mary Fitzgerald,Mike Fitzharris, Elizabeth Magill,Seamus O'Byrne, Patricia Hurl, Roy Johnston, Seamus O'Colmain, Mary P O'Connor, Patrick Scott, Nancy Wynne-Jones.
Scotland: Douglas Abercrombie, John Bellany, Alan Davie, Neil Ferguson, Fred Pollock, William Gear.
Isle of Man: Bryan Kneale
Wales: Denis Bowen, Ivor Davies, Paul Davies, Peter Davies, Gordon House, Glyn Jones, Ernest Zobole.
Cornwall: Trewin Copplestone, Jeremy Le Grice, Michael O'Donnell, Tony O'Malley, Jack Pender, Michael Praed, Jennifer Semmens, Virginia Verran.
Brittany: Bracaval, Gwenhael, Lanoe, Robert Pillard,
Galicia: Rafael Baixeras, Luis Caruncho, Chelín, Correa Corredoira, Xurxo Gómez-Chao,Menchu Lamas, Cesar Otero.
Invited Artists: Barbara Freeman, John & Ruth Holt, Albert Irvin, Paul Jenkins, Nick Miller, Paul Moriarty, Sidney Nolan, Vincent Rea.
Principal Sponsors: Brendan Glennon & Co. Insurance-Auctioneers Dublin, The British Council, ETS (UK), The Arts Council of Ireland, The Bank of Ireland Exhibition Centre.
Further assisted by: R&A Bailey Co. Ltd,Cultural Attache - The Irish Embassy London, Sterling Cargo Freight (UK) Ltd, O'Reilly Overload (Ire) Ltd, Trans International Freight (Ire) Ltd, Showerings (Ire) Ltd, Kings Grove Press.