Knight of Kilcooley Abbey

Painted portrait of man lying on red and yellow sofa with dog on floor and stained glass window in background
Julia Mitchell, Knight of Kilcooley Abbey, 2021. © Julia MitchellCredit

Julia Mitchell

Knight of Kilcooley Abbey, 2021

Oil on canvas

What first drew the artist to the tomb effigy of Pierce Fitz Óg Butler at Kilcooley Abbey, County Tipperary, was the inclusion of a dog at his feet, an unexpected detail – endearing, relatable, reassuring and evocative of a shared humanity, resilience and faith. The painting of her husband Terry, including familiar details from their home, overlaps with elements of the sculpture and the abbey to suggest ongoing connections with other communities and traditions, stretching back in time with an overarching sense of peacefulness and rest.

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