The ones to watch in 2019
They’re young, gifted and on the verge of making big breakthroughs in their careers. Esther McCarthy meets the new faces of 2019
The artist: Steven Farrell
Steven has been establishing himself as one of Ireland’s most promising young artists, with his last collection, Dawgs — featuring a series of colourful canines — proving a hit with his growing clientele and earning praise from top artist Graham Knuttel.
His new collection, ‘Light on the Water’, is a departure, bringing his work into more abstract territory, and was born out of a very personal experience. Over a year ago, he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma — a serious form of skin cancer — and underwent several surgeries to treat it. As he recovered, his art became an even more creative force than before.
“It was almost like a collection of lightness coming out of the darkness,” he says. “I was lucky enough to have that outlet, to be able to draw and paint and express myself, throughout my various surgeries.”
The resulting collection has been making waves among collectors. He works in his trademark acrylic on canvas, but in this collection adds gold leaf, giving the paintings a striking sense of texture and tone. Blending shades of phtalo blue, cerulean, gold and copper, they evolve according to how the natural light captures them over the course of a day.
“The first painting was inspired by Annie Lennox’s song, ‘Into the West’, and I love coming up with the right tones. When they feel right they’re ready to go. They absorb light at different points of the day and it completely changes the whole composition of the painting.
“My goal is to scale up in 2019 and to reach more people through my paintings. It’s about creating this work and touching as many people as possible with it.”
The actor: Hazel Doupe
In a time of exceptional performances from our young acting talent in film and TV, Hazel Doupe stands out. Her raw talent and strong screen presence have already won her supporting performances on US TV series Into the Badlands
and Frank Berry’s terrific Michael drama,
But it is her lead performance in a forthcoming movie filmed in west Cork that is set to garner some of her best reviews yet. The 17-year-old is exceptional as the lead character in Cork filmmaker Carmel Winters’ charming and stirring feature, Float Like a Butterfly.
An audience award winner at this year’s Cork Film Festival and a discovery award winner at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival, it tells the story of a young traveller girl, Frances, who dreams of becoming a boxer. She must overcome prejudice and conventions in order to emulate her idol, Mohammad Ali.
“I knew when I read the script it was going to be something special,” she says. “It was very different to anything I’d ever done before. When we were in Cork, everybody was just like family. It was very communal. With any independent film you’re relying on the kindness and generosity of spirit of people to make the film.
“The first audition was in a boxing ring. The second one I went into a room with Carmel and a casting director. Then I was given the part. I remember just feeling over the moon the whole time. I remember feeling how important it was to me and how ecstatic I was to be working on it.”
The screenings have already generated additional interest in the young star who says that she wanted to entertain since the age of two. It’s set to be a busy release year for Hazel she’ll also star in a supporprison ting role opposite Barry Keoghan in the forthcoming drama, Calm With Horses.
The musician: Eve Belle Eve Belle doesn’t need time to consider her career highlight so far — that has got to be getting selected to open for top musician Hozier at his series of intimate, soldout gigs in the Academy. “It was very surreal to be supporting him as I’ve been a fan of his for years,” she says. “He’s a really lovely man and it was a brilliant experience. ”
Eve’s songs, penned from personal experiences and stories, and her striking voice have been gaining her a steady fanbase on the live music circuit. Originally from Donegal, she credits a family love of music — and her parent’s many different musical tastes — with nurturing her own passion.
From left: Artist Steven Farrell; actor Hazel Doupe; musician Eve Belle; actor and comedian Terry O’Neill, and model Niamh McCormack are ones to watch.