Artist Vincent Devine in front of part of the portrait of Vicky Phelan.

Local artist backs frontline heroes with stunning art work

A former student of both Athlone IT and Moate Business College has received widespread acclaim for his stunning portrait of health advocate, Vicky Phelan, which was unveiled on the Late Late Show on Friday night last.

The magnificent piece of work, which comes in triptych form (three panels) is one of the most significant paintings to date from Clara artist, Vincent Devine, who is a Visual Communications Graduate from AIT, and also attended Moate Business College.

Described as “a message of hope” by Ms Phelan, the stunning portrait is due to be auctioned by leading Irish Auction House, Sheppard’s in Laois, in a special online auction on February 4, to raise funds for a charity set up to aid frontline health workers called Heroes Aid.

Vicky Phelan, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014, and is credited with lifting the lid on the cervical check scandal, posed for Vincent Devine’s portrait at one of her favourite locations, Doonbeg beach, last September, and the Tullamore-based artist spent the winter months working on the special project.

The three-part portrait represents the past, the present and the future, and is a summation of the life of the tireless women’s health campaigner who appeared on the Late Late Show last week in advance of her journey to the United States where she will spend the next six months participating in cancer trials which she hopes will prolong her life.

Vincent Devine is well-known for his highly stylised portraiture which has already caught the attention of celebrities like Madonna, JK Rowling, Kylie Minogue and America’s Next Top Model presenter, Tyra Banks.

One of his portraits of Madonna was used on her ‘Rebel Heart’ worldwide tour, while his work also featured in a series of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ and garnered him a worldwide audience of fans for his unique style of painting.

The Vicky Phelan portrait has drawn praise for Vincent Devine from all corners of Ireland and abroad for its poignancy in sensitively capturing the struggles which she has endured throughout her past and present life, and the legacy which she will leave behind in the future.

Ms Phelan told Ryan Turbridy on the Late Late Show that the inclusion of shamrock in the centrepiece of the portrait was her idea to represent “the Irish people who have taken me to their heart….it is painting of hope and I hope that’s the way people will see it.”

The ‘Triptych Portrait of Vicky Phelan’, will go under the hammer to a worldwide audience at a live online auction at Sheppards’ Irish Auction House at 2pm on Thursday, February 4 next.