Photo and graphic art exhibitions at Westport Custom House

Custom House Studios are pleased to host an exhibition of drawings and photographs Men at Work By Con Mönnich and Peti Buchel, running every day until May 6, 2019.

Con Mönnich, born in 1948 in Amsterdam, first came to Polranny, Achill Sound as guest of the Artist Retreat of the Polranny Pirates. Con worked as a commercial photographer in Holland and France on diverse subjects from portraits to aerial platforms. Before becoming a professional he took photos of the things that happened around him. He returned to this after his retirement.

In February 1974 Con travelled in February 1974 around western Mayo and Achill in his vintage Wolseley. His black and white photographs show a rural Ireland that was on the verge of changing forever and also give a rare outsider’s view of the beautifully bleak winter season.

After retirement Con finally had time to take a good look at these old photographs. It inspired him to retrace his steps to Co Mayo. From May 2016 he has been a regular visitor to the West of Mayo where he is again a guest of the Polranny Pirates. He finds his inspiration in the harsh weather, the untamed and unruly landscape and the people who work it: hence Men at Work. Recently, some of his work has been shown in Patten’s Bar in Derreens, Achill Island, Féile Cill Damhnait, Ashleam, Achill Island, Stronach Gallery in Ballycroy National Park and The National Museum of Country Life in Turlough.

Shown in this exhibition are black and white photographs from 1974 and colour photographs made in 2016, ’17 and ’18 in the Achill area.

The accompanying exhibition, by Peti Buchel, consists of three collages of sketches using Adobe Photoshop, a table cover with a graphic story and the sketches it was made from and a time sequence of four connected sketches. Born in 1946 in Nijmegen, came to Ireland in 1972 where she is one of the original Polranny Pirates. She worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for different governmental agencies in the Netherlands. She also published three Graphic Novels and one illustrated book on Syria, all in Dutch. After retirement she went back to her old love: sketching ‘on the hoof’ and graphic stories. Peti’s subject matter is people at work in rural Ireland. With quick sketches in pen and ink she captures the essential movements made for the jobs at hand.

Irish made sketches of hers have been shown in Patten’s Bar Achill Derreens, Achill Island, Stronach Gallery in Ballycroy National Park and The National Museum of Country Life in Turlough. For more see


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