Feature: Tory Island 'Naive' Art

Tory Island's distinctive school of painters came about in the 1950s when the English artist Derrick Hill began to spend much of his time on the island. The islanders often watched him as he worked. As the story goes, one of the islanders approached Hill and said, 'I can do that.' He was James Dixon, a self-taught painter who used boat paint and made his own brushes with donkey hairs. Hill was impressed with the 'painterly' quality of Dixon's work and the two formed a lasting friendship.

Other islanders were soon inspired to follow suit, forging unique folksy, expressive styles portraying rugged island scenes. Among them were Patsy Dan Rodgers, currently the elected Rí Thoraí (King of Tory). The islanders' work has been exhibited worldwide and fetches impressive prices at auctions. Glebe House & Gallery on the mainland often has exhibitions.