Friday 9 December 2016

From the page to the gallery wall - striking portraits of 1916 on display

Grainne Loughran

Published 21/11/2016 | 02:30

The portraits, painted in oils, feature revolutionaries such as James Connolly, the Countess Markievicz and Thomas MacDonagh
The portraits, painted in oils, feature revolutionaries such as James Connolly, the Countess Markievicz and Thomas MacDonagh

They were specially commissioned by the Irish Independent to commemorate the 1916 Rising. Now, a series of portraits of revolutionaries will go on display in a striking exhibition.

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The portraits, painted by Jon Berkeley, were designed as cover images for the Irish Independent 1916 Collection, a 10-part supplement series published in partnership with UCD and Ireland 2016.

Illustrator Jon Berekely. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Illustrator Jon Berekely. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Mr Berkeley, who has been featured in publications such as the 'Washington Post', 'Time' and 'The Economist', says he was excited to get involved with the project.

"I jumped at the chance because I know there was a bit of hoopla about the centenary in Ireland, and living in Spain, this was a chance for me to plug in to it," he said. "For me, the whole thing surrounding the centenary was fascinating."

Mr Berkeley said the portraits received a positive reaction in Spain as well. "I exhibited some of them here in Spain while I was working on them, and there was a surprising amount of interest from people who didn't really know much about the history," he said.

"It was part of an Irish festival that goes on here every year, the Irish Catalan festival, and it got quite a bit of interest."

The portraits, painted by Jon Berkeley, were designed as cover images for the Irish Independent 1916 Collection
The portraits, painted by Jon Berkeley, were designed as cover images for the Irish Independent 1916 Collection

Permanent

The portraits, painted in oils, feature revolutionaries such as James Connolly, the Countess Markievicz and Thomas MacDonagh.

The exhibition at the Lexicon library in Dún Laoghaire will be opened tomorrow by Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch and will run until January.

"The collection itself will be available for sale and we're waiting to see whether it'll find a permanent home," Mr Berkeley said.

Ten oil paintings by Jon Berkeley were commissioned by the Irish Independent for a series of supplements on the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Ten oil paintings by Jon Berkeley were commissioned by the Irish Independent for a series of supplements on the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

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