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'It can save lives. I know it saved mine': Amateur painters create a very personal Darkness Into Light

Participants on RTÉ’s Painting the Nation are running a charity art exhibition, with all proceeds going to Pieta House.


WARREN FAYE WAS one of seven painters to appear on the recent RTÉ show Painting the Nation.

Coming into contact with some of the other amateur painters on the show, Faye told TheJournal.ie that he was struck at how much depression and suicide had come into contact with his and their lives.

This Wednesday 1 November, the painters will launch an exhibition aiming to show how creativity and art can have a powerful impact on a person in difficulty, with all proceeds going towards Pieta House.

“I know it has saved mine”

Faye said that, when finishing the RTÉ show, he had an idea to hold an exhibition with the theme of Darkness Into Light, the well-known annual event that raises money for Pieta House, a suicide prevention and support charity.

“It came to my attention that the artists involved, most of us, have been affected by depression or suicide within our lives,” he said.

Depression is something Faye is all to familiar with, and he remains on medication to support him today. “It is something people should not feel alone with,” he said.

The reasons for doing the exhibition is to give something back to a wonderful cause, to bring awareness to it but more than this to bring an awareness to creativity and its powerful impact and healing abilities it has through art.
It can save people’s lives. I know it has saved mine. Its effect can stir an emotion. I think it’s a mindful experience – it totally takes me into the moment, and takes me away from thinking about things in the future and things that have happened.

The exhibition will take place in Dublin city’s Gallery Zozimus on Francis Street, kicking off this Wednesday.

Faye said: “The gallery owner, Vincent, has been so kind to give us the space and print our catalogues for the opening show on 1 November.”

Actress Pauline McLynn will open the exhibition, and singer-songwriter Owen Thomas will play at the event and perform his new song Darkness Into Light.


Warren_Faye_Present Source: Warren Faye

For the exhibition, Faye has painted a woman crossing Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge. While she is in colour, the rest of the characters are in darker tones, with grey cloud on the horizon.

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He said that the inspiration for the painting came from a chance Facebook message he’d received from a woman.

She said she had been contemplating suicide several years before when a man who appeared to be homeless approached her on that same bridge.

She told Faye that, upon hearing the man talk about his life and what he had been through, she had a “life changing moment”.

The painter said: “She told me she had no interest in art but this painting reminded her of something most special – life. She said it really touched her.

This really moved me. For my painting to touch and remind this girl of her strength is something magnificent.

The Darkness Into Light art exhibition will launch this Wednesday 1 November at Gallery Zozimus in Dublin. You can find more info here.

Read: People queued up from 4am to buy art that’s worth thousands of euro for only €50

Read: Here are some of the big name artists’ paintings that sold for €50 last week

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Sean Murray

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