Bog oak sculpture exhibition set for new Offaly art gallery

A unique collection of sculptures from two Offaly artists will help launch the new Shades of Bloom art gallery in Tullamore this week.

On Wednesday, July 12, at 7.30pm, the work of Joe Conlan from Edenderry and Brian Gorman from Killeigh will go on display at the gallery on Cormac Street in Tullamore.

Both artists use bog oak from Offaly and beyond to produce pieces of real beauty, or as Brian says, "art and nature combined." Joe takes the pieces from the bog and preserves them to present them in a raw and beautiful state, while Brian carves images and shapes into his pieces.

The Shades of Bloom Gallery itself is the brainchild of artist, Eamonn Byrne, who lives in North Offaly. The gallery arose from Eamonn's need for a studio for his own artistic endeavours, mostly painting, which brought a wonderful space of five rooms.

This was above his needs so he thought he would share the space with fellow artists, both to show their work, and if necessary, actually use the space to work in.

Eamonn told the Offaly Express that it is a great pleasure to have two sculptors like Joe Conlon and Brian Gorman exhibiting for the very first time on Wednesday.

Ahead of the exhibition, which he is looking forward to, Brian Gorman told the Offaly Express that he is in fact a self-taught sculptor of ancient bog wood, including oak, yew and pine. "I've been doing this since I was 11 years of age, but in the last year or so, I decided to get my name and my work out there," he explained. 

"The bog oak is harvested from the ground, allowed to mature for at least seven years, and then I sculpt it," Brian said.

"My work is inspired by the area and community I grew up in. The bog oak can date back as far as 8,000 years, so I'm conscious when creating a piece that I do it justice," he concluded.

You can catch a glimpse of Brian's work and that of Joe Conlan on Wednesday, July 12, at the new Shades of Bloom Gallery on Cormac Street in Tullamore. The exhibition opens at 7.30pm.

For more information, you can find the gallery on Facebook. 

If you have a story for us, sports news, an event happening in your area, or if you want to submit pictures or videos, contact the Offaly Express team via e-mail to, or through our Facebook.

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