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Ennis artist presents rare works in documentary

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has been given unprecedented access to the State’s art collection housed in Leinster House for a landmark one-hour documentary, which will debut on Monday. For the first time in broadcasting history, the collection will be showcased in House of Art. Having been given unprecedented access, Royal Hibernian Academy president, Mick O’Dea, discovers the stories, the artists and the people behind this unique collection, revealing a rich tapestry of our socio-political history. The documentary, produced by Red Shoe Productions, will be launched with a premiere screening in The Little Museum of Dublin, where Mick and director Maggie Breathnach will do a question and answer session.The documentary will then debut on Oireachtas TV on Monday at 8pm. There are over 300 pieces of priceless art housed in Leinster House. With the foundation of the State in 1922, successive governments were keen to create a pantheon of heroes aimed at affirming national self-image. With over 18,000 pieces in the …

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Ennis artist paints President’s portrait

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has completed an official portrait of President Michael D Higgins, which will hang in Leinster House throughout his time in office, before being moved to Áras an Uachtaráin after his departure from office. “The annual Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) exhibition will be opening on May 22 and I’m going to show the newly completed official portrait of President Higgins,” said Mick. While he has recently exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy and will have another painting in London’s Royal Academy over the summer, he said this is the most important one for him. “For a portrait painter, it is a big honour. I’m humbled to have been asked to do it.” In relation to where the official portrait will be on show, he explained. “It will hang in the Áras, along with the previous Presidential portraits, once he leaves office. I’ll be showing it in the RHA, which I’m currently president of, and when that exhibition …

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Back to Buckingham

NORTH Clare artist, Michael Hanrahan has been invited again to Buckingham Palace to deliver his painting, entitled The Horse-Drawn Carriage At Windsor. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth gave Michael permission to paint various scenes from the historic visit of Irish President, Michael D Higgins to the United Kingdom last April. She also said she wished to see the work on completion. She has now written to the artist, accepting Michael’s gift of this painting. The painting depicts the Australian State carriage as it made its way to Windsor Castle, carrying the Queen and President Higgins. Michael will deliver the painting to Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm on Monday, October 6. This is the artist’s second visit to the palace, having presented a further painting, entitled The Queen at the Garden of Remembrance. This painting followed Queen Elizabeth’s historic visit to Ireland in 2011. Michael was the only artist accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs to capture this visit on canvas. The …

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O’Dea on the mend

ENNIS born internationally-renowned artist Mick O’Dea has described his recent accident, which left him with serious injuries, as a “very close call.” The award-winning artist was brought to the Mater Hospital for surgery after an accident on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in January. He said he was “very lucky” to have escaped with his life. Mr O’Dea is now recovering at his home in Dublin, having spent a week in hospital, where he spent a number of days in intensive care. “I just have to take it easy now for a couple more weeks and try and heal,” he told The Clare Champion. He said the impact “shattered” his spleen, which had to be surgically removed. He praised the surgical team and all at the Mater Hospital saying “they saved me”. The accident occurred on January 17 when Mr O’Dea was cycling on O’Connell Street. He recalled, “I was cycling along O’Connell Street and somebody walked out in front of me …

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Artist Dympna Bonfield preparing for her forthcoming exhibition "Soul Space" which will run in Glor, Ennis as part of Culture night. Photograph by John Kelly.

West inspires Dympna’s Soul Space

SOUL Space, an exhibition by Ennis-based artist Dympna Bonfield is going on show at Glór on Saturday, September 7 and will be there until October 26. Dympna was born and raised in West Clare but was away for many years before returning to her native county. Much of her work has reflected this move and it is the people and landscape of West Clare that largely inspired her paintings. She began her career as a primary school teacher but later attended the National College of Art in Dublin and qualified as an art teacher. This led to teaching art in secondary schools and much of her early work during this time took the form of murals painted in some of the places she worked and can still be seen today. Whilst teaching in the capital, she began exhibiting work in a couple of Dublin galleries and as her reputation grew, she began to exhibit further afield. Her work has now …

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