Artist Liam O'Neill will this week join a host of Ireland's most celebrated artists when he unveils some of his work at a major Irish art event in London.
London Irish Art 2015 will be officially launched by Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan and Irish Ambassador to the UK Dan Mulhall tomorrow evening (Thursday) at the Central Hall, Westminster where it will run for four days.
As London holds the largest concentration of Irish diaspora in the world, the objective of London Irish Art 2015 is to strengthen cultural relations between Ireland and Great Britain by promoting and encouraging creativity. It also seeks to represent the on-going dialogue between these two countries, to provide artists with cross border exposure and to explore the experience of the Irish diaspora living in the UK.
A dynamic programme of art, poetry and music, will inform this exciting investigation and a vast array of media will be explored, ranging from the more traditional forms of painting, photography, mixed media and sculpture to the more contemporary means of expression such as video work, installation and stop-motion animation.
Corca Dhuibhne's Liam O'Neill has certainly carved out a reputation for himself as one of Ireland's most respected artists and his work is highly sought after nationally and internationally. He is well-known for his paintings of harbours, horse fairs, landscapes and fishermen and he also draws inspiration from local race meetings such as the Dingle Races and Ráiseanna Bheál Bán. In 2013 he was commissioned to paint the portrait of 'The Boss' Bruce Springsteen, no less.
He has also painted unique depictions of John Wayne, Richard Harris, former Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey, Samuel Beckett and the late poet Seamus Heaney - which will be unveiled in London this week. Another Liam O'Neill portrait of Ted Hughes and three pieces depicting traditional West Kerry turf-cutting and naomhógs will also be on display in Westminister's Central Hall.
Alongside the work of Liam O'Neill, London Irish Art 2015 will also present work by celebrated Irish artists Louis Le Brocquy, Robert Ballagh, Francis O'Toole (winner of the RHA Sean Keating Award for Outstanding Painting), painter James Brohan and sculptors John Behan and Aidan Harte. Two works by 'Lord of the Dance' Michael Flatley, painted with foot taps in acrylic on marley, will also feature.
UK-based Irish artists will be represented through the work of David Blackmore, Alison Lowry, Kyle Barnes, Donol Moloney, Patricia Volk and Aisling Drennan.
"I look forward to launching the exhibition," said Minister Deenihan. "The promotion of Irish culture through the work of Irish visual artists will form a very important part of my Diaspora Strategy, due to be launched in early 2015."