More than a stroke of good luck for Irish artist

IF A PR guru was talking-up artist Róisín O’Farrell’s latest showing, he or she could justifiably say it qualifies as a 10-star exhibition.

One of Ireland’s recession success stories, O’Farrell has the distinction of opening two solo exhibitions this weekend in two five star Kerry hotels, the Park in Kenmare and the Aghadoe Heights in Killarney; it’s a testament to the quality of her talent.

Wicklow-born O’Farrell has made a big name for herself in the art world in a very short time — proof that the recession can have difficulty in subverting the creative process.

A qualified veterinary nurse, O’Farrell also worked in marketing, owned her own company, and was a business development manager when she was made redundant six years ago.

Instead of looking for jobs in areas where she was professionally qualified, she turned to her life-long passion for painting, a passion fuelled by a family history steeped in art.

In the short few years since she was told she no longer had a job she has made a name for herself as one of Ireland’s most successful emerging artists, showing in established galleries throughout Ireland and the UK, Europe and the United States.

Her work has been described as embracing beauty in imperfection — the idea that beauty exists despite, and possibly even, because of its imperfection.

She consciously recognises the imperfect in her work, saving it from correction and allowing the work to express its own beauty. Her vibrantly colourful paintings, in textured buttery oils, feature warm, light-filled period interiors.

“Alternating between palette knife and brush allows me to create rich textures, use lots of juicy paint and suggest rather than describe,” she says.

“I’m affected by bold jewel colours and treat myself to them as I work, like sweeties from a box.” She has spent the past year travelling the country visiting many of Ireland’s stunning country houses which feature in the internationally renowned Blue Book including The Park in Kenmare.

All the paintings in The Park exhibition feature the interiors of the magnificent Blue Book houses, while the show at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel is a visual feast of paintings featuring extraordinary interpretations of everyday objects like wellingtons and cutlery, subjects that have made her work so popular.

Róisín O’Farrell will attend the Park exhibition from 5pm-7pm on Saturday and the Aghadoe Heights the following day from 2-6pm. O’Farrell’s work can be seen on killarneyartgallery.com, or contact gallery owner Declan Mulvaney on 087-2767999.


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