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'Sienna', by Nicole O’Donnell is part of the ‘Awakening’ exhibition which will open at the Courthouse, Kinvara on October 20.

Kinvara exhibition awakens to the wonder of nature


WAKING up to the beauty of nature is the theme of a new exhibition that will open in Kinvara next week. 

The show by artist Nicole O’Donnell is entitled ‘Awakening’ and will run at the Courthouse, in conjunction with Kinvara Area Visual Arts (KAVA) from October 20 to 26.

Nicole is a Galway-based artist who has a Masters Degree in Creative Practice and an Honours BA in Contemporary Art, from the School of Design and Creative Arts, at the Atlantic Technological University (ATU). 

“As a visual artist who grew up in the West of Ireland, my practice is influenced by the wilderness of the Irish landscape, daily observations and the natural world to create imaginative landscape paintings that deal with themes of experience of place, memory and are inspired by the endless complexity found in nature,” Nicole explained.

She added that her solo show, ‘Awakening’, “means an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something”. “This collection of works are just that, a moment where the viewer becomes aware of how beautiful and interesting the Irish landscape is as I strongly believe that nature is all around us and deep within us, making us inseparable from it,” she said. “This body of work focuses on what is both equally beautiful and degraded and are concerned with balancing both the abstract and realistic elements within it. I am drawn to painting otherworldly places and environments inspired by the Irish landscape as it is intrinsically linked to the people of Ireland. 

The colour hues in the works constructs unique and rich scenes of untamed vegetation, wasteland and overgrown grass, an otherworldly place.”

Nicole’s main medium is painting. She is influenced by the raw wilderness of the Irish landscape and the natural world to create fantastical landscapes, inspired by the endless complexity found in nature. 

Throughout 2022, Nicole has exhibited at the Shorelines Arts Festival at the Portumna Irish Workhouse centre. As a KAVA member at the members Summer Exhibitionin Kinvara. She has also taken part in the Summer OpenExhibition at the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon.

In 2021, Nicole took part in her masters in Creative Practice Graduation Showcase titled Plan C: Whereabouts?’ at the School of Design and Creative Arts in Galway. In 2020, she took part in a group exhibition Not A Degree Showin the heart of Galway City at the old Connacht Tribune building. She has also participated in the  Incognitopublic art exhibition to raise funds for the Jack and Jill Childrens Foundation. In 2019, she took part in the exhibition ‘Coast’, a survey of work of Third Year students from CCAM and in 2018 she was awarded a special commendation for her entry ‘100% Unethical’ in the Green Campus Awards Art Competition. 

‘Awakening’ will run at the Courthouse, Kinvara from 11am to 4pm between October 20 and 26. 

About Fiona McGarry

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