Irish Artist Directory

Cherith McKinstry (Irish Artist Directory)

Full Name: Cherith McKinstry

Lived: 1928 - 2004

Categories: Irish Women Artists

Artist Biography

Born Cherith Boyd in Worcester in 1928, McKinstry came to Ulster as a child and during the war years and was evacuated with her school to Co. Tyrone. Having interrupted initial studies in sculpture at the Belfast College of Art, she returned there from 1950 to 1953 to study painting under Romeo Toogood, meeting fellow students Basil Blackshaw and T. P. Flanagan.

A CEMA travelling scholarship brought her to Italy in 1953 and in 1958 she married the architect Robert McKinstry. Her first solo show was at the CEMA Gallery, Belfast in 1962. Public commissions included Stations of the Cross for St McNissi’s, Magherahoney, Co Antrim, a large staircase mural for Queen’s University, and her most celebrated work, the six large tromp l’oeil ceiling panels for the restored Belfast Opera House.

Cherith McKinstry’s formative experience of nature was solitary and one of solace, found in the wooded foothills of the Sperrin Mountains as a wartime evacuee recovering from childhood polio. For Cherith, landscape was essentially pastoral and benign, often ideal, even arcadian, and open to the possibilities of wonder. It was to the figures within that she invested dignity, and while her sensibility to human endurance and suffering would later suggest religious themes, the tone of one of her early works, 'Boy on the Shore', remains serene; '' might illustrate her friend Kenneth Jamison's observation that “in the private world of her imagination she postulated the presence of young people, innocent, noble, androgynous, untainted by the baleful influence of society”.''

At the Belfast School of Art under Romeo Toogood she inherited the London-taught francophile draughtsmanship of Luke and Carr, while an initial study of sculpture informed her ability to achieve an emotional grandeur with a modesty of means and the monumental quality suggested even on the scale of watercolour.

Cherith McKinstry's work featured in "Irish Women Artists :1870 - 1970" (2014) exhibition. Please click here to view the catalogue.

Her work also featured in "Ireland: Her people and landscape" (2012) exhibition. Please click here to view the catalogue.

Cherith McKinstry Art Previously On Sale at Adam’s Auctioneers

Cherith McKinstry (1928-2004) Running Track Boy (c.1981) Oil on canvas, 63 x 76cm (24¾ x 30'') S...

Hammer Price €650.00

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Cherith McKinstry (1928-2004) An Italian House Oil on board

Hammer Price €550.00

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Cherith McKinstry (1928-2004) Arrangement (1969) Pastel, 46 x 30.5cm (18 x 12'') Signed and dated...

Hammer Price €200.00

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