Mick O’Dea paints a portrait of the American poet Robert Pinsky, as part of Kilkenny Arts Festival. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times 2:58

A farmer’s life may seem an unlikely vocation for one of Ireland’s best-known artists, but it was once the planned career path for Mick O’Dea. The en(...)

Leon Walsh Vaughan, Kemal Souleyman and Zach Bay Hammond watch Kojak perform at the Caravan Club Extravaganza as part of the AKA in Kilkenny over the weekend. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

A couple of days at the Kilkenny Arts Festival can be akin to a close encounter with mind-altering substances. Want to change the way you see t(...)

Portrait and landscape artist Mick O’Dea (centre) joined by some of the people he will paint for an evolving Kilkenny Arts Festival series, including (from left) actor Aisling O’Sullivan, Druid director Garry Hynes, actor  Derbhle Crotty  and Kilkenny Arts Festival director Eugene Downes. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Kilkenny Arts Festival renews its classical focus in a new programme revealed today by festival director Eugene Downes. Dominated by the world’s l(...)

Detail from And When Did You Last See Your Father by Abigail O’Brien

RHA 185th Annual Exhibition Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin ****   “To survive is to win,” the Chinese film director Zhang Yi(...)

Detail from Good Bye To all That by Mick O’Dea

Last year the painter Mick O’Dea approached me to ask if I would contribute a short text to a publication on three of his exhibitions at the Kevin (...)

Digging in: Mick O’Dea and Matt Smith at Moy Hill Community Farm. Photograph: Calum Creasey

It’s like a scene from 1950s Ireland. Two workhorses are pulling a harrow across a field in Lahinch. But this is far from a typical farm. After all, L(...)

Detail from The Wedding Party by Mick O’Dea

The Split – Mick O’Dea Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin **** The Split completes a trilogy of exhibitions following the tangled history (...)

Supt Paul Moran at Pearse Street Garda station holding a painting by artist Mick O’Dea during a viewing of 48 pieces of stolen art. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times 1:38

Artworks worth more than €100,000 have been seized by gardaí in west Dublin in what could be the “biggest art seizure in the history of the State”.The(...)

Derek Mahon in July 2010. Photograph: John Allen

Derek Mahon’s introduction to Echo’s Grove (Gallery, €22.50/ €13.90), his collected translations, describes how he looks for “affinities of idea, shap(...)

At the unveiling of their portraits in the Abbey  Theatre last night were (from left) playwrights Tom MacIntyre with artist Colin Davidson and Sebastian Barry with artist Mick O’Dea. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The Abbey Theatre is seeking to raise more than €1 million a year, mostly from overseas donors, over the coming years. The Abbey is currently seeking (...)