An artist with a fertile imagination

CELEBRATED artist Patrick O’Connors will hold his first solo exhibition since 2005 at the Kilkenny Arts Office later this month.

CELEBRATED artist Patrick O’Connors will hold his first solo exhibition since 2005 at the Kilkenny Arts Office later this month.

Patrick has drawn since he can remember doing just that in red South African earth before he was four. He still believes that drawing fulfils a very basic human need and is a profound necessity.

Highly regarded in South Africa, with work represented in 11 public collections as well as the National Gallery, Cape Town, the South African Embassy in Brussels and the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York.

He also represented South Africa twice in the Sao Paulo Biennale firstly in 1969, very soon after graduating and again in 1975.

He is, however, virtually unknown in Ireland, although he has lived and worked here since 1978. Patrick’s original move to Ireland was inspired partially by the light and its constant changes.

Essentially an educator he has lectured in the School of Art and Design, Dun Laoghaire and the Dublin Institute of Technology. In the late eighties he moved to London and again worked and lectured there for a number of years. He gave up teaching and moved to Kilkenny in 1999 and he says of Kilkenny that he not only “feels at home but am home”. He has devoted himself to painting and drawing ever since his last move and access to studio space and two relatively recent residency spells at Cill Rialaig enables continuous strength to be drawn from the landscape and figure.

In recent years he has exhibited in a small number of group shows and in 2005 had his first ever solo show in Ireland ‘From the Portfolios’, comprising of work taken from numerous portfolios and covering the years 1995 – 2005.

This 2012 exhibition is his first major show since then and one where he will present all new work.

The show will contain both paintings and drawings. Some a continuation of themes related to mythology and discovery, matters that have been a constant, a steady focus since his years in South Africa.

The show will also be complemented by wonderful publication about the artist’s life, past works and images from the current show. The exhibition launches on ) will run at Kilkenny County Council Arts Office until August 31.