Barbara O’Meara is exhibiting a retrospective of her work over the past ten years featuring paintings from seven solo exhibitions at the Excel Gallery.
Inspired by simplicity and complexity of human nature, the paintings are also informed by the artist’s own experiences through her family history and, as importantly, through her work as a community artist connecting with groups who are marginalised in society, often through circumstances beyond their control.
The work, which often oscillates between figurative and abstraction incorporating the artists own expressive style, uses nature as a metaphor to express the fragility of life. Barbara aims to capture the essence of human nature stripped back, often hauntingly primitive yet deeply complex at the same time. Visiting and studying sites of immense historical, geographical and often spiritual interest she interprets an emotional response to these sacred places.
In each painting she aims to capture the essence of the real world, to tell a certain story, to challenge and draw the viewer into the work but also to give a sense of delicacy, balance and certain timelessness. Offering beauty and hope alongside a quality of brooding darkness. As with the ebb and flow of life, layer upon layer of paint builds up an image, and the nature of the painting is often about creating and destroying to finally show true feelings hidden beneath the surface of things. The aim is to reveal the constant and continuous never-ending struggle between dark and light, the emotional duality of life and to acknowledge and honour that which has already been and passed before us.
Barbara O’Meara is a professional artist with 9 Distinctions in FETAC Art, Ceramics & Design Awards, a B.A.(Hons) Degree Fine Art & Post Graduate Higher Diploma in Community Arts Education both from the National College of Art & Design. In 2012 three of her paintings were selected for ‘Contemporary Irish Art’, an exhibition of six Irish Artists at New York’s Lockhart Gallery. She has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in Ireland, U.K. and across Europe. As an undergraduate she was shortlisted for the Markieviez Medal at the United Arts Club and the Rose Project Student Art Awards at The Lab, Foley St. Her work features in many private and public collections including Behaviour and Attitudes, E.S.B. & Microsoft Art Collections and the O.P.W. selected her Degree Show paintings for clients: Department of Foreign Affairs and Impact Trade Union. She has exhibited at Dublin Culture Night 2007 & 2008 and her work featured in Dungannon Arts Festival, Co. Tyrone 2008 & 2009. Alongside her own practice she also works as a Community Artist with various collaborative projects such as ‘Portraits of Pain’ sponsored by Pfizer Healthcare, N.C.A.D’s Public Art Placement Programme with Coolmine Addiction Group exhibiting at I.M.M.A, Northern Ireland’s Re-Generate Project ’09, and currently with families of the registered charity AdVic- Advocates for the victims of homicide.
The exhibition runs from February 8 to March 22, 2013. Admission free and all awelcome - check opening times on 062-80520