Night of Oscar excitement for Rathmore based artist

Sinead Kelleher

On Sunday night Kerry artist, Sandra Hickey, was at home watching the Oscars, with her fingers crossed to see if the film she played a part in creating would win the holy grail.

While it was not to be, the fact that the feature length animation film, Loving Vincent, even made it to Hollywood was a dream come through for all involved including the cast, crew and the 125 artists that brought it to life.

What makes Loving Vincent so unique and special is that it is the first ever animated film where every single frame was hand-painted by artists around the world including Kerry's own, Sandra Hickey, from Rathmore.

"It was once in a life-time experience and the first ever in cinematic history. I couldn't believe my luck that I was involved in it," says Sandra this week.

She was even more thrilled when the film was nominated for the Best Animated Film at this year's Oscars in the same category as a number of big-budget films which included Pixar Animation Studios' Coco which won the category. Also in the category was the Breadwinner, the kid's comedy Ferdinand and the Boss Baby Loving Vincent, tells the story of the last days of the renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh and was brainchild of Polish and British team, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman who came up with the idea of creating the world's first ever animation film made from oil paintings.

The film features a well known cast including Irish actors, Chris O'Dowd and Saoirse Ronan.

65,000 paintings were created to make the 90 minute feature film and Sandra was responsible for 387 artistic works in the film. "As an artist I couldn't believe my luck to be involved in something like this. It took six months to complete it. We were all just intoxicated by it the idea as it has never been done before."

"When we heard about the Oscar nomination we were so proud. I was watching it on Sunday night and I was disappointed but we were up against big companies like Pixar. This was an Independent production. I am so proud of what we have done and how beautiful movie it is," she said.

Sandra is originally from Knocknalonan Rathmore on the Cork Kerry Border and is a past pupils of Scoil Phobail Sliabha Luachra.