Dance show creator, Michael Flatley, has presented Taoiseach Enda Kenny with an abstract painting of the victims of the famine entitled ‘The Walking Dead.' The painting is 8ft by 4ft in size and was framed in London using wood from trees grown on Flatley’s Castlehyde estate near Fermoy, Co. Cork.
The handover ceremony took place during a private meeting in the Government Buildings and was attended by Flatley’s wife Niamh, their son, Michael St James and Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan. The painting will hang in the Department of the Taoiseach for the remainder of The Gathering and 2013 and, afterwards, will become part of the State’s art collection.
Michael Flatley has been expressing his artistic talents in a different way since 2011 when he sold his first painting for €5,600. To create this painting, he applied paint to the soles of his shoes and tap-danced the Al-Capone solo from his show ‘Celtic Tiger’ and expressed a wish to do other paintings in this way.
The Irish Times reports that the Taoiseach was “delighted” to accept Mr. Flatley’s painting “on behalf of the State and in recognition of the year of the Gathering in Ireland” believing the painting to be “very striking indeed” with a subject matter that is “something Irish people all over the world hold close to their hearts”. The Taoiseach also wished Flatley “every success in his new chosen path”.