Brianna Hurley with one of her paintings
A young artist is following in the footsteps of one of Kilkenny’s most famous painters.
Brianna Hurley lives and paints in Callan, just a stone’s throw from where renowned artist Tony O’Malley was born and later established an international artists’ residency.
It’s a lovely link with an artistic past that marks out the town as special.
But while Brianna embraces that spirit of creativity she is very definitely forging her own, distinct path. She delves into her imagination to create a vibrant, beautiful world and portrays it with energy in paint on paper.
Working with a palette of distinct colours, the completed scenes that surround her in the studio at KCAT in Callan bring the world to life.
She favours burnt sienna, greys, whites, greens, mostly natural colours but sometimes black.
There are two main themes she loves to paint - tornadoes and scenes from the planet Castallia.
“I like that when I paint I can use my imagination,” Brianna said, adding that imagination is what really helps to make a good painting. That creative mind invented Castallia. It’s a red planet, with red-brown earth, lush green trees growing candy-flavoured fruit, and a native population who have a complicated relationship with humans.
She also loves to paint tornadoes, in settings both on Earth and on Castallia. She continues to develop as an artist and is working on improving her portraits.
Painting since she was a child Brianna, who is 24, now has a sun-filled studio space at KCAT. The arts centre is a welcoming, all-embracing community for the arts in Callan. The centre is dedicated to the fostering and nurturing of creative ambition and professional development in the arts, and it’s ethos is that everyone, regardless of background, age, gender or ability should have access to a creative world - as student, participants, artists or audiences.
One of Brianna's artworks that will soon be hanging in the Crawford Gallery in Cork
It’s an atmosphere where Brianna’s talent has flourished. Painting brings her joy.
Brianna’s talent has been recognised by one of Ireland’s leading galleries, where two of her paintings are set to be put on display.
The Crawford Art Gallery, in Cork, purchased the two works in recent weeks to add to its collection. The purchase was part of a Crawford Gallery and IMMA funded project to add more than 400 Irish works to the national collection.
“I felt delighted,” Brianna said about the gallery’s interest in her work. “I thought OMG how did I do that?” she said with a smile.
You can find out more about classes at the centre on KCAT.ie, which is also where you see more of Brianna’s work. She is proud of her paintings and says art is happiest on people’s walls.
Paintings should be seen, she said, and Brianna would like to sell many more. If you are interested please contact KCAT in Callan.
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