Northern Ireland news

Funeral for Basil Blackshaw ‘one of true greats of Irish art'

Amanda Ferguson
10 May, 2016 01:00

THE funeral of acclaimed Irish artist Basil Blackshaw has taken place at Roselawn Crematorium.

The 83-year-old passed away peacefully on May 2.

Musician Neil Martin played cello during the non-religious service for Blackshaw on Monday.

The painter's friends Denis Bradley and Jude Stephens, his life model for 30 years, addressed mourners, including former boxer Barry McGuigan and veteran journalist Eamonn Mallie.

Blackshaw was born in 1932 in Glengormley, Co Antrim, and raised in Boardmills, Co Down.

An associate of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts, he won an award for his "sustained contribution to the visual art in Ireland" in 2001.

Dublin's Royal Hibernian Academy described him as "one of Ireland's greatest artists".

Artist Colin Davidson told the Irish News Blackshaw was his hero.

"I will remember him with great fondness," he said.

"Not only was he one of the true greats of Irish art, he was also one of the most generous and funny human beings I have had the opportunity to call a friend."

Davidson also had the opportunity to paint portraits of his good friend.

One is owned by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and another is in a private collection.

"He made me feel completely at ease," Davidson said.

"I was obviously aware that I had grown up believing and recognising him as a true great but he didn't wear that.

"It wasn't obvious on meeting him. He saw it as a meeting of equal humans."

10 May, 2016 01:00 Northern Ireland news