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Northern Ireland

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Gallery 1608 County Antrim

Pakenham, Jack


BIO: Jack Packenham


John ‘Jack’ Pakenham was born in Dublin in 1938. His mother died when he was three weeks old, and Pakenham’s northern Protestant father moved his children to Northern Ireland, changing their names in an effort to ‘protect’ them from the influence of their Catholic maternal relations. After living with various relatives, four year old Pakenham joined his brother and sisters in a children’s home at Childhaven, Co Down. In 1947, the family set up home in Cliftonpark Avenue, north Belfast. Pakenham graduated from the Queen’s University in French, Spanish and Philosophy in 1959. He lived in Ibiza and Dorset, before returning to Belfast where he taught English at Ashfield Boys’ High School. In 1990, he retired to devote himself to full-time painting. Pakenham’s early expressionist works evolved, with the outbreak of the ‘Troubles’, into an engaged, ferocious response to communal violence.

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