'Figures & Landscapes'
Painting Exhibition by Maria O'Brien
From Tuesday 21st July to Sunday 2nd August 2009
Signal Arts Centre is pleased to present this collection of work by artist Maria O'Brien. After receiving a first class honours BA in Fine Art in NCAD, Maria then obtained a teaching Diploma in Art and Design from LIT school of Art and Design. She is a Secondary School art teacher and spent three years teaching art in the prison services in Portlaoise. She is currently studying for a Masters degree in Fine Art: Painting in the National College of Art and Design. Maria has exhibited her work in various solo and group exhibitions.
Her paintings are small, intimate works which draw on her interests in portraiture, landscape, romanticism, kitsch and the influence of the media on art. She uses photography as an inspiration for her work and her main areas of investigation are landscape and figures in landscape. She likes to explore ideas of figures in specific contexts. Her work is not about portraiture in a classic sense, but more about capturing an atmosphere. Through the interaction of the figure and the scene, she wants to examine ideas of pathetic fallacy. This is a theme that is strongly linked with romanticism. Like many artists, she is developing work in a time when traditional values in painting and drawing are appreciated again but are being used in a more ironical way. Kitsch, which is linked and supposedly spawned from romanticism, interests her also in relation to landscape and how nature is perceived.
Maria is interested in ideas of 'bad' painting in general; whether it is naïve, primitivism, expressionism or kitsch. She thinks there is a strong link between the way we look at nature and how it is represented in art and kitsch. She says, 'Art cannot escape the influence of the media and the influence of the types of kitsch that it brings with it.'
Opening Reception: Friday 24th July 7-9pm