Saturday, December 06, 2014

Of the Common Place -The Art of Mairead O'hEocha

There are no people in Irish artist Mairead O'hEocha’s paintings but there is ample evidence of their existence, almost like an archeological dig a 1000 years before its implementation.

With their eerie stillness her works are a calm before the storm; Pompeii before Vesuvius’ anger but after the volcanologists advice to evacuate. Whilst not Italian, the wall plaques say O’hEocha’s subjects are as Irish as she is, there is an universality about her depictions of the suburban encroachment on the rural vista.

The way we shape our environment into our own image, in the myriad of ways that is perceived, is acutely observed. Using a somber palette of predominantly blue, olive green and grey her painterly landscapes are unlikely to be used by the Irish Tourist Board any time soon. Her paintings include all that they leave out, the detritus of human habitation in a country on the verge of bankruptcy. 

Although O’hEocha’s latest works have seen the introduction of colored highlights that tend to give her common place a hallucinatory feel.

These new works will be on show at Dublin’s Douglas Hyde Gallery from the 12 of December to the 25th of February next year. 

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