home Arts & Literature Cork Art Student Marks Gay Rights Movement Journey in Ireland at Arts Festival

Cork Art Student Marks Gay Rights Movement Journey in Ireland at Arts Festival

Portraits of marriage equality campaigners are to be on display at K-Fest over the June bank holiday weekend in Killorglin, Co Kerry. Cork College of Art & Design student Stephen Doyle painted the series of portraits of the campaigners, who include Senator David Norris, Grainne Healy, Darren Kennedy, and Tonie Walsh, to mark the one year anniversary of the passing of the marriage equality referendum.

According to Doyle,

“This series of portraits is a way of commemorating those who have made a substantial contribution to equal rights in the L.G.B.T.Q community in this country over the last four decades.  Without those who have decided to make their voices heard, thousands of people would still have conflicting thoughts between self and society.  Their efforts have succeeded in challenging society’s ideology of a heteronormative lifestyle.”

Each portrait has been approached differently in accordance to their contribution and character. There is a unique balance between expression and physical likeness in all.  Senator David Norris’s piece is composed in an array of colour accompanied by two over imposed lamps  from Trinity College and Dublin Castle, symbolising his years of sacrifice bringing gay rights to fruition in Ireland.  Tonie Walsh’s portrait is set in a natural environment nodding to the first pride march that he was present for that began on St. Stephen’s Green to Merrion Road.

K-Fest is running from June 3rd – 6th, features galleries, live music, film, spoken word, and children’s workshops. K-Fest features established and emerging artists in the unique setting that is Killorglin, Co Kerry.


Stephen Spillane

30 year old Cork feen who should have left UCC years ago, but still writing for the Express. Has written for a number of websites including Spirituality Ireland and ESC Ireland. Interests include Politics, Religion and other things that shouldn't be spoken about in polite company.