Patrick Collins HRHA

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Artist Bio

Patrick Collins HRHA

Patrick Collins (1910-1994) was a landscape and figure painter born in Sligo. As a young boy he was particularly interested in exploring wildlife and woodlands but he was sent to St Vincent’s Orphanage, Glasnevin, Dublin as a border and then suffered from ill-health, spending much of his time in hospital.

Collins did not begin painting until his late twenties when he took evening classes at the National College of Art and then he also took a class with George Collie. In the 1940’s, Patrick then went to live in a tower in Howth Castle where he spent a little more than six months painting.

Patrick first exhibited his work for the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1950. His work was described as “usually predominantly of one tone or colour, grey as if misted, or brownly aqueous, as if steeped in peat water…” “A painter of quiet individuality, romantic pictures in the best sense. They have colour and quality as well as an unemphasised rightness of form.”

Patrick went through a very tough period where he did not produce much art but was financially assisted by the Arts Council Bursary in 1980. That same year, he was elected an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.

A few other critics described his work, “perilous and strange, the product of a rare imagination”, “he had an almost mythological artist’s temperament” loveable, hopeless at organizing himself, floundering about from one country to another with picturesque passions and traditional vices, alternating between poverty and the generosity of patrons”. 

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