Stephen Cullen is an Irish artist, born in Dublin in 1959

He has been a full-time painter since 1982. Painting in oil on canvas his preoccupations are to do with colour and texture. Writing for the Irish Times, Aidan Dunne called Stephen an “unabashed colourist” in his Visual Art Review of the year – the Irish Arts Review echoed that sentiment, calling him a “superb colourist”.

Stephen has had 14 one-man shows and two two-man shows to date. His paintings are in collections in the USA, Canada, Japan and many European countries.

My Hunt for the Sunfish series of paintings have their origins in a book published in 1974 by the writer Kenneth McNally.

‘The Sunfish Hunt’ was an historical account of the Achill Island fishermen who hunted for basking sharks, known on the West Coast of Ireland as ‘sunfish’ because of their annual arrival in Irish waters at the beginning of summer. The Achill Islanders fished for these massive sharks in lightweight currachs, pitting handheld nets against the world’s second-largest species of shark – an image I found compelling. Through further reading I learned that, from the middle of the 19th century ’til the 1970s, ‘sunfish hunts’ took place all the way up the Atlantic coast, from West Cork to Donegal. With the knowledge that Blasket Islanders with their characteristic wide-brimmed hats and neamhóg fishing boats had also at times fished for basking sharks, I was inspired to create a series of paintings celebrating the tough and often heroic struggle these people endured in such a hostile environment. The Blasket Islanders and their, now long gone, way of life has never ceased to inspire awe and admiration in me, I hope you enjoy the paintings. Stephen Cullen 2024



1983 Seapoint Studio
1984 Luxembourg and Strasbourg
1985 McAllisters Gallery Baggot Street
1986 Bank of Ireland. Ballsbridge
1987 United Arts Exhibition
1993 De Selbys Restaurant Gallery, Dun Laoghaire
1994 Brock Gallery, Blackrock
1997 Green Gallery, St. Stephen’s Green
1998, 2000, 2002. 2005 Hallward Gallery
2007 Tramyard Gallery, Dalkey
2008 Cherrylane Fine Arts

1990 Malton Gallery (2 person show)
2004 William Frank Gallery (2 person show)


1986 – Soloman Gallery, Irish show in Hamburg
1993, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2002 RHA Exhibitions
1993 – RHA, Autumn Auction
1987 – 1995 United Arts, Spring and Autumn shows
1990 – Present Dun Lavin Arts Festival
1990 – 2006 Harolds Cross hospice Annual Shows
1993 Eigse invited Artist (exhibited 1993 – 2004)
1990 – 1991 United Artists at Kilkenny Arts
1995 Art for film
1995 “Spring Awakening”, Brock Gallery
1996 “Irish Paintings”, Dillon Gallery, London
2000 “Celtic Colourists”, Cardiff
2001 – 2008 Cherrylane Fine Arts Annual Group
2002 “D7et Art”, King Inn, Dublin
2004 The Irish Art Exhibition, Omaha, Nebraska
2007 “From Cobblestones to Carcasses”, Tramyard Gallery
2016 “Dalkeyscapes”, Dalkey Gallery
2017 & 2018 Bloomsday Exhibition, Glasthule Gallery


Bank of Ireland
European Investment Bank Luxembourg
Goffs International
Jurys Hotels
PARC (Aer Lingus)
Carr Communications
Athlone Institute of Technology
Gresham Hotel – Dublin
Ormonde Hotel – Kilkenny
Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Co. Council
and many others.