Thursday 23 November 2017

My cultural life: Artist Orla Walsh

Orla Walsh
Orla Walsh
Pretty in Pink
The Shard
Ben Steele

Artist Orla Walsh was first spotted selling her ketchup painting on St Stephen's Green by the corporate lawyer from Heinz Ireland.

At first she was told to remove the paintings from the railings, as she was infringing copyright. However, the lawyer took her details and got in touch later to say Heinz had loved the paintings and bought six for its world headquarters in Pittsburgh, USA where they still proudly hang today.

This wonderful collaboration, between Orla and Heinz UK, has seen a range of items based on Orla's I love Ketchup painting, consisting of aprons, tea towels and napkins, go on sale in BHS stores throughout the UK. In 2013, Orla's range went on sale throughout Tesco stores in the UK, while in 2014, her range became available in Sainsbury's stores. She is married to Kieran and has three girls, Ali (17), Charlie (15) and Tess (10). She will exhibit at house 2017 in the RDS.

Film: Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

I grew up with John Hughes's coming-of-age movies, I loved them all, Pretty in Pink (above), The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Uncle Buck to name a few. Myself and my brothers can recite multiple quotes from these movies and I have introduced my daughters to them. They think they are a little out of date, but I am hugely sentimental about them.

Book: The Secret Wife

I recently read The Secret Wife by Gill Paul. I know I loved it, because when I finished, I spent two hours online watching documentaries about the Romanovs on YouTube. I could not get enough of the story. The book is about the Grand Duchess Tatiana of the Romanov family and a present-day English journalist who inherits her great grandfather's lake shore cabin in America and a great love story unfolds. I found it hard to put down.

Artist: Ben Steele

Ben Steele

I adore surfing the web looking for artists and this is how I came across this young American artist called Ben Steele. On one canvas he paints a milk carton, then he calls the milk 'Degas' and the logo is one of the Degas ballerinas (above). He mixes techniques and processes of the old masters. His work is very witty and sharp.

TV: Big Little Lies

I loved The West Wing and House of Cards but I've just started Big Little Lies and I am addicted. It is an American dark, comedy drama about the three women and an incident involving their children in the playground at the start of a new term. Lots of rumours and whispers and you know it's all going to end in tears.

Design: The Shard

When I was over in London recently, I did some paintings for the launch of Walkers Crisps' new flavours. I got off the tube at The Shard (below) and was blown away by the sheer size of it and how it reflects the vastness of the sky. It lives up to its name as it looks like a 'shard of glass' emerging from the Thames.

The Shard

House 2017: Ireland's new high-end interiors event takes place in Dublin's RDS on May 26-28, showcasing world-class interiors, art and design. Buy your tickets now at

Sunday Independent

Promoted Links

Life Newsletter

Our digest of the week's juiciest lifestyle titbits.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Life