Patrick Hickey was born in Bannu, India, now Pakistan. His Father was a Colonel in the Indian Army, 1st Punjab Regiment. After attending Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, he moved to Dublin in 1948 to study architecture at University college Dublin. After graduating he worked for the architect Michael Scott. In 1957 he won an Italian state scholarship and studied etching and lithography at the Scuola del Libro, Urbino. In 1961 he helped found the Graphic studio in Upper Mount Street, Dublin.
Hickey produced watercolours, etchings and lithographs, and showed a grasp for natural forms. His interest in Japanese painting is reflected in works like ‘Illustration to William Butler Yeats’, with its use of gold and silver.
In 1961 he was much to the fore in the founding in Dublin of the Graphic Studio in an Upper Mount Street basement. In 1965 the Italian government held a competition to illustrate Dante’s Divine comedy, and Hickey’s eighteen inferno etchings won second prize. In 1967, while living in Dublin, he designed the 5d and 1s stamps issued by the Department of Post and Telegraphs. He also taught part-time in the architecture department at UCD, and later became head of painting at the National College of Art & Design.
An authority on Irish delftware, he organized the exhibition of eighteenth century pieces in Castletown House, Co.Kilkenny, part of the 1971 Rosc programme. Bogland, Wicklow was his first exhibit, in 1972, at the Royal Hibernian Academy. Hickey’s only exhibition held outside of Ireland was at the Purdhoe Gallery, London in 1974.
Sadly in 1973, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
Throughout the 1980’s, he exhibited at the Taylor Galleries, Dublin. A retrospective of his work was held at the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in 1994, and later at the Graphic Studio Gallery. He was elected a member of Aosdana in 1981, and served on the board of the Kilkenny Design Workshops. He died at his home in Monsksotown, Co. Dublin in 1998. An exhibition of landscape prints from the 1970s was held at the Graphic Studio Gallery in 2000.