Talented Cork Artist commissioned to paint a portrait of Kerry Hero,the late Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty due to be auctioned in February 2009

Talented Cork Artist commissioned to paint a portrait of Kerry Hero,the late Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty due to be auctioned in February 2009

Talented Artist Stephen Murphy from Ovens Co.Cork was recently commissioned to paint a portrait of the late Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, which was unveiled last weekend in Killarney during a Memorial Weekend which celebrated the bravery of this Irishman who saved 6,500 lives during World War II. It is expected that this painting with a reserve value of €3,000 will be auctioned in February 2009 in order to raise funds to build a permanent memorial to this national hero who is barely recognised in Irish History. Currently all that marks his achievements is a grove of trees which was planted in 1994 in Killarney, the hometown of the Monsignor.

Stephen attended the Limerick School of Art and Design from 2001-2005,graduating with a degree from the Painting department. His professional career began in 2007 with a debut solo exhibition “Epiphany,serendipity and synchronicity: Illustrations of the human condition”in the Normoyle Frawley Gallery in Limerick, which was officially opened by John Shinnors.  Following this exhibition he was invited to spend the summer as an artist in residence at the Albers Foundation in Connecticut,USA.He was the youngest artist ever invited to attend this invite only affair and one of the most prestigious residency programmes in the world.

Stephen recently finished building a studio and is currently working on a collaborative exhibition of paintings and musical accompaniment for the Cork School of Music with composer Pierre O’Reilly due for release in early 2010. Stephen Murphy’s work is concerned with themes such as archetypal heroes,like cowboys,knights,comic book heroes like Superman, as well as his own personal heroes. Commenting on the portrait which played an integral part of the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Weekend Stephen said;

“I only learnt of this great mans bravery and human generosity a few months ago. I couldn’t believe that neither I,nor anyone I spoke to knew anything about this inspirational Irish man and immediately contacted the committee and offered to play my part in creating something unique and permanent that will ensure that his memory and deeds will never be forgotten”

The portrait of the Monsignor can be seen on display at The Killarney Outlet Centre as part of a photo exhibition, which tells the story of The Monsignor’s work during the war. Medals from countries all over the world that have been awarded to the Monsignor are also on display.  

For more information on Stephen’s work please see www.stephenmurphy.com and for more information on Hugh O’ Flaherty please see www.hughoflaherty.com

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