Art Exhibition

“Painting Ulysses” By Aidan Hickey

To mark the 100th anniversary year of the publication of James Joyce’s masterpiece “ULYSSES”, the Irish Cultural Centre is delighted to Present this Spectacular Visual Art Exhibition

“Painting Ulysses”

by Irish Artist

Aidan Hickey


The exhibition was opened in June by Mr Michael Lonergan, Counsellor for Political Affairs, Embassy of Ireland and the Award-Winning ‘Joycean’ Actor, Frank Grimes.


The exhibition has been extended indefinitely into 2023.


Opening Hours:

If you would like to attend the exhibition, please telephone, email or message the ICC on social media in advance to arrange your visit.

Mon 22 July - Sat 28 December 2024

Running Daily Monday-Friday


‘Painting Ulysses’ comprises 18 magnificent paintings, depicting each of the 18 Episodes in James Joyce’s novel.  As each of Joyce’s episodes in ULYSSES was written in a different literary style, Hickey has designed each painting in a different visual style.

The exhibition comes here to the ICC straight from The James Joyce Centre in Dublin. This show will be a UK Premiere. The exhibition is just one of the many high-profile events which the ICC are presenting, to mark the venue’s 25th anniversary year.

The History Of Aidan Hickey’s Exhibition “Painting Ulysses”

“In some ways ‘Painting Ulysses’ shares the same chequered history as James Joyce’s novel.  Aidan Hickey began his odyssey in 2016 when he mentioned to fellow artist Tom Mathews that he was painting an episode from Ulysses. “I hope you are not intending to paint all 18 episodes” was Tom’s reply. Aidan pondered on this and decided  ‘Why not?’.  And so Aidan’s journey began.

He exhibited the first two painting at the Dublin …. In 2016  In 2018, Sé Merry Doyle curated an outing of nine episodes at the Duke Street Gallery in Dublin. Finally in February 2022 all 18 episodes were premiered at the James Joyce Centre in Dublin.

The reaction was extraordinary.

Roddy Doyle said “This exhibition is brilliant… There are jokes everywhere…     I hope as many people as possible get to see these paintings. I’m very glad that I’ve seen them”.

The Film Director Sé Merry Doyle showed me images from the Dublin exhibition and I decided we had to bring it to the ICC in time for the Bloomsday celebrations at our centre. We welcome you to come to the ICC and journey through ‘Painting Ulysses’ and immerse yourselves in this wonderful exhibition in this special centenary year. Rosalind Scanlon Artistic Director ICC


About The Artist, Aidan Hickey

Photo by Franco Chen, Aug 2023

Hickey studied painting at Ireland’s National College of Art. He spent his a lot of his career drawing and writing animated films. He has made many TV series’ and short-films and received many awards at various international Festivals. In 2005 he wrote and directed The Boy Who Had No Story, winning the IFTA prizes for Best Animation Film and Best Children’s Film.

Regarded as one of Ireland’s leading painters, Aidan Hickey has had exhibitions all over Ireland and internationally. His portrait of Bram Stoker hangs in the Dublin Writer’s Museum. His portrait of Colm Toibín, was acquired by Wexford Council and hangs in Enniscorthy Library.

Over many decades Aidan developed a narrative style of painting. Around six years ago he decided that Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ offered the perfect subject for him.

 Hickey says, “Even if my paintings only hint at the novel’s wealth of comedy and complexity, they might, for a new audience, become a silent “open sesame” to Joyce’s treasure trove,”


What People Are Saying About “Painting Ulysses”

“Of all attempts to paint a series of illustrations of the episodes of James Joyce’s Ulysses in sequence, I would consider Aidan Hickey’s by far the best.  …This is work of outstanding merit—-the labour, guile, imagination and intricate thoughtfulness displayed throughout the sequence make it a worthy commentary on and interpretation of the great book”.  Declan Kiberd, Professor of English UCD – Author of “Ulysses and Us”

“With their intricacy, their humour, their range of references and techniques, their detachment and their humanity, the pictures form a fitting visual complement to Joyce’s great masterwork”.  Robert Nicholson – Director of The James Joyce Centre, Dublin.

“To my mind, for a painting to be successful it should be skilfully executed and have something meaningful to say. Well, as far as I’m concerned, “Aidan Hickey’s series of pictures “Painting Ulysses” passes muster with flying colours. He responds to each of the books eighteen chapters with dazzling detail informed by an intimate connection to James Joyce and his native city. And, I have to say, as a painter, I am well pleased by his ingenious blending of Joyce’s text with the work of many of my favourite artists in each of the eighteen pictures”. – Robert Ballagh, Painter.

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