Our Brent shows his big heart with stunning art show for disadvantaged

Melanie Finn

RTE rugby commentator and Herald writer Brent Pope will be painting the town red this evening as he tackles a new career challenge.

The sports broadcaster will be unveiling his inaugural art exhibition, Outside In, to a group of invited guests tonight, including celebrity artist Rasher.

The New Zealand native also credits colourful businessman Johnny Ronan with making it all possible, by giving him exhibition space at Spencer Dock.

"I've known Johnny for years and I knew there's a lot of vacant areas around Dublin. I was ideally looking for somewhere around Blackrock or Stillorgan, but then he offered me this amazing space on the northside.

"It's a huge warehouse with a kind of New York vibe to it. I wanted to keep the whole feeling very raw and I have to say, it looks stunning. People will be blown away when they see it."

However, this isn't a mere vanity project for the big-hearted commentator, given that the 120 pieces have all been created by dis-enfranchised artists, with all the money raised going towards four different charities.


"My brother is a psychiatrist and I wanted to do something to help charities like Shine, a mental health association, as well as Down Syndrome Ireland. All the art has been done by people that are on the fringes of the art society, homeless people and those in Rehab," he continued.

"It's art with a difference, as all the artists have interesting stories and have used art for a positive influence in their lives, whether it's from living on the streets or those with autism.

"These people are all self-taught artists who wouldn't have had the chance to exhibit art before now. Some of them might have been people with a real flair for art who just fell through the cracks and have now produced some stunning stuff.

"I've been working on this show for about six months but the amount of support I've received has been amazing."

Meanwhile, Brent believes that the Ireland rugby team will have their backs against the wall against Argentina this Sunday in the final match of the November internationals.

With five of their players carrying knocks from last Saturday's All Blacks match, he says he's keeping his finger crossed.