Marguerite Keating didn’t let the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease stop her from pursuing her passion for painting; and two weeks ago an exhibition of his art opened at the Cashel Library.
His exhibition, aptly named The Journey Continues, is on display in the Friary Street Public Library for two months.
The range of paintings in the exhibition, from depictions of famous sites like the Rock of Cashel and the Giant’s Causeway to landscapes and still life studies, testify to Marguerite’s courage and resilience in living with the disease. Alzheimer’s.
Marguerite of Rockwood, Old Road, Cashel was diagnosed with dementia praecox three years ago. She was 55 when she received this life-changing diagnosis.
This meant she had to give up driving and her job as a supervisor at the Nagle Center for Adults with Disability in Cashel, where she had worked for 20 years and enjoyed doing art, music and singing with the centre’s clients.
“I felt very bad at the time but I said to myself that I always fought back when something happened to me in life,” Marguerite told The Nationalist.
And she did. She got help coping with the diagnosis from the local HSE Dementia Adviser and became involved with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. She is a member of the Society’s Dementia Task Force as well as its Understanding Together team, which raises awareness about dementia.
Marguerite also found an absorbing and positive outlet in her painting; a passion she has pursued for more than 30 years.
“I paint everything I see, everything I like. I could paint a picture in a day. I paint. It’s good for your health and it saved me,” she said.
South Tipperary dementia counselor Gemma O’Donnell was the guest speaker at the official launch of Marguerite’s art exhibition at the Cashel Library on Tuesday April 12.
Many of Marguerite’s paintings featured in the exhibition were purchased by admirers at the launch party which was attended by many of the artist’s family and friends. They included Marguerite’s 18-year-old daughter Blánaid, who lives with her, and Marguerite’s brother Brendan, his wife Gina and daughters Kelly, Emma and Holly.
Ten of Marguerite’s paintings were also displayed at the Venue at Dundrum House Hotel for International Artists’ Day, which took place a few days after the official opening of the Cashel Library exhibition.
Pictured below: artist Marguerite Keating of Rockwood, Old Road, Cashel with four of her beautiful paintings of a cottage, an autumnal scene, two peacocks and the Rock of Cashel featured in the exhibition The Journey Continues at the Cashel Library.