The paintings in this show emerge from her own experience of both childhood and parenthood. However, while this series of paintings began as an attempt to explore and express a personal narrative, her aim and hope is that these works, in their focus on the personal and particular, touch upon and explore universal experiences common to us all.
Beatrice O’Connell graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with a degree in Fine Art Painting in 1996. She has had solo exhibitions with the National Concert Hall in 1996, the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery in 2000, the Hunt Museum , Limerick in 2004 and, most recently, the Talbot Gallery in 2006. Her work has also featured in a two person group show at the Cross Gallery in 2005 and in numerous group shows, including the touring exhibition Íontas in 1996, 50/50 at the Temple Bar Gallery in 2004, the Affordable Art Show in New York in 2007, Eigse in Carlow in both 1998 and 2008 and several of the Talbot Gallery Christmas Shows over the years. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Íontas Student Award in 1996, the Eigse Emerging Artist Award in 1998 and the Dublin Corporation Bursary Award in 2001.
The paintings in this show emerge from her own experience of both childhood and parenthood. However, while this series of paintings began as an attempt to explore and express a personal narrative, her aim and hope is that these works, in their focus on the personal and particular, touch upon and explore universal experiences common to us all. She often found, during the process of making these paintings of her child, that she couldn't help thinking of the paintings as kinds of self portraits, in that they were meditations and contemplations on both our presents, futures and the anxieties associated with growing up.
While of course particular to her life, she knows that this complex mixture of feelings, melancholy, joy, apprehension and excitement, are part and parcel of everyone's experience of life. The Spanish Poet Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) described this human predicament as 'Duende' which he characterised as irrationality, earthiness, a heightened awareness of death and a dash of the diabolical. In broad terms, she sees this body of work as a kind of love song to life and living and it has been remarked that all the best love songs are marked by this feeling of Duende, the celebration of life and happiness, being heightened and seasoned by an acknowledgement of its opposite of mortality and misery. The rock musician Nick Cave put it well when he said:
³All love songs must contain duende. For the love song is never truly happy. It must first embrace the potential for pain ... The love song must resonate with the susurration of sorrow, the tintinnabulation of grief.² (1)
(1) Nick Cave 'The Secret Life of the Love Song': a lecture given at the Royal Festival Hall, London March 1999 as part of Cave's curation of the annual 'Meltdown' festival.
O’Connell’s work features in many private collections and in the public collections of the OPW and Axa Insurance.
Opening reception Thursday June 11 6pm - 8pm
51Talbot Street Dublin 1
Gallery Hours:Tuesday- Friday 10.30am – 5.00 pm
Saturday 10.30am – 2.00 pm