The Mayor of Kerry has led the tributes to gifted artist Pauline Bewick Melia who has passed away, following an illness, at the age of 86.
Cllr John Francis Flynn said he was greatly saddened to hear of her passing.
“Pauline was a much loved Kerry artist and one of Ireland’s most acclaimed and charismatic painters,” he said, noting that the artist donated her iconic Seven Ages collection to Kerry County Council.
“This stunning collection spans her life’s work, with 250 pieces rotated on display at Library Place, Killorglin,” he said.
“Pauline was a true artist, prolific and passionate and her work will inspire generations to come,” Mayor Flynn stated.
President Michael D Higgins also paid tribute to the artist and recalled that he visited her studio in Kerry last November.
“Sabina and I were so honoured to have this time with Pauline and her daughters, in the presence of so much of her lifetime’s work, watercolours, tapestries, wall-hangings and sketches, all expressions of what was a unique and original creative talent,” he said.
“We who had the privilege of her friendship could but admire her commitment to always following her own path, reflecting on the world in her own unique way, refusing to fit into any one genre and creating worlds without boundaries,” President Higgins said.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was very sad to hear of the passing of the artist.
“She made a wonderful contribution to Irish art over many decades. Deepest sympathies to all of her children, grandchildren, family and friends,” he said.
Locally, Cllr Michael Cahill also paid tribute to the prodigious painter and sculptor who lived most of her life in Treanmanagh on the shores of Caragh Lake.
“I extend my heartfelt sympathies to Pauline’s daughters, Poppy and Holly, on the passing of their mother and to all the extended Bewick and Melia families.
“We will all miss her great wit and insight into life and she will live on in all her works of art that adorn homes and exhibitions throughout the world,” he said.
Cllr Cahill said Pauline’s love of Kerry was evident when she donated 200 of her art works to be exhibited at Killorglin Library in 2006.
“The love of Pauline and her work is also evident by the number of homes locally that have her water colours depicting nature in Kerry in all its beauty captured by her unique talent,” he said.
“We were honoured to have her in our midst for so much of her life,” Cllr Cahill added.
Reposing at her home in Treanmanagh, Glenbeigh from 4.00pm to 8.00pm this Sunday, a private cremation will follow on Monday at the Island Crematorium in Cork.
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