Scuffle as artist O'Dea donates painting to Kilkenny barracks
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.
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.