Documentary on One


The story of Belfast painter Markey Robinson who spent much of his life in Dublin

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4.8/5 (6 ratings)

Documentary maker: Kevin Rafter

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Documentary maker: Peter Woods

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Sunday 3rd March 2007

Markey Robinson was born in Belfast in 1918 and died in 1999, aged 80, in Belfast.

Markey was a prolific Irish artist with a distinctive naïve expressionist style. His main passion was painting, but he also produced sculptures, and designed some stained glass panels.

He trained at the Belfast College of Art. His first exhibitions were in Belfast during WW II, but he became much better known through his exhibitions at the Oriel Gallery in Dublin where over 20 exhibitions were held as well as a steady stream of sales of individual pictures. Another prominent venue for exhibition of Robinson's work was the Royal Hibernian Academy. He also had a long record of one-man-shows in other venues both in Ireland and elsewhere.

More than 400 Markey Robinson works can be seen in the online archive catalogues of Whytes Irish Art Auctions

His paintings cover a wide range of subjects, but there are certain recurring features which appear frequently. These may occur separately or in combination.

He was the son of a house painter and spent time as a boxer and as a merchant sailor. In his early career he was championed by the Oriel Gallery in Dublin.

In May 2008, the Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD, officially opened MARKEY AT THE ORIEL, The Oriel Gallery's Markey Robinson retrospective, featuring Markey paintings (and some rare sculpture) from as far back as the 1950s. He also launched a 160 page book/catalogue on the artist by Paul O'Kelly to accompany the exhibition (also entitled MARKEY AT THE ORIEL).

Presented and produced by Kevin Rafter

Production Supervision by Peter Woods

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries

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