Sunday 4 December 2016

Scuffle as artist O'Dea donates painting to Kilkenny barracks

Published 03/12/2015 | 02:30

Artist Mick O'Dea and Lt Col Stephen Ryan at James Stephen's Barracks during the unveiling of a painting of Michael Collins
Artist Mick O'Dea and Lt Col Stephen Ryan at James Stephen's Barracks during the unveiling of a painting of Michael Collins

Arts openings can be stuffy affairs, but the unveiling of one of Mick O'Dea's paintings in James Stephens Barracks last night kicked off with a scuffle and a sliotar.

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O'Dea gifted his painting 'Michael Collins meeting the Kilkenny and Dublin Hurling Teams, prior to the Leinster Final of 1921' to the barracks as a thank you after he was allowed to use the barracks as a pop-up studio during the Kilkenny Arts Festival.

During his nine-day tenure, O'Dea painted 11 portraits of Kilkenny Arts Festival performers, including Garry Hynes and Martin Hayes, in front of a live audience.

O'Dea presented the painting, which is based on a photograph, to Lt Col Stephen Ryan last night.

Eugene Downes, festival director of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, was in attendance.

"I think it was a fantastic collaboration between the arts festival and the barracks and I think the painting is a very meaningful gesture," Downes said.

"Mick takes documentary photographs or newsreel footage as a starting point and brings the history of the images to life through his paintings.

"This painting is a powerful and provocative one and shows the great relationship between the GAA and the defence forces."

Michael Collins threw the sliotar into the field during the 1921 match.

Irish Independent

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