Homeless artist makes donation from paintings to Focus Ireland

by Rebecca Ryan
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A homeless artist will be making a donation to Focus Ireland from each of his paintings at his upcoming exhibition.

David Ryan will be showcasing his ‘Vacant Spaces’ exhibition in a derelict café in Nutgrove Shopping centre from today [October 24], and will be officially opened by broadcaster and rugby pundit Brent Pope.

David was born in Dublin in 1986. He began painting from a very young age and had his first exhibition in Dun Laoghaire at the age of 19.

He trained as an electrical appreciative and other trades in the construction industry. But in his late 20s, David discovered Grangegorman – a derelict site in Dublin (now demolished with student accommodation being built) – and was introduced to various sub-culture groups active in Dublin.

Since then he has based his paintings on squat houses that he has visited around Dublin.


Speaking to Dublin Gazette, David said he is interested to show the public through his work what it is like to live in squat house.

“I based them on this theme as this is what I see every day. This is my life and it is nice to make a record of my journey.

“All of the works have a story that have happened to me. I’m able to show the public what it is like to live in squat house.”

David told us how the Nutgrove event came about and said he is looking forward to it.

“I can’t wait to see the work hanging in a different setting.

“I met Denise Donnelly [from The Doorway Gallery] at my squat house in Dublin two months ago and I really wanted to keep the paintings together as a series.

“When I sent my email of submission out to all the galleries, I found it very hard to find a gallery that will make a donation to Focus Ireland.

“That is one of the reasons why I decided to commit to The Doorway Gallery. Denise was keen to do the donation and it wasn’t an issue at all.”

Focus Ireland CEO Pat Dennigan said: “We couldn’t support people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness without generous help from people like David, as well as The Doorway Gallery team, who take initiative to help support the 10,338 people officially homeless, as well as the many ‘hidden’ homeless, around Ireland.

“Best of luck to David and all those from The Doorway Gallery who are involved in the exhibition from the team at Focus Ireland!”


‘Vacant Spaces’ by David Ryan takes place from October 24 to November 3 at Nutgrove Shopping Centre. Opening night on October 24 will be from 7 to 9pm.

David’s work can be bought through The Doorway Gallery after the festival is over with a donation from each painting going to Focus Ireland.

For more information see www.thedoorwaygallery.com/exhibitions/

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