Art portrait of Sr. Joseph comes from Russia with love

By Maria Pepper

Published 30/07/2016 | 00:00

At the presentation by the Adoration Convent of the portrait to the Wexford County Council art collection were (from left): Peter Rijs; Mayor Frank Staples; Fr. Aodhan Marken on behalf of the convent; Russian artist Natalia Dik who painted the portrait; and Art in the Open chairman Neil O' Keeffe.
At the presentation by the Adoration Convent of the portrait to the Wexford County Council art collection were (from left): Peter Rijs; Mayor Frank Staples; Fr. Aodhan Marken on behalf of the convent; Russian artist Natalia Dik who painted the portrait; and Art in the Open chairman Neil O' Keeffe.

An award-winning and well-travelled portrait of an elderly member of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Bride Street, has been donated to the Wexford County Council art collection.

The portrait of Sr. Joseph was painted in 2012 by the Russian artist Natalia Dik when she visited Wexford for the Art in the Open Festival and it won the audience prize that year.

Natalia had managed to charm her way into the enclosed order of nuns and captured Sr. Joseph as she sat quietly in the convent garden. When the festival ended, she brought the painting back to Russia.

The artist returned to Wexford last weekend for the 2016 Plein Air event which opened on Sunday and this time she decided to present the picture to the convent.

However, since the Adoration Sisters are an enclosed order, it was felt that the painting wouldn't receive the public attention it deserves so the convent in turn, gifted it to Wexford County Council which has a highly-regarded art collection.

The presentation was carried out on behalf of the convent by parish administrator Fr. Aodhan Marken who handed it over to the Mayor Frank Staples at the official Art in the Open Launch.

As former Mother Superior of the Adoration Convent, Sr. Joseph was granted the Freedom of Wexford in 1987.

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