The independent London newspaper

Play to remember artist whose work hangs in the Town Hall

'Tragic Carmody' to be shown at the Lion & Unicorn

06 February, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Danny Carmody’s picture of Kenwood

FOR years, Danny Carmody painted the pubs, cafés and characters of Camden, often creating giant works of art on unusual canvases. Deeply troubled, he committed suicide in 2004, his work often documented the pain and the humour of post-war Irish migration.

Now a play about his life, Tragic Carmody, has been written by his friend, the acclaimed artist Brian Whelan. He said: “Danny’s particular story is worth remembering because those artists furthest from the mainstream will need the most care and understanding.”

He added: “It isn’t so much Danny’s particular memory I wanted to keep alive but the whole generation of Irish immigrants, including my own parents generation. I am talking now about the art and the play. I wanted to see them represented in the visual arts – a place where they were missing. I saw an exhibition at Tate Britain of the presence of the immigrant in art in the UK a few years back and of all the immigrants represented the Irish were overlooked.”

Danny Carmody

Mr Carmody arrived in London from Galway aged 17 and worked as a bricklayer. He used to use materials he found around the street to create his giant works of art. His paintings captured the pubs, cafés and buildings, particularly around Kentish Town and Camden. One hangs in the Town Hall.

Mr Whelan’s paintings have been exhibited in cathedrals around the world and he now lives and works in America. Five years after Danny’s death, Mr Whelan included his paintings in an exhibition of Irish artists that toured around the UK, Spain and America.

The play is being shown as part of an “Against All Odds” festival at the Lion & Unicorn Theatre, Kentish Town, later this month.

* For those in distress, the Samaritans runs a 24-hour phone line, free to call, on 116 123 *

Share this story

Post a comment