Araglin artist Jim Mellis will host an exhibition in the Ballymaloe Grain Store attached to Ballymaloe House outside Castlemartyr, starting this Saturday, April 25th and running until Sunday, May 15th.

Mr Mellis is a Romany artist whose work has been sold throughout Ireland, the UK and the world.

Last year Mr Mellis hosted an art exhibition alongside fellow artist James C Byrne in the Craft Granary in Cahir, titled Motion and Emotion. He has lived in Ireland with 17 years and has gained critical acclaim for his artistry.

Speaking to The Avondhu, he said he started painting from an early age while growing up in England. “I spent a lot of my childhood travelling in the holidays to go picking hops, potatoes, beet, peas, etcetera and, as a child, was still expected to work alongside the grown ups or looking after younger children.

“I draw on these experiences and of sitting around the fire listening to stories as a foundation for my work.”

“I started painting while helping my father to decorate carts and spinners he made. I would help with the striping, and painting flowers and horseshoe designs. I would also paint and draw pictures for family and friends as I am sure most budding artists do.”

He later attended the Portsmouth College of Art, earning a degree in fine art.

Mr Mellis, who moved to Ireland in 1999 and settled in Propogue, Araglin, said the local area has inspired him to paint more Irish scenes, particularly of the countryside, rivers and estuaries.

He has sold paintings all over the world, while closer to home he was the secretary of the ‘Art on the Park’ held occasionally along the railings around Fermoy Town Park. He has 22 commissioned paintings hanging in the prestigious five star Clarion Hotel in Cork City and is a professional member of Visual Arts Ireland.

As well as his exhibition in Ballymaloe House, Jim Mellis will have two new Romany paintings on display in the Dungarvan Art Centre throughout May. Limited edition prints, framed and unframed, will be available from the exhibition in Ballymaloe House.