Cork artist's latest electrical box paintings pay tribute to historic flying circus

Cork artist's latest electrical box paintings pay tribute to historic flying circus

The latest electrical box paintings by Kevin O'Brien are inspired by by Sir Alan Cobham's Flying Circus that came to Ballincollig in the 1930s. Picture credit: Kevin O'Brien.

A well-known Cork street artist is soaring to new heights with his latest electrical box paintings, inspired by a historic flying circus that came to Cork many decades ago.

Kevin O’Brien, who is the co-founder of street art and guerrilla gardening group, Mad About Cork, painted the electrical boxes outside Healy’s Post Office in Ballincollig.

The works are inspired by Sir Alan Cobham's Flying Circus that came to Ballincollig in the 1930s.

“It was commissioned by Healy's Post Office in Ballincollig.

“I had previously painted Christmas themed designs on the box and they were very popular so we decided to do something new,” Mr O’Brien told The Echo.

“Local history can be a treasure trove of material when looking for inspiration for painting these boxes and after seeing some great old photos from the Flying Circus when it came to Ballincollig in the ‘30s we thought it would be great to do something around this.

“It looked like a real spectacle!” 

A member of the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War, Alan Cobham became a pioneer of long-distance aviation.

Mr Cobham, who was knighted for his services to aviation in 1926, set many aviation records during his lifetime.

Amongst these was a 5,000 mile air tour of Europe, visiting 17 cities in three weeks.

In 1932, he started the National Aviation Day displays, generally known as ‘Cobham’s Flying Circus’, with displays all over Britain and Ireland running until 1935.

Mr O’Brien’s colourful paintings paying homage to the displays are located outside the post office on Ballincollig’s main street.

He has previously honoured Cork legends including sculptor, Seamus Murphy, writer, professor and former President of Brian Dillion's GAA, Daniel Corkery and tenor and hurler Paul O'Leary on electrical box paintings dotted around Cork.

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