Owen Rohu & Jimmy Lawlor

Thursday 15 – Saturday 31 October 2009

Event Information:


Owen Rohu and Jimmy Lawlor team up for a 2009 collaborative exhibition featuring new paintings from these Westport-based artists.

Owen Rohu:

Owen Rohu was born in Dublin in 1966 and studied Visual Communications, majoring in Illustration, at the Dublin College of Marketing & Design. Upon graduating, he worked for the animation production company, Murakami Wolf, before joining Don Bluth Studios in Dublin as an animation background artist. He later accepted a position at Fox Animation Studios in Phoenix, Arizona and it was there he enrolled in part time painting classes at Scottsdale Art School and began to exhibit his paintings. After several years, he and his wife moved to Sydney, Australia, where he worked at Walt Disney Studios, continuing painting in his free time.

Owen returned to Ireland in 2002, settling in Westport, County Mayo and joined Oisín Gallery in the same year. He has since featured in many of the gallery's collective exhibitions and staged his first one-man show in 2006, with all works selling prior to the preview. He experienced the same success with his 2008 solo exhibition.

Interest in Owen's work has increased significantly over the years, and this interest is not limited to Ireland. His work has attracted the attention of collectors throughout Europe, America, and as far as Australia.

Still life paintings of familiar objects such as wine bottles, ceramic vases and pewter-ware combined with fruit and flowers continue to dominate much of Owen's output. In these, his ability to convey the volume and texture of individual objects enables him to transform the most mundane of household fare into powerful images. Working from life, lush bouquets of seasonal flowers, cut and elegantly arranged, map the natural patterns of growth and decay whilst depictions of artifacts from a bygone era suggest the fragile nature of earthly possessions and serve as a subtle reminder of the brevity of life.


Jimmy Lawlor:

Born December 1967, Wexford, Jimmy Lawlor now lives and works in Westport, County Mayo.

Jimmy's career as a painter spans over 15 years with exhibitions being held throughout Ireland, in London and France. His work may be found work in many important private and corporate collections both locally and internationally, including IIU, Hugh Leonard, Treasury Holdings, Diageo Ireland, Dermot Desmond, Brenda Fricker, Great Southern Hotel Group, within the Government Buildings and Anglo Irish Bank in London.

The common subject of Jimmy's paintings derives from an a-typical Irish sense of humour and warns that the old way of life may be lost by our next generation. As Hugh Leonard commented in the Irish Independent in 2001: ‘..imagine a Salvador Dali who has regained at least half of his sanity and moved to the west of Ireland, and you begin to enjoy art that is not only accessible, but as warm and as fantastic as a good dream’.

He says; 'I call my work surruralism. It takes elements from my surroundings and mixes them with the people of the place, in their environment and doing what they love best. In their own way they have helped create the environment about them, whether they be farmers, business people, students or otherwise. Each town has it’s own characters and characteristics but they are basically the same in every town. I applaud these people and their character, which makes them unique. The humour of the Irish people is fantastic, the gentle mannerisms that I encountered while painting them is honourable, it’s a history in their faces and a sparkle in their eye that belies their age. There is nothing better for me than to capture the character of the person, and presenting them with the final result.'

This will be Jimmy's first formal show with the gallery after featuring in many of its group and events exhibitions.


Paintings in the exhibition