FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT.
We have offered Eoin’s work in previous seasons, with framed prints ‘The Sniffer’, ‘Nosey Cow’, Dizzy Cow’ & ‘Big Nose’. We now have the amazing opportunity to offer even more from the animal series, as well as signed limited editions prints from his figurative & landscape ranges.
Eoin O’Connor lives and works in Aughrim county Wicklow. His highly sought after pieces are among leading business and private collections both at home and abroad. Eoin’s palette is dominated by strong powerful tones that are rich in contrast.
He finds his motifs in the immediate surroundings of his native Ireland, the landscapes, the sea, the farmsteads and its many characters. Before painting Eoin had a background in Architecture which explains his assured drawing style that forms the basis for his compositions.
What is striking about Eoin’s work is the way he succeeds in bringing something new to the everyday by exaggerating perspectives coupled with a truly courageous use of colour. His work is striking, uplifting and memorable. Eoin has exhibited throughout the world, New York, London and has had several sell-out exhibitions at the RDS in Dublin.
Eoin, where are you from, describe what is was like growing up there and also where you live now if different?
I was born in Dublin, but moved to Cork when I was a young child. I lived in Monkstown in Cork Harbour. I had a great childhood, outdoors most of the time, played sports from dawn to dusk. Monkstown was a beautiful place. The sea and boats played a big part in my life. After school I moved back to Dublin, I went To Bolton street to study architecture, which was a difficult course. I loved living in Dublin, a great experience for a young person, something happening all the time. I lived in Dublin for eleven years and moved to Aughrim in south Wicklow nine years ago. Aughrim is a beautiful village and it has recently won Ireland’s tidiest town which is a great achievement for such a small place. What I really love about it is the environs around it. Glenmalure, Aughavannagh, the Glen of Imaal and so on. The landscape in these places highly influences my paintings.
Did you have any formal training, how has your artistic career developed along the way?
No, I didn’t have formal training. I studied architecture and after that I decided my first love was art, so I started painting. Between 1997-2003, I started a business selling prints of my paintings to shops such as The Kilkenny store and Blarney Woollen Mills. The business was very successful, but it affected my work so I sold the business. In 2003, I developed a unique sculptural style of art which sold very well and was purchased by leading businessmen in Ireland. I then opened my own gallery in Aughrim. In 2004, I reached the end of the line with my sculptural art and started concentrating more on painting. I knew what I wanted in terms of colour and texture and so on, but my paintings have evolved with time. I am very fortunate that I have a distinct style which is kind of my signature. My paintings are quirky I suppose you could say. I have had great success and have built up quite a few loyal fans, one customer in the USA has bought 18 paintings to date and also invited me to display my work at The Celtic ball in The Waldorf Astoria in New York. I also have a publishing deal with a fine art print company in Germany, They sell prints of four of my Cow paintings worldwide which is great exposure. In 2009, I closed my gallery in Aughrim, although I still paint here in my studio. I opened a gallery called Artbox in Kinsale which sells my original work and a large selection of prints of my work. I also sell other artist’s work there. I have exhibited in Waterford Tall Ships Exhibition, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Wexford Arts Festival, Greenacres Wexford, Fxb’s Dublin Marziart, Hamburg, Germany, Art Ireland, Gallery Number Nine in Birmingham and Marine House Beere in Devon, England
What influences you?
The everyday surroundings, the landscape, people, animals and so on. I love colour and playing with perspective. I suppose I also like humour which gives a quirky slant to my paintings .
Who or what inspires you to be creative?
Luckily it seems to be built-in me to be creative. If I haven’t painted for a while I feel an uncontrollable urge to do so! Looking at work of great artists, Picasso, Matisse all forms of art.
How do you feel about the importance of farms/farming/farmers, locally sourced foods, slow-food/locavore movement?
I love food and where I live I am fortunate to have a friend, Alan Pierce, who produces beautiful seasonal organic vegetables (Gold River Farm) which we use all the time and also up the road, The Brooklodge Hotel, serves all organic food and is truly scrumptious! They are hoping to hold a Slow food festival in 2011
What are you favourite places in Ireland?
I love Kenmare and try to stay there as often as possible. It’s a great place as you can do the Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park and my favourite, The Beara Peninsula, easily from there. Derreen house on the Beara Peninsula is a hidden gem; its garden is like a tropical wonderland.
All Images © Spire Art 2014