I met with Eddie McParland today. He’s a professor, retired from the Department of History of Art and Architecture in Trinity College, Dublin. He bought my painting entitled ‘Joe’ at the Davy Portrait Awards exhibition last year, and he has it hanging in his rooms in Trinity. It was a rare treat to visit his rooms, which were hung from floor to ceiling with paintings, and not just any paintings – he had a beautiful Evie Hone, and works by Martin Gale, T.P. Flanagan, Blaise Smith and many, many more. In between the paintings, he had shelves, shelves which were creaking under the weight of books, notebooks, catalogues and plaster statues… We had coffee and mince pies, milk poured from a silver jug.
The meeting had been arranged by Mary O’Brien, the CEO of the Irish Landmark Trust. Fionnuala Rockett who had studied Art History and won the prestigious Purser Griffith Award was also there. We munched our mince pies and sipped our coffees and looked around in awe at a collection that must have taken years to put together.
The Irish Landmark Trust is a charity that was founded in 1992 to save historically important and unusual ‘landmark’ buildings on the island of Ireland and, once restored, to re-use them as quality self- catering holiday accommodation. At its heart is the principle that the structure itself is of prime importance and any restorative intervention respects this. See below, a photograph of one of their landmark buildings, the lighthouse at Wicklow Head.
The Trust is holding a fundraising exhibition tomorrow, Wednesday, in the RHA Gallagher Gallery in Dublin. Over 150 works will be on sale, including works by artists such as Patrick Scott, Carey Clarke, Robert Ballagh and… well yes, I have a piece in it too.