Markey was born on February 7, 1918(1918-02-07), in Belfast, Northern Ireland and died on January 28, 1999(1999-01-28) at the aged of 80 in Belfast. He was a prolific Irish artist with a distinctive naive expressionist style. His main passion was painting, but he also produced sculptures, and designed some stained glass panels.
He trained at the Belfast College of Art. He was the son of a house painter and spent time as a boxer and as a merchant sailor. His first exhibitions were in Belfast during World War II.
His paintings cover a wide range of subjects, but there are certain recurring features. These may appear separately or in combination.
- Village scenes of white cottages in which the white gable end of the cottage is distinctive. Frequently, there are no windows visible in these cottages.
- Women wearing dark shawls - no facial features are visible
- Sailboats, normally with dark brown sails, or sometimes white sails
- Jugs feature prominently in his still life paintings
- Circus clowns
He painted the inhabited countryside with flat muted colour and, in his almost abstract, almost geometrical compositions he seemed to capture the easy relationship between beauty and sadness.
Markey never produced prints while he was alive. The copyright of all his works is now controlled by his daughter Bernice Robinson Muldowney
The prints on display here are limited edition and signed by Markey Robinson’s estate(Bernice) with the initials BRM.