| 7.5°C Dublin

Close

Premium

'I told the doctor I didn't want to go on' - Graham Knuttel on dark days of ill-health and a brighter future

The artist who won fame and acclaim in the Celtic Tiger years tells Niamh Horan about dark days of ill-health - and a brighter future

Close

SECOND LIFE: Graham Knuttel at his Dun Laoghaire home. Photo: Steve Humphreys

SECOND LIFE: Graham Knuttel at his Dun Laoghaire home. Photo: Steve Humphreys

SECOND LIFE: Graham Knuttel at his Dun Laoghaire home. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Graham Knuttel was finally enjoying the quiet life. Once synonymous with the excesses of the Celtic Tiger, the wild child of the Irish art world had just discovered a love of gardening. It was the Indian summer of 2018 when something began to niggle.

"At first I thought it was hay fever. I felt congested and tired. I felt f**ked, you know?" says Knuttel, dispensing with niceties as he recounts what became a personal nightmare.

He went to a doctor who ran blood tests and gave it to him straight: "He said, 'You're going to die unless you get a new liver'. He was quite brutal about it actually," Knuttel recalls, able to laugh about the experience now.