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29 Nov 2021

Kilkenny-based artist’s work beautifully captures a moment

Sinead Lucey's painting of HSE heroes in St Columba's Thomastown received acclaim and hangs in the National Gallery

KILKENNY

Théo, oil on canvas 42x33cm, 2019

A Kilkenny-based artist whose beautiful portrait of healthcare staff in Thomastown received national acclaim last year has been sharing other examples of her work.

Sinead Lucey is a professional artist living in Inistioge, with a studio in Chapel Lane in Thomastown.

Last year, The Kilkenny People’s front page featured a portrait she painted of HSE frontline workers titled ‘The Wonderful Staff of St Joseph’s ward, St Columba’s Care Home, Thomastown, April 2020’. The oil painting on wood depicts five of the dedicated HSE/South East Community Healthcare team at St Columba’s, shown standing outside St Joseph’s Ward at the 90-bed long stay residential care facility. The portrait was shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize, and is currently hanging in this exhibition in the National Gallery of Ireland.

At the time of painting this portrait, Sinead also painted two other portraits in the context of an artist initiative
‘Portraits for HSE heroes’ as gifts to Kilkenny frontline workers’ families.


‘Annaleigh’ oil on panel 2020 (made in the context of portraits for Kilkenny frontline HSE workers)

“I was touched by the response and feeling of consolation these paintings brought to the families,” said Sinead.

“This response confirms the pleasure and enduring relationship people have with fine art. We respond to the sense of presence in a painted portrait which represents a symbolic moment in time.

“With the continuing restrictions, we have all missed celebrating family landmarks and events with grandparents, wider family and close friends. As Communion and Confirmation season approaches a painted portrait can be a reallyspecial alternative to a photograph as means of commemorating an important milestone.”

As a professional artist, Sinead takes commissions for portraits of children and adults, working directly from life or a photo. With children’s portraits, it is often a good idea to take a short video, as it offers a way of capturing a personality and an expression more easily.

“I’m always interested in seeing how children respond to their portraits,” she said.

“They often feel a sense of pride when they see themselves painted. Parents have told me that their older teenagers are very attached to portraits painted of themselves when they were younger. Hopefully, they will keep them for next generation and start a family tradition.”


Peggy and Blaithin, oil on canvas 52x38cm

Born in Cork, Sinéad Lucey studied Law in UCC and History and Sociology in Trinity College Dublin before moving to Paris back in 1991, where she completed undergraduate studies in Fine Art (Painting) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Paris. After living and working in Paris for 25 years, Sinéad moved to Kilkenny in 2016.

Her work, largely painting and drawing with some moving image, focuses on the human experience of space and movement, both real and represented. Sinéad has participated in numerous exhibitions in France and has taught Drawing and Painting in several third level institutions.

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