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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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the Painter, Flower Pot, 2001




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This exhibition presents 23 paintings and drawings by this little-known Cork artist who has spent most of his adult life in care. John the Painter (so named because of the need to respect his privacy) has been in care since the 1960s, living in a communal and often difficult environment for most of his adult life. Art has given him a means to explore his own feelings and thoughts about that life, surprisingly creating a body of artwork that is exuberantly colourful and celebratory. Much of John’s work is autobiographical, showing vivid memories of Cork in the 1960s before he went into hospital. Paintings of his early life, when he worked as a messenger boy, show backdrops of the buildings and pubs of Cork featuring the local Murphy’s Brewery signage, the Father Matthew Statue and Saint Finbarr’s Cathedral. The exhibition includes one of his most striking works Jet Plane, Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Boxes, Arrows on Grand Parade, Chinese Version, which has been donated to the Museum, which already holds a major collection of Outsider art in the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Archive.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, with a text by William Frodé de la Foret, the artist from Cork Community Artlink, who has worked most closely with John over the past decade (price €10.00).

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.