IT may have taken three years, but local artist Marie O’Sullivan finally got to open her first Nenagh exhibition in the local library this month. The exhibition features work by Marie and her students at her studio in Ballinaclough.
The exhibition was opened by Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, who said: “Marie has waited three years to host this exhibition in Nenagh library because of the long waiting list in the venue. This proves how popular Nenagh library is as a vehicle for showcasing local artists and that there is such a large number of artists in this area.”
Cllr O’Dowd pointed out that there was a great selection of mixed media work on display, ranging from oils to acrylic and watercolour.
“The dominant theme is nature. This is no surprise as Marie herself draws a lot of inspiration from her own garden, and this is reflected in the work of her students,” she said.
The theme could be found especially in the work of John Conway, Bluebells; Marie’s paintings of Garrykennedy woods at different times of the year, and Lisa Costen’s beautiful watercolour of the American redstart. Lisa also has a fabulous painting of daffodils and narcissi which are now coming into season, said Cllr O’Dowd, while Geraldine Daly looks at the freedom of domestic birds through her painting of chickens.
“I can’t leave birds without mentioning Elizabeth Maher’s oil painting of ducks. The title Duck Discussion is very apt. She has brilliantly depicted ducks in conversation. I wonder if they are talking politics!” said the Labouar councillor.
Meanwhile, flowers form the basis of paintings by Elizabeth Maher and Ciara McLoughlin. Ciara is the youngest artist on show. It is encouraging to see such a young artist exhibiting, she said.
Moving on from the ballerina, Gerard Kennedy has a beautiful painting of two little girls along a riverbank. Laura Dunne has a thought-provoking painting of a skyline and sunset and her colours suit the mood.
“Patrick Owens has produced a very accomplished painting of a jockey on a horse. I believe this is a real horse and rider and both participated in riding events. There is fantastic poise and grace in this picture. This painting is executed with great skill,” said Cllr O’Dowd.
The largest painting on show is An Impression of a Sunrise by Catherine O’Keeffe, and Cllr O’Dowd said you could “almost feel the sun’s rays coming through the old windows. It reminds me of the Impressionist style of painting such as Monet.”
She told the gathering: “We are very lucky in Nenagh to have an artist and teacher of the calibre of Marie O’Sullivan. Marie studied at the NCAD and has exhibited in Dublin. As well as producing work from her surroundings in Ballinaclough, she has also painted in such places as Hawaii, Portugal and Malta. She came here in 2006 to follow her dream of running an art and healing centre. Painting is both a pleasurable hobby and a fantastic way of healing.
Marie’s students have the option of working in oils, watercolours, acrylics, pastels or simply sketching with a pencil. The choice is theirs. Her classes are very relaxed and informal. You can see from the standard of work here in the library that her students are producing excellent art.”
Marie O’Sullivan’s paintings can be viewed on request at her centre in Ballinaclough and on www.artandhealingcentre.ie