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Illustrating Icons – Collins and Dev

October 12, 2022 @ 1:05 pm - 1:55 pm


1916 Portraits and Lives is a project of the Royal Irish Academy that aims to highlight the lives a variety of people – men and women, British and Irish, belligerents and pacifists – involved in the events of Easter week.

Artist David Rooney was commissioned to create 42 new and original scraperboard portraits, and the RIA team worked with David, providing him with the research that inspired his creativity. When it came to how to depict Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera, opinions were divided. The original sketches for the project presented the stereotypes of the Dev and Collins we know today. But how might they have been perceived in that tumultuous era? Join illustrator David Rooney for a practical demonstration of his scraperboard technique and hand colouring of lithographs, and Ruth Hegarty for a description of the commissioning process and the debates that took place over how to present Dev and Collins.

Illustrator David Rooney’s artwork features in publications by The Folio Society, London, and in cultural centres such as the Titanic Experience, Belfast, King John’s Castle, Limerick; and the Stonehenge visitor centre. You can see more of David’s work at davidrooney.com Ruth Hegarty is the Managing Editor of the Royal Irish Academy.


October 12, 2022
1:05 pm - 1:55 pm