To celebrate 101 years since the birth of the Culdaff artist Willie Doran and to mark our year of ‘The Gathering’, the committee of the Charles Macklin Autumn School invite anyone who has a painting, drawing, turf house sculpture or photograph of a mural or other piece of decoration work by their local artist to contact them.
Entitled ‘101 years of recollections of Willie Doran’ they are hosting a retrospective exhibition in October as part of the many events planned for this year’s Charles Macklin Autumn School, to show, in his own village, the remarkable achievements of a gifted painter who lived and worked for many years in Inishowen.
Born in Culdaff in 1912 Willie Doran came to the attention of the portrait painter, Sarah Purser, who invited him to Dublin to study under Sean Keating and Maurice Mc Gonigal and to work in the stained glass studios An Tur Gloine. There he met and worked with Michael Healey and Evie Hone, among other artists whose stained glass can be found in churches and public buildings throughout Ireland and abroad.
Following a period of emigration to Crewe in England, where he trained in signwriting and as a painter and decorator, Willie Doran returned to Culdaff in 1962 and settled happily in the village. For his remaining years, until his death in 1979, Willie made his living from painting the landscape around Culdaff and Malin and from portrait painting, signwriting and the decoration of public halls and business premises in the Inishowen Peninsula, including some very fine murals.
A sp0kesperson said: “An excellent cartoonist and gifted in crafting small Irish Homesteads from turf, examples of a range of work by the versatile artist have been preserved in many homes and public buildings both in Ireland and beyond. Willie worked entirely on commission and also made gifts of his work on some occasions.
In this year of ‘The Gathering’, as we remember those who have gone away and brought back a wealth of expertise and talent and as we join with Derry in marking its year as the UK City of Culture, the Macklin School invites all who may have a painting or other work by Willie Doran to contribute to this exhibition in honour of a gifted artist who gave much back to the place that always was his home.
If you have a piece of work or any other memorabilia relating to Willie Doran we would be delighted to hear from you before end of July on( Anne Mc Grory 0874117096, Anne Mc Daid 0749379251 )