Curry's Sunflowers (September 2013)
By paul, Dec 12 2012 08:16AM
Cornelius ‘Curry’ O'Shea epitomises the ethos behind Cafe Art - to recognise the talent of people affected by homelessness, and to share and celebrate it with as many people as possible.
Curry enjoyed an exhibition launch featuring his painting Sunflowers at Oliver's Village Cafe in Belsize Park just two weeks before he passed away in April. Born in 1958 in Cork, Ireland, Curry was a St Mungo’s resident for many years and was an active contributor to Homeless Diamonds, an arts magazine published by people living or working in St Mungo’s hostels, as well as recording his music at St Mungo's Endell Street Studios.
His works were large scale, finely detailed paintings and drawings, often taken from well-known masters, says Jen Burnham from Homeless Diamonds. ‘While Curry’s art practice - painting, drawing, singing or playing music - was always on a grand scale, he was a modest, quiet person who communicated softly with few words – a gentle presence which we will miss very much.’
For many years Curry was alienated from his family due to mental illness says his sister who lives in Ireland. However, ‘now his artworks and original music are set to become the focus of a new annual fundraising event for mental health charities. The Cornelius ('Curry') O'Shea Sunflowers Project for Mental Health will be launched in Ireland on his birthday in 2013 - April 28th - and it is hoped it will become a fundraising and awareness event for institutions both in the UK and Ireland.’
Curry’s family donated back the £100 awarded to him for his painting being used in the 2013 Café Art calendar.