"Embrace" - John Whelan 2017

John Whelan’s Sister Sharon and her two Daughters, Zarah and Nadia were murdered by Brian Hennessey on Christmas morning 2008.

John has been advocating for law change in Ireland to a tariff sentencing system.

Thanks to relentless pressure from John and victim’s families, The Parole Act 2019 has come into force. The parole application period for Life sentence prisoners has been increased from what was just seven years, to twelve years and a new parole board has been established.

Although a welcome step forward, John believes more work must be done in Ireland to ensure full justice is seen to be done for victims families.

John Whelan. Late Late show November 2016

Marú inár Measc - Sharon, Zarah & Nadia Whelan

"Embrace" - The Art

There were two pieces of music selected for this piece, “Wish you were here” – Pink Floyd and “Sound of Silence” – Disturbed (“It’s important not to be silent when it comes to the rights of victims’ families and loved ones” – John Whelan, Kilkenny People Newspaper 2019)
After great discussion we settled on a triptych design – One Canvas for each family member.
John’s wife Sandra came up with a rough sketch of what design they had in mind.
The design process and making began, adding dimensions to the drawing and using computer aided design (Solidworks) for accuracy.

The colour scheme for the piece was inspired by a harbour scene painting from the brush of Sandra’s Father which hangs in the same room as “Embrace”.

In our studio group photo, a photograph of John, Sharon, Nadia and Zarah hangs on the wall behind us and is visible throughout our accompanying video. This video is for private use only.

Please view the pictures below which logged our process.