Renowned artist Pauline Buick has passed away peacefully at her home in Glenby, ko Keri at the age of 86.
Ms. Buick died in the presence of her family at her Trinmanagh home on Thursday afternoon. You will lie there from 4-8 p.m. this Sunday before the family cremation at the Island Crematorium in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork on Monday.
Pauline Buick was born in the north of England but was raised primarily in Ko Keri. Primarily self-taught, although she attended the National College of Art and Design in 1950, her creativity found an outlet early in her life as her early drawings survived when she was two and a half years old. She held her first exhibition in 1957 at the Cluj Gallery, Dublin, and then moved to London. There, BBC television commissioned Pauline to illustrate and write a ten-minute series of programmes, titled “Little Jimmy”. The income from this allowed her to spend time traveling to Greece and around the Mediterranean.
She held an exhibition of about 1,500 works titled “Two to Fifty”, held at the Guinness Storehouse in 1986. Best known for her watercolor works, she also made stained glass, oil paintings, and sculptures.
Upon reaching the age of seventy, Pauline donated five hundred pieces of her artwork to the state including tapestries, wall hangings, watercolors, and graphics. The collection of seven ages represents every decade and aspect of a woman’s life, and is on display in Waterford and Kerry. A member of both Aosdána and RHA, her work has been shown at Taylor Galleries in Dublin, Frank Lewis Gallery in Killarney and Catto Gallery in London.
On Friday afternoon, President Michael D. Higgins said he looked back with “such admiration” on his last visit to her studio in Kerry last November.
Statement from President Higgins on the death of Pauline Buick
“As President of Ireland and on behalf of Sabina, I know we will be among the many in Ireland and abroad who have heard with deep sorrow the passing of our dear friend, famous artist Pauline Buick,” he said.
Pauline’s life of generosity was made clear by the gift of more than 500 pieces of life’s work to the Irish nation on her 70th birthday.
“Sabina joins me in sending our deepest condolences to Pauline’s daughters Bobby and Holly, her brother-in-law, grandchildren, nephew and nephew, her wider family and her many friends. Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam.”
Cathaoirleach of Kenmare Municipal District, Cllr Patrick O’Connor- Scarteen, told The Irish Times that Ms Buick has accomplished an extraordinary amount in her life.
“She had a wonderful life. It suits her very much. She has a wonderful family and they (her daughters) are also very entertaining and creative. Pauline was an English lady but she really fell in love with Keri and the landscapes and the people and she encapsulated a lot of it in her work and her art from the people she met and the people of the area and what She has spent the vast majority of her life at Killorglin and has always been very generous with her time and helping the community. Even donating art. She has made a great contribution.
In 2019, Ms. Buick was awarded the Kerry Association in Dublin Arts Award at a ceremony in Arras in Ochttrain with President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins.
President Higgins said the award was an important acknowledgment of all the cultural and artistic dimension that Ms. Buick had brought to Irish society throughout her career.
“It is the journey of an artist who has always followed her own path, reflecting the world in her own unique way, eschewing classification, and refusing to conform to any one genre.
“For Pauline’s art it is about freedom, the freedom to imagine all that is possible, to create boundless worlds, unconditional landscapes where anything can be imagined. As a result, her work is expression in its purest form, free from the burden of purpose or expectation, which drives us away On everyday life and toward alternative existence.
Kerry Mayor John Francis Flynn also paid tribute to the late Mrs. Buick. The artist was a well-known figure in Kerry and a familiar figure in Killorglin to whom she donated an important collection.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Pauline Buick. Pauline was a much loved Kerry artist, and one of Ireland’s most famous and charismatic painters.” Pauline has donated her collection of ‘Seven Ages’ to Kerry County Council. Extending to her life’s work, this stunning collection has been rotated 250 pieces for display at Library Place Killorglin. Pauline was a true artist, prolific and passionate, and her work will inspire generations to come.”
He also paid tribute to Kerry’s artistic director, Kate Kennelly, a friend of the late artist.
“It has been an honor to meet Pauline many times over the past 20 years. Her love for Keri; her landscape, her people and her culture are so warmly reflected in her work. We have lost a truly creative spirit, and our thoughts are with her family at this sad time.”
She is survived by two daughters, Bobby and Holly, Melia, and four grandchildren. Instead of flowers, the family asked for a donation, if desired www.kerryhospice.com