Women on walls artists


Women on Walls at RCSI

Below are the artists that were chosen by a selection committee for the Women on Walls at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) commission. The eight portraits unveiled in March 2019 hang in the Board Room of RCSI’s historic building on St. Stephen’s Green

Catherine Creaney (b. 1978) is a Northern Irish self-taught artist working primarily in portraiture in the mediums of oil, pastel and pencil in a realist style. Her work focuses on subtle expressions and lighting to convey the inner world and story of the sitter. Creaney has exhibited throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe and has won multiple awards for her work including: The ESB Keating Award and Silver Medal for an outstanding art work at the 185th Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition and First Place in the Artist’s Magazine All-Media Online Competition (2014). She has won The Drawing Prize and The Rowel Friers Perpetual Trophy at the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition twice. She was shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait Prize, Dublin (2016). She has been awarded the don niccolo d'ardia caracciolo award at the Royal Hibernian Annual Exhibition, Dublin, The Henri Roche Award and The People's Choice Award at The First International Pastel Exhibition, Rome (2017). Most recently she won the People's Choice Award at The Royal Ulster Academy, Belfast and the Portrait Prize at the National Open Art, London (2018).​

Enda Griffin (b. 1974) is an established artist with over 15 years’ experience of teaching art, craft and design, now studying at Masters level in socially engaged art with Limerick College of Art and Design. Based in Co. Clare, Griffin currently works in oil paint and dry media with a focus primarily on figurative painting. Griffin’s work has been commissioned and exhibited consistently throughout Ireland and he has been short-listed for and won multiple awards including: Sky portrait artist of the year, Irish heat finalist (2014), Rose of Tralee portrait competition winner (2015), County Kildare Portrait Artist of the Year competition finalist and most recently Hibernian Club, Stephen’s Green, Portrait Competition, Shortlisted (2017).​

Molly Judd (b. 1991) is an Irish Representational painter who began her studies at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. In 2011, Judd began an apprenticeship with world renowned painter Odd Nerdrum, studying at his Atelier in Norway and Paris (2011-2013). Judd’s work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. She has received multiple awards for her work including: first place in the Mod Portrait Competition, Spain; the Hennessy Craig Scholarship and the Ireland-US council/Irish Arts Review Portrait Award at the RHA’s Annual Exhibition. In 2018, Judd received an Honourable mention in the figurative category of the ARC salons 13th International Competition also winning first place in the graphite section of the Artist's Magazine All Media competition in the US.

William Nathans (b. 1981) is a classically trained painter working in the USA and abroad. He began his formal artistic career in New York completing a BFA degree at the School of Visual Arts, NYC and continued for an additional three years in Toronto, Canada at the Academy of Realist Art. Nathans works mainly in oil and dry media, basing his work on studying the subtle range of tones and hues found under atmospheric north light. His work attempts to document the people of his time questioning how the present and the past have shaped them. Notably, Nathans received a commission to paint the official portrait of Cardinal John Foley, Grand Master of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre which hangs in Vatican City paving his noteworthy achievements in portraiture. Since his relocation from the USA to Ireland in 2013 Nathans has exhibited nationally, including RHA Annual Exhibition (2018). Notably, Nathans’s most recent commission is the official portrait of the first woman Chief Justice of Ireland, Justice Susan Denham, which hangs in the Honorable Society of King's Inns.​

Mick O’Dea (b. Co Clare 1958) studied at the National College of Art and Design, Ireland and the University of Massachusetts from 1976 to 1981. He later completed an MFA at Winchester School of Art Barcelona and Winchester in European Fine Art (1997). He has lectured at NCAD (1981-1999) in addition to Portlaoise Prison, Wheatfield Prison, The Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Falmouth College of Art, Canterbury Christ Church University, Lyme Academy of Fine Art Connecticut, and the National Gallery of Ireland in addition to numerous other third level institutions. He was appointed as the first School Principal of the recently reopened RHA School and Studios (2006-2011). He was elected ARHA in 1993, and in 1996 RHA and a member of Aosdána. In 2014 he was elected PRHA and was appointed to the Board of the National Gallery of Ireland. In 2014 he was made an Honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy and in 2015 he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Anatomical Society in Madelene College Cambridge. In 2016 he was appointed chair of the Stamp Design Advisory Committee and a member of the Philatelic Advisory Committee of An Post. O’ Dea has exhibited and participated in residencies in Ireland and abroad. His most recent awards include The Ireland US Council/Irish Arts Review Portraiture Award and the Royal Ulster Academy Portraiture Award (2013). ​ ​

Benita Stoney (b.1954) is an award-winning portrait artist based in Co. Mayo. Since graduating from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in 2006, with a BA in Fine Art, she has exhibited widely in both Ireland and the UK. During her studies, portraiture came to dominate her practice. Stoney’s work has been selected for the prestigious BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, London; for the Davy Portrait Award, Belfast and Dublin; and, most recently, for the Hennessy Portrait Prize Shortlist at the National Gallery of Ireland (2017). She won the Changing Faces Award (2011) at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Jorgensen Fine Art Award (2007) at the Royal Hibernian Academy, where she has exhibited annually since 2004. Selected exhibitions include a solo exhibition Custom House Studios, Westport (2010), ‘Emerging Artists’, The Dock, Carrick on Shannon (2013) ‘Pathways’ at the Leinster Gallery, Dublin (2014), Mystery Portraits Gala, National Portrait Gallery, London (2014, 2017). Besides numerous private commissions, her work is held in the National Self Portrait Collection of Ireland, and in the collections of Mayo County Council, and Royal Holloway College, University of London.

Women on Walls at RIA

The Open Call to Artists was managed by Business to Arts and elicited an impressive response. The judging panel tasked with the challenge of selecting an artist(s) comprised leading figures in the Irish business and arts communities: Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Professor of Art History at UCD; Catherine Marshall, art writer and curator; Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts; and Alastair Blair, country managing director, Accenture Ireland.

Vera Klute was selected to create portraits of the first four female members of the RIA. Klute is the recipient of several awards and commissions, including the Portrait Collection of the National Gallery of Ireland and the Hennessy Craig Scholarship. Reacting to her selection, Klute said “I am absolutely delighted to be selected to create portraits of the first four female members of the RIA. I think it’s a very important agenda to make women more visible in big institutions like this and I’m proud to be part of that. I hope that I can do justice to each of these extraordinary academic and scientific leaders.”


Blaise Smith was selected to create the group portrait of the eight female scientists. Smith has won many awards for portraiture and been selected in numerous juried exhibitions notably the RHA Annual in Dublin and the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London. “I am really excited to be doing this portrait for the RIA and Accenture. A group portrait is always interesting because you have to capture the individuals and their personalities but also make the painting of the group work,” Smith said, “I feel privileged to be given this responsibility.”