Gerard Dillon
(1916-1971)

Died aged c. 55

Gerard Dillon (1916 – 14 June 1971) was an Irish artist. Born in Belfast, he left school at the age of fourteen and for seven years worked as a painter and decorator, mostly in London. From an early age he was interested in art, cinema, and theatre. About 1936 he started out as an artist. His Connemara landscapes provided the viewer with context, portraits of the characters who worked the land, atmosphere and idiosyncratic colour interpretations. Aged 18, Dillon went to London, initially working as a decorator. With the outbreak of the Second World War, he returned to Belfast. Over the next five years he developed as a painter in Dublin and Belfast. His works during this period were more than simple depictions of the life and people around him, they were reactions and interactions in paint. In 1942, his first solo exhibition was opened by his friend and fellow artist, Mainie Jellett at The Country Shop, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin. "Father, Forgive Them Their Sins" featured depicting his concerns about the new war that had broken out. Despite a growing reputation, he had to return to London in 1944 to work on demolition gangs to restore his finances. In the late 1940s and during the 1950s, Dillon found himself favouring the town of Roundstone, Connemara. In 1958, he had the double honour of representing Ireland at the , and Great Britain at the . He travelled widely in Europe and taught for brief periods in the London art schools.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Gerard Dillon 1916-1971 artist born in this house

26 Lower Clonard Street, Belfast, United Kingdom where they was born (1916)