Our vision for the portrait is to continue Vicky’s legacy, educate people about cervical cancer and campaign for change

Left-Hand Panel

Vicky Phelan’s narrative is conveyed as past, present and future acted out on Doonbeg Beach in the west of Ireland. The left-hand panel is dominated by a powerful assemblage of flesh and bone whose forward motion is suddenly halted.

Centre Panel

The centre panel dominates. Here the sitter engages directly with the viewer. Events, both joyful and traumatic are rendered symbolically. Her outstretched right hand supports a bird, a young crimson rosella, representative of her daughter. On her left hand, her son as a sapling oak. Beneath her left foot, a colonnade represents a legal triumph while shamrocks close to her heart are emblematic of the continuous support she has received from the people of Ireland and beyond. Within her torso, invisible cancer is made visible. Her eyes are bright with strength and hope

Right-Hand Panel

In the right-hand panel a horse is looking backwards, a collage of powerfully charged symbols is placed between its hind legs and forelegs. A flickering candle reminds the viewer of the fragility of life itself. Indented into the sands beneath, Vicky Phelan’s footsteps leave the canvas.

A Warm Welcome

This website is dedicated to the Triptych Portrait of Vicky Phelan, the prominent women’s health advocate. We are displaying the portrait throughout Ireland to educate people about cervical cancer while also campaigning for change. With that purpose in mind, we’re inviting venue owners, event organisers and anyone interested in hosting the portrait for a particular occasion to contact us about making arrangements.

The Portrait

Vicky Phelan Portrait with Lighting

The Triptych Portrait was painted by Irish artist Vincent Devine who was inspired by Vicky’s incredible courage. His aim was to convey the tragedies and the joys in Vicky’s life, through symbolism in the anatomy of her body and different objects. The portrait was purchased at a charity auction by Vicky’s lifelong friend and fellow Kilkenny native David Brennan. The two grew up together and their families share a close bond. David wanted to ensure the painting remained close to Vicky’s family and friends.

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Vicky Phelan

Vicky Phelan & Family

Vicky is a prominent women’s health advocate. She is also a mother, wife, education specialist, cancer patient and justice campaigner. Best known for her emotionally charged statement from the steps of the Four Courts in April 2018, she unearthed one of the biggest medical and political scandal of our times. She has since become a very public figure, championing many causes, lobbying for experimental drug treatment and establishing the 221+ support group, all while fighting her own battle with cancer and caring for her family.

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