Spotlight on an artist: John Dinan

Contemporary Irish artist

12/10/2022     General News, Artworks



John Dinan, originally of Glasnevin in Dublin, is an Irish artist, still active in the Irish art community today. Originally, Dinan went to college to study engineering and pursued this as a career for a period of thirty years until he left it behind to work as an artist and has been in the art industry for the last twenty years. While still working as an engineer, Dinan studied in the evenings at the National College and later hired RHA artist Henry Healy to teach a group of artists he had joined together, naming themselves The Black Lane painters. Today, Dinan himself continues to influence the work of others through his education practice in the Schoolhouse for Art in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow.

Dinan does not stick to a single theme in his work and is found to broaden his subject matter from Asian vases in a still life scene, architectural renderings from his travels in France and Italy, and perhaps most notably his examples of landscape and nautical themes around Ireland and abroad. In this month’s auction, we have an example of this third category of work from Dinan in Lot 540.

The Point Depot from the Grand Canal Basin is an oil painting by Dinan that encapsulates a rare peaceful moment in the Dublin docklands. The painting shows a view from the south side of the city, looking across the Liffey to see the Point Depot. The scene is contemporary to when it was painted and reflects the modernisation of the area as it has been developed over time. However, despite the urbanisation of the area, the topographical view is still evidently recognisable to those familiar with the docklands. The rounded brushstrokes creating the cobbles, and the softness surrounding the atmosphere juxtapose the harshness of the work associated with the docklands, creating a softer nostalgic feel for the Dublin gone-by. The pink undertones reflected on the ground indicate either dawn or dusk and the stillness in the air when the workday is not in full swing, contrasted by the brushstrokes that illustrate the constant flow of the River Liffey.

John Dinan has exhibited in the RHA and the Oireachtas, as well as several galleries around Ireland.


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