One of Ireland’s most acclaimed artists, Basil Blackshaw, has died aged 82.
He was widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in Irish art, as well as one of the most reclusive. Born in Co. Antrim, Blackshaw was very protective of his privacy and famously wore a paper bag over his head when he attended one of his own exhibitions in Cork.
However, earlier this year he agreed to his first ever TV interview and Basil Blackshaw: An Edge of Society Man was broadcast by BBC Northern Ireland in January.
Many of the acclaimed painter’s works appeared at Irish exhibitions throughout his career. He often painted rural landscapes and had a penchant for profiling writers such as Brian Friel, John Hewitt and Michael Longley.
Tributes poured in for Blackshaw upon the news of his death, with fellow Northern Irish artist Colin Davidson tweeting: “My hero has died. Thank you Basil Blackshaw. Rest in peace.”
A portrait of Blackshaw by Davidson was later posted by Eamonn Mallie, the broadcaster who hosted the January documentary.
— Irish Arts Review (@IrishArtsReview) May 3, 2016
Well known examples of works by Basil Blackshaw which proved his versatility. Basil – thanks for the memories. pic.twitter.com/42ODOkHA9l
— Eamonn Mallie (@EamonnMallie) May 2, 2016
— Colin Davidson (@colin_davidson) May 2, 2016