Christine Bowen, Katherine Liddy & Tanya Elliot Nyegaard

Thursday 22 January - Saturday 7 February 2009

Our schedule for 2009 will open with a three-person exhibition featuring new works by Christine Bowen, Katherine Liddy and Tanya Elliot Nyegaard.

Christine Bowen was born in Cheshire, and now lives and works in County Kerry. Between 1965 and 1986, she worked as a colour consultant/interior designer in Dublin. In 1994, she graduated with a Bachelor of Honours Arts Degree from the University of Ulster after receiving a Higher Diploma certificate with Distinction in Fine Art NCEA in 1993. She now paints full time and has exhibited extensively in venues and events such as the The Claimorris Open, The Dubrovnic Arts Festival in Cavtat, Croatia, The National Arts Centre of Malta, and the Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibitions; in addition to solo-exhibitions in The Vaults Gallery, the Theatre Royal in Bath, the Linen Hall Arts Centre in Castlebar, County Mayo, Tom Caldwell Gallery in Belfast, the Blue/Yellow Gallery in Belfast and the Blue Leaf Gallery in Dublin. This will be Christine’s first formal showing with Oisín Gallery after highly successful includsion in many of the gallery’s annual group exhibitions.

Christine’s work stems from a childhood in Nigeria, where her father was a shipping agent. Her childhood has influenced her work in terms of colour, nautical imagery and figurative, animal imagery. She recently completed the cover illustration for the second in a series of five volumes on the archaeology of Knowth for the Royal Irish Academy. Her work has been acquired by collectors in Ireland, England, Australia, and throughout Europe and the United States, and may also be found in public collections, including the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Electricity in Belfast, Europa Hotel in Belfast, the University of Ulster, Ulster Television, Abbott Ireland, Allied Irish Bank, the Office Of Public Works - Office of An Taoiseach, and the Museum Villinius in Lithuania amongst others.

Katherine Liddy has previously held two solo-exhibitions at Oisín Gallery; Voices of Aran in 2004, and Traces in 2002 - both of which demonstrated marked transformation and development, and illustrated her approach to art as one that is continually evolving, shifting and maturing. Those familiar with her work will remember a dramatic departure from her colourful figurative drawings in 2000 when her palette became more limited and we were introduced to works combining card, aluminium and wood, and featuring the character Ophelia while borrowing words and phrases from Shakespeare and modern Irish verse. In 2002, her work retreated further still back in time, rooting itself in the midst of popular Celtic mythology and resulting in a series of works for her 2004 solo-exhibition, Voices of Aran, which featured stylised, abstracted images describing the mystical energy of Irish culture and the landscape. The work attracted admirers and collectors from all over the world, including the organisers of Sardinia's Annual Arts Festival, in which Katherine secured third prize out of the 40 participating international artists, in addition to an invite to exhibit in Venice, California. In 2007, a painting by Katherine entitled Dream/Illusion was acquired for permanent display as part of the New Hall Art Collection of Cambridge in England. Katherine's most recent work is inspired by frequent visits to Italy, in particular Pompeii, and the modern style graffiti preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius. She explains: This current body of work illustrates my continued exploration into notions inspired by visits to Pompei: Flashes of memory, fragments of the past, childhood memories, absence and loss; how everyday objects and personal possessions belonging to others can flood the mind with memories and retain such resonance. The people may no longer be present, yet a piece of material, a comb, or an item of jewellery can evoke their presence. I am also exploring the idea of home; what it can contain and what it can hide within it - not only fragments of past inhabitants, like layers of wall paper or paint or trinkets that were once so important but are now forgotten or buried in a garden, but how it can be a place of comfort, fear, safety, joy and clausterphobia - all within its four walls.

Tanya Elliot Nyegaard was born in Copenhagen in 1965 and moved to Ireland as a small child. She graduated in Sculpture from the Limerick School of Art and Design and subsequently worked in the studio of the renowned sculptural ceramicist, Tue Poulsen. She has managed the Dublin Art Foundry alongside John Gannon and Leslie Manning since 1987. This is the oldest art foundry in the country, and has cast sculpture for many of Ireland’s established and prominent artists, including Carolyn Mulholland, Breon O’Casey, Melanie Le Brocquy, Conor Fallon, Dorothy Cross and Barry Flanagan to name a few. She says of her work: 'My non-commissioned work is mainly figurative and has been so since I began making sculpture. If you were to try to find an underlying aspiration in my work it would be an attempt to capture the essence of a pose, mood or emotion in the figure. I prefer to work directly from a model and often you will see I have not "filled in all the gaps" for the audience. I also like the notion of working in wax, a soft malleable material, and then casting in bronze. The transition from one to the other fascinates me.'

Tanya's public commissions include a special commission for the Imperial Prince of Japan from the Irish Government, a life size Garda and Park Bench for the Glen Dimplex, which was documented in an exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy, and a Fish Column for Dundalk UDC. Other works include De La Salle Brother and Two Boys - three 3-foot figures, pieces for the I.A.V.I. (Irish Auctioneers and Valuer's Institute), Woman of the Year Award for 1993, 1994 and 1995, a large Bronze sculpture for the Blackrock (Louth) Millennium Project, a commissioned trophy for the Wild Goose Award for the French/Ireland Fund, Calmative Plaques (portraits) for the Dublin City University in 1992, a presentation to Justice O'Higgins, the Allied Irish Bank Export Award 1995 to 1996, Environment Awards (Tara Mines), the R.T.E. 25 year Award, and a series of Golf Trophy's for the Lahinch Royal Dublin Captain's Prize. She has also exhibited her work in Limerick City Art Gallery, Iontas and Oireachtas Annual exhibitions, and was invited to submit a sculpture for the National Collection in 1998; a self portrait, which is currently housed in Limerick. She also has work on display in the Law Library and in the Allied Irish Bank Collection. Most recently, she participated in the Sculpture In Context Annual Exhibition 2008 at the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. Tanya’s work features in many private collections, including that of Christy Moore, Melanie Le Brocquy, Dermot Desmond, Jim Murphy, and Michael Buckley.

Paintings in the exhibition