A WEST Cork-based artist says he has missed out on a huge career opportunity after his artwork – destined for a prestigious LA show – went missing in transit.
Daire Lynch, who lives outside Skibbereen, was asked by Abend Gallery in Colorado to create a series of paintings to exhibit at the LA Art Show, one of the largest of its kind in the world.
‘It was an immense and exciting career opportunity for me,’ said Daire, originally from Dublin.
They sent him artefex panels and Daire created the original paintings on these over a six-week period.
He completed the five pieces and packaged them up on July 5th, and they had to be in Colorado by July 10th.
Daire normally uses a courier based in Dublin, but as he was tight on time he used a service called parceldirect.ie which saw him drop them off at a local collection point.
‘I booked a pick-up on July 6th, and presumed the ‘three-day express’ would get them there on time. However, the parcel was not collected on the 6th, and the driver rang me, citing missing data, saying it wouldn’t scan. I contacted parceldirect.ie and was told that all documents were correct, so I rescheduled for pick-up on the 7th which took place.’
It was then that the nightmare started for Daire. When he attempted to use the tracking number given to him, it wouldn’t work, and despite repeatedly contacting both parceldirect.ie and FedEx who were also involved, he is still no clearer as to where his artwork is.
‘I’ve been shipping art worldwide for over 12 years and never had this issue. The gallery was very sympathetic but this made me look totally unprofessional,’ he said.
‘This is not acceptable. Not only did I lose my artwork, I lost out on a potentially strong career opportunity,’ he claimed.
The art was valued at €5,000 but Daire said it was more than the monetary value.
‘This is about my effort, my creations and lost opportunities.’
The gallery were so keen for his work to be in the exhibition, they sent him a sixth panel, which he painted and drove to Dublin himself to be couriered to the US, just in time for the LA show.
‘It wasn’t my finest work, as I did it so quickly, I had put my heart and soul into the five that went missing,’ he said.
Abend Gallery have also offered him a solo show if his five pieces ever turn up.
‘But I am at a loss as to what to do now. The package has to be somewhere. I want to know where the system went wrong, I want answers,’ he said.
A spokesperson for parceldirect.ie said they accepted responsibility for the situation, adding: ‘We are still looking into this and are hopeful of a positive outcome.’
A FedEx spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of the issue with Mr Lynch’s shipment and regret the inconvenience that it has caused him. Outstanding customer service is a top priority for FedEx and we’ve been in direct contact with the customer to reach a resolution.’