Art winner credits Yeats as inspiration
STUDYING WB Yeats for the Leaving Cert isn't everybody's cup of tea, but using the poet for inspiration has proved a winning formula for aspiring artist Sarah Prendergast.
The 17-year-old from Tralee, Co Kerry, scooped first prize in the 14-to-17 age category of the 2011 Credit Union All-Ireland Art Competition with her interpretation of the theme 'Ireland through my eyes'.
Her stunning drawing, a charcoal-effect using heavy lead pencils, featured the image of the renowned poet as well as a dolmen, a farm worker and a touching rendition of a young hand clasping an older one.
"I was studying Yeats in school so he was in my head all the time," revealed Sarah.
"When I eventually got this idea I had to do an all-nighter to get it finished.
"I think the drawing shows where we came from as a nation and even though things aren't great now we're still proud of where we came from."
Yesterday Sarah was one of the 34 category award winners who travelled to Dublin's Gresham Hotel to receive their certificates and cash prizes from broadcaster Marty Whelan.
Now in its 28th year, the popular art competition attracted a record 32,000 entries this year through the 494 credit unions nationwide.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Jimmy Johnson, president of the Irish League of Credit Unions paid tribute to the "flair and creativity of the young people of Ireland" and said the organisation was determined to continue supporting budding artists into the future.