AN EXCITING new exhibition is to open at the Courthouse in Kinvara from Friday (November 19), in association with Kinvara Area Visual Artists (KAVA). Selected works by artist and sculptor Oliver Tennyson will be on show 11am to 4.30pm daily until November 28.
The Louth-born artist describes his practice as lying “between realism and surrealism, with a tendency towards abstraction, influences range from Henry Moore to Frances Bacon, and beyond”. Oliver describes his current solo show as “a kaleidoscopic view of Ireland, the island we live on”. Themes explored in the show range from “mysticism, pagan origins, political upheavals, the work of poets and writers, its beauty and its scandals”, he added.
Oliver was born near Dundalk, the oldest son of a farming family. He developed an interest in woodwork at an early age and by the age of 25 had become a self-taught musical instrument maker. He is also a multi-instrumentalist, playing mandolin, harmonica and concertina.
On the basis of the skill he displayed, the Galway School of Art offered him a place. During his time there he developed his interest in sculpture and painting. Oliver continues to work in wood, stone and bronze, draws in pencil and charcoal and paints in oil and acrylics. His influences include the Romanian sculptor, Constantine Brancusi and the English sculptor, Henri Moore, the painters Marc Chagal, Francis Bacon and the impressionists Van Gogh and Gauguin. He connects deeply with the full richness of the Irish cultural heritage, its music and mysticism, its writers and poets and he feels at ease with the metaphysical and spiritual nature of reality. Oliver treasures all of the arts and has recently completed a series of paintings based on the life and work of the poet Patrick Kavanagh.
Oliver now lives and works in Dunsany, County Meath, on the south-west slope of the ancient Hill of Tara.