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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
express yourself

From starting to paint in his 30s to de-stress, this Irishman's art is now on stamps in Australia

Fin Dac didn’t discover his love for painting until he went through a particularly hard time in his personal life during his 30s.

THE WORK OF an Irish street artist is now on stamps in Australia after his mural caught the eye of Australia Post.

Fin DAC is the only artist who isn’t from Australia, or an Australian resident, whose work is being used in the street art stamp collection.

post Australia Post Collectables Australia Post Collectables

Born and raised in Cork, DAC didn’t discover his love for painting until he went through a particularly hard time in his personal life during his 30s when he had to fight for his children in court, and turned to painting to relax.

He was born in Greenmount and lived there for two years before moving to London with his family. They moved back when he was 10 and he lived in Togher until he finished school at 17.

DAC told that he drew a lot as a child but that he didn’t get a chance later on as he went to the same technical school as his older brother and it didn’t do art as a subject. Instead, he did technical drawings and engineering.

He wanted to study graphic design in London, but couldn’t get a university placement because he hadn’t been to art school and as a result everything in his portfolio was the same.

I was living in London so I did what everyone did, I just got a job and forgot about art. I spent my 30s living with a partner who was unsuitable, we were unsuitable for each other, and 10 years ago that collapsed in a very bad way and I had to go through court cases to get access to my children and I started painting to take my mind of it.

“I was surrounded by street art in London and that the seemed obvious thing for me to try to replicate, I had no plans to be artist but it progressed rapidly.”

Six years ago DAC was let go in his job as a web developer and decided to pursue art full-time.

He was invited to an arts festival in New Zealand in 2015 and that’s what prompted him to visit Australia when he was “all the way down there”.

He made three stops in Australia – Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne – and painted one piece in each city.

I publicise work by painting in streets. The more public work you do, the more attention you get.

Australia Post reached out by emailing him after his wall in Adelaide impressed.


Empowering women 

DAC specialises in large-scale portraits, predominantly of women in masks.

Describing his work, DAC told this website, “It’s about painting women in a non objectifying kind of way – street art of women used to be done in a very sexual way.

Depictions of women were always scantily clad and not empowering and I wanted to change that.

The mural Shinka – which is used for the stamp – mixes traditional cultural dress with western fashion, as well as black and white forms that are punctuated with vivid splashes of colour.

He said his main focus at the beginning was Asian women. “There’s a western male fixation with Asian women, they can be seen as subservient or weak.”

“I tend to focus on cultures that are being lost. The whole world is westernising now down to how we dress but traditional clothes are so amazing and, in terms depicting women, I think it shows how they would have been depicted years ago.”

You can see more of Fin DAC’s work here

Read: An incredible sculpture made entirely out of rubbish has popped up on Dublin’s quays>

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