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Dan Killackey's work is being exhibited in Japan.

Clare artist’s work in prestigious Japanese exhibition

Award-winning artwork by an Ardnacrusha product design student was exhibited during a prestigious Arts Festival in Tokyo.

Hot on the heels of scooping a major award, Dan Killackey’s winning entry in the 68th Texaco Children’s Art Competition was selected along with three others by the International Foundation for
Arts & Culture (IFAC) for exhibition at the 23rd International Arts Festival in Tokyo’s National Art Center from August 10 to 21.

Dan, 18, from Ardnacrusha, was chosen as the overall winner of this year’s competition, taking first prize in the senior 16-18 years age category.

Dan told the Clare Champion he was honoured to be apart of such a prestigious exhibition.

“I was delighted to win a national award. Since 2019, I have known about this competition. I wish I had known sooner because I could have competed since I was six years old. I think it would be good to promote this art competition more in schools.

“When I complete a sketch and see people’s satisfaction, it motivates me to continue doing art and get people smiling.”

The commissions I’m doing at the moment are mostly portraits of people’s family members and sometimes pets,” he said.

Dan’s winning work, for which he receives a prize of €1,500, is entitled ‘Isolation’ and is a detailed portrait study in coloured pencils of his granduncle, Mick White, who lives in Carrig in North Tipperary.

During the winter of 2020, when Dan visited Mick he saw his cat had jumped on the kitchen table to eat a piece of food.

Realising this would make a good picture for a drawing, Dan took out his phone and snapped it. Using markers as a base, he uses coloured pencils over that.

In choosing it as overall prize winner in the Competition, Final Adjudicator and Chairman of the judging panel, Gary Granville, Professor Emeritus of Education at the National College of Art and Design, described Dan’s piece as ‘a short story in visual imagery.”

“In his image of a man and his cat, Dan has captured so many aspects of contemporary life in Ireland. Through understated reference to some resonant icons – the discarded Covid face-covering on the table, the classic Sacred Heart image in the far corner, and the old TV set in the background, we can locate a man we all seem to know,” Professor Granville added.

His inspiration for his prize-winning portrait came to him whilst on a visit to his granduncle Mick’s home in North Tipperary.

Mick was delighted that his portrait helped Dan win a national award.

Now studying product design at University of Limerick, his love of art continues to grow and he has already received a number of commissions, which he has been working on over the summer months.

He enjoys completing sketches and 3-D models and recently devised an unusual design for a lamp. Having finished First Year, he is looking forward to completing the rest of this four-year course that combines engineering with product design.

He likes the idea of designing cars and general things like headsets. He posts his art on his instagram page @dansart__

About Dan Danaher

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