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Art is in Our DNA

Posted by Donna Hedley on

This is the official beginning of our journey here at Sassy Sunflower Marketplace. Over the coming months, we will be focusing on the brillant artist’s that make this venture possible. Make sure to check out the gallery to see all of the beautiful art they have created. Over the coming months, we plan to feature a piece done by one of our artists, and give you a chance to get to know them and their work. 

However, before we start to talk about them, we thought it appropriate to let you get to know us. As it happens, we come from a very long line of artists. Our mother, our sister, our aunts, and even way back to our great-grandfather; such a rich heritage. We want to take the coming weeks to share with you our history and family lure. Please be sure to sign up so you won’t miss a thing.

So, since this is the beginning of our journey, let’s start at the beginning of our known heritage. 

Our great-grandfather, James Dunn was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1864. While he was an accomplished artist, having done many paintings, all we have are photos of two of his paintings. 

He married our great-grandmother Rebecca Latimer on  January 24, 1882.  This raised many an eyebrow, because not only was she 8 years older than him, but she also ran the boarding house where James was living!  It was definitely a bohemian lifestyle.

Together, they had three boys and three girls. Although James was a Roman Catholic, he allowed Rebecca to bring the children up in her faith, the Protestant Church of Ireland.

Aside from painting, his main source of income was working as a photo engraver and colourist for Lafayette Photography in Dublin, a business that exists to this day and is the oldest photography studio in Ireland. 

Here are the two works that we know about. The subject is a famous yacht race at  Queenstown Bay in Ireland when a squall blew up and one of the yachts filled with water and sank.

Sadly, James died in 1895 at the young age of 31 years.  He had developed pneumonia while attending a friend’s funeral. Rebecca followed a few years later, dying of consumption in 1899, after which the remaining family was separated.  Two went to live with an uncle. Two of the boys became "Banardo Boys", with one being sent to Canada and the other to Wales. The remaining two girls, my grandmother Evelyn and Aunt Kit, were sent to an orphanage in Tyrrellspass, just outside of Dublin. Over the years, they somehow were able to keep in touch with all but one immigrating to Canada.

I can only imagine what the Dunn’s household was like, but I am sure that it was full of music, laughter, and art.  We are grateful for this heritage as we are continually amazed at the positive power of art. That is what we hope to share with you through Sassy Sunflower Marketplace. Visit us often to enjoy all of the beautiful art on our beautiful things.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter (bottom right hand corner of any page), so that you will be notified when we publish future publications. Please be sure to share this with all your friends.

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