Bryan Dobson launches 1916 Portrait Collection.

1916 Rebel Talk!

Fiery launch of 1916 Portrait Collection.

We were so privileged to enjoy Ireland’s national TV newscaster Bryan Dobson’s eloquent and insightful launch of Rod Coyne’s 1916 Portrait Collection. Dobson’s scholarly grasp on that period of history left the audiences blood racing and Rebel Talk in their ears. He extolled the diverse characteristics of the Easter Rising protagonists pinpointing their motives and achievements.

The RTE anchorman told how her has been a fan of Rod Coyne’s landscape work for over a decade and how impressed he was to see the artist tackling this seminal theme. He referenced W.B.Yeats poetry mentioning how Rod had brought these “vivid faces” to life one century later.

The exhibition ran during March and April 2016 at The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow. Rod Coyne’s paintings were the perfect backdrop for a month of 1916 Centenary events, including discussion panels, film, theater and musical show on the theme.

Rod Coyne has created an exclusive series of portraits remembering key faces of the 1916 Easter Rising. This rebellion was seminal in Ireland’s struggle for freedom. The artist blends contemporary and classical painting to bridge the hundred year divide, while depicting a very human condition against a violent backdrop. This collection of portraits is currently available as a “1916 Centenary Calendar” and a range of CANVAS PRINTS from Avoca Gallery. The prints come in a choice of sizes and ship world wide for FREE

“I remember learning this part of Irish history as a school boy, awe-struck and filled with pride. While back then the year 2016 belonged to science fiction, I now stand on the threshold still awe-struck and filled with pride.

I started out with a need to update the 1916 images I had known since I was a kid. The faces I admired for so long had become jaded in my eyes; they had been re-hashed continually in books and posters to the point where I couldn’t see them anymore. Using a palette of Prussian Blue and Burnt Sienna I have attempted to give the collection a unifying thread to tie them together. Each original photograph was completely different to the next; some were considered studio portraits and others taken on the fly. I decided not to trace from the photos but to process them through my own eyes, head and hand. I was trading “accuracy” for a chance to really commune with these faces until they started to become people again.” – Rod Coyne.