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Sunday 26 February 2017

Locals warm to Fin's cool 'Kid' mural

Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

THE last time she painted a mural in a public place it caused a car crash. This time the efforts of the artist are receiving a warmer welcome in the same village.

Fin Collins created a minor storm when her 'Guinness de Milo' was unveiled in Waterville in 2000. The 9' x 16' mural depicting the naked Venus with a pint of Guinness was not to the taste of all locals.

This time round she has been welcomed back with open arms for her 16' x 16' depiction of Charlie Chaplin and 'The Kid' which was completed over the weekend ahead of the comedy film festival named in his honour this August.

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The Hollywood icon of the black and white era was a well-known character in the Co Kerry town where he enjoyed holidays with his family for years.

Two of his daughters, Josephine and Geraldine, still own houses in the area and have given their full backing to the comedy film festival.

Ms Collins, a native of Laytown, Co Meath, began her latest artistic endeavour on Good Friday and was racing against time and weather to have it completed last night. The artist, who has been painting since the age of five, has a particular fondness for famous actors.

"I'm working on a collection of Hollywood icons and I've painted 15 already and I'm trying to get 40 done," she told the Irish Independent. "I was two weeks working on the Venus and I've spent 35 hours working on this mural."

With the aid of a teleporter operated by Con O'Shea, the artist has spent most of the weekend hoisted 10 feet in the air painting the mural on to the gable end of Micheal O'Shea's Bayview Hotel.

She said she had examined various images of Chaplin with festival organisers Noelle Campbell-Sharpe and Dr Ellie O'Sullivan and in the end they decided on 'The Kid' as the most appropriate.

The mural was a huge undertaking and was completed using the Caravaggio style. First the artist drew a grid on the wall and drew the image which was then painted in a burnt amber tone as a base before being completed in black and white.

When her notorious 'Guinness de Milo' appeared on another gable wall 10 years ago, it stopped one stunned motorist in his tracks causing another fixated driver to rear end him.

Irish Independent

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