A triptych portrait of Vicky Phelan by Offaly artist Vincent Devine, which was unveiled on the Late Late Show on Friday night, is to be auctioned for the charity Heroes Aid. The charity supports frontline workers battling Covid-19.
The stunning portrait, which has been described as a summation of the life of the women's health advocate.
In an emotional interview Vicky Phelan revealed on the Late Late Show that she will be travelling to the US this Sunday to participate in a clinical trial in a bid to combat new tumours.
“The only pain I get is in my back... If I stand for too long I get an unmerciful pain in my back,” she told Ryan Tubridy.
Vicky spoke about her battle with cancer and how treatment has helped her in the last three years.
She said she will be leaving her family behind and staying for up to six months in Maryland while the treatment is ongoing.
“If this trial works I will get more time with my kids.”
The Pembro drug has helped her for three years and she is hoping that the next phase of treatment will extend her life by at least the same length of time.
Vicky has written a bestselling book about her life and her experience during the cervical check controversy since she was diagnosed in 2014.
She told Ryan Tubridy that the three-part portrait represents the past, present and future, with each element, especially the horses, one black and one white, representing parts of her life, including a car crash which happened before she developed cancer.
The inclusion of a shamrock in the centrepiece, which depicts Vicky sitting on a chair on Doonbeg beach, was her idea.
“That's to represent the Irish people who have taken me to their heart,” she said. “It's a painting of hope and I hope that's the way people will see it.”
Elsewhere in the portrait the bird resting on her left hand is a crimson rosella and represents her daughter Amelia, who is 15.
The oak leaf in her left hand is for her boy, Darragh aged nine. He is a sapling and will grow big and strong.
Vicky Phelan sat for the portrait on Doonbeg beach, one of her favourite places. Clara based artist Vincent Devine mixed some of the sand of Doonbeg with paint for one portion of the portrait.
Vincent said, "painting can carry a very important message and Vicky's life is basically injected into the whole piece.”
Sheppard's Auction House was hired by Heroes Aid to auction the painting which Philip Sheppard described as “a really, really important work of art.”
It will come up for auction at 2pm on Thursday, February 4 and the sale will be live online and open to a global audience of bidders.
“We're absolutely delighted. The work that frontline workers are doing is incredible. They're under huge pressure and anything we can do to support them, we're happy to do so and it's a privilege to do so,” said Philip.
“We think that Vincent is an up and coming and talented artist and it's great to see it happening in the Midlands.
“Vincent has built up a very good relationship with her and that's reflected in the artwork which is full of symbolism.”
The auction house has waived all fees. “Our fees will be donated along with the hammer price,” said Philip.
Anyone can watch or bid online at sheppards.ie
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