For such a small island, Ireland is bursting with talented artists. From graffiti artists-turned-painters, to illustrators and designers, there is creativity emerging from every corner of the Emerald Isle.
We’ve put the spotlight on ten individuals, who are at various stages in their careers, to keep on your radar.
Lola Donoghue is a visual artist based in the west of Ireland. Lola uses oil and acrylic paint on canvas to create what she describes as “personal reflections and interpretations”.
Donoghue’s light and fresh work has an ethereal quality. She predominantly uses a white-on-white palette, layered with a mix of muted colours and splashes of bright neon. Donoghue says her work is an interpretation and exploration of everyday contemporary culture and society, representing the unseen emotions.
Emma Sheridan’s art has strong autobiographical elements. After being shot in a random attack in London 13 years ago, Sheridan seemed to bury the trauma until the birth of her daughter.
Originally a graduate from Fashion Design in NCAD, Emma was encouraged by Deirdre Madden, a mental health nurse in Holles Street hospital, to draw to help deal with the supressed PTSD. Together the pair invented an alter-ego for Sheridan: The Jelly Shooter. This personal superhero went on to inspire Sheridan’s debut solo show Friendly Giants in 2016.
Sheridan uses markers, water colours and spray paints in her pieces to express the emotions and difficulties of daily life. Some of her career highlights include creating a 100% silk capsule collection and two very successful stints with Brown Thomas. Emma’s illustrations were also featured in the 2018 Arnotts Christmas window.
In January, Sheridan put on a large-scale exhibition in collaboration with the Science Gallery and First Fortnight, a Dublin-based mental health festival. Warpaint was inspired by her experience of using art as a way to help deal with her mental health struggles. You can see more of Emma’s work and exhibitions here.
Chloe Early is known for her figurative paintings. The London-based contemporary artist has a unique style which has been described as both ‘lush’ and ‘raw’.
After growing up in Cork, Chloe Early graduated from NCAD in 2003 and has been painting ever since. Chloe has held shows in Dublin, Los Angeles and New York throughout her career.
Earley works with oils on an aluminium panel to create colour-saturated mini-narratives. Chloe’s work combines a Renaissance and Romantic approach with the rawness of contemporary life. Early says she has developed an ‘iron fist in a velvet glove strategy’ by examining the “sensitive and personal aspects of conflict, ambition and entropy in an opulent, cinematic style”. Check out some of Chloe’s work here.
Conor Harrington is a painter living and working in London. He is married to fellow Irish artist Chloe Early. Harrington started his career working as a graffiti artist and has since adopted a classical-meets-street style. Jared Leto, Damien Hirst and Alicia Keys are among the stars who own his pieces.
In 2015, he made headlines when his painting Dance with the Devil, an oil and spray can piece, was sold for €86,000 at Bonham’s Auction in London. The painting sold for more than internationally renowned artist Bansky’s Rude Copper.
Conor says his technique develops year on year. Speaking to The Irish Times about his progression In 2018, he said:
“I’m not as interested in the fine details or full realism like I used to be. It’s an easier way to get movement into the paintings. I also like to make it look like things are starting to crumble, which is pertinent with empires and politics.” Click here to see more of Conor Harrington’s work.
Combining her love of art and animals, Audrey Hamilton is definitely one to watch. The Dublin artist specialises in abstract pop art. Hamilton has loved everything about art since a young age. However, she rediscovered her love of painting while working as an actor in Los Angeles.
“I am quite a quirky person and have a great love for animals so it was no surprise all these years later, living in LA, I decided to take the brush out again and start painting. And out popped by take on animals.
Eva O’Donovan has always been drawn to fashion and interiors and her work incorporates elements of both.
The Dublin-based artist specialises in portrait painting. She currently constructs a piece using primed stretched fabrics, which serve as a backdrop to the think and controlled application of oil paint to portray the subject.
Eva says her work “bears in mind society’s constraints upon women through the ages” and that her paintings are “an ode to the strength it takes to be considered equal and a celebration of the femininity at the heart of this strength”.
We are a big fan of Eva’s work here at Iconic Offices. We even have one of her pieces hanging in The Brickhouse! You can stay up to date with Eva O’Donovan’s upcoming exhibitions here.
Finbar initially started off painting graffiti because he was attracted to the freedom of it, and in doing so, he has become a big part of the graffiti community in Ireland. In his work, Finbar describes painting as his meditation. He produces beautiful expansive pieces which are full of colour, and focus on expression.
We were so blown away by Finbar’s talent that we have commissioned a selection of 10 pieces to be hung at one of our newest workspaces, The Lennox.
When speaking with Image.ie, Finbar describes his transition from graffiti to canvas work: “The process of my current work is all about letting go, understanding that creativity is free and can’t be judged, it’s personal. Personal to me and then hopefully, personal to someone else looking at it.” You can find more of Finbar’s work here.
Shane Keisuke Berkery, an NCAD graduate, is an Irish-Japanese contemporary artist based in Dublin, Ireland. His cultural background has been a major influence on his work and is a frequent theme in his paintings. Berkery primarily works out of his studio in Dublin and is represented by The Chimera Gallery. A few of his achievements & acknowledgments include ‘Irish painters under 30 to watch’ by RTÉ Culture in 2017, winner of Hennessy Craig Scholarship 2016 & winner of National University of Ireland Art & Design prize 2015. Berkery is another artist we have commissioned to do a piece at The Lennox, which will no doubt be another significant addition to the workspace. You can find more of Berkery’s work here.
Kathrina Rupit, also known as Kinmx, was born in Mexico City and studied visual arts and photography at the University in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. You can see a strong influence from her native country in her work, full of bold rich colours. As an Urban artist, she produces work, which is softer and more lyrical than perhaps her male contemporaries. Kathrina likes to create cultural and environmental awareness in her work, using recycling materials with the same idea as ‘’The Day of the Dead’’, that death is not the ending, it is the beginning of something else.
Whilst Kathrina isn’t technically Irish by blood, she has lived in Dublin for a number of years now and is a big part of the Irish street art scene. You can find more of Kathrina’s work here.
Originally from Dublin, Leah Beggs lives and creates art in Connemara, Co. Galway.
Leah’s multi-layered paintings have always been informed by the Irish landscape. Working mainly with oils on canvas, she paints in a layering, sketching process. “By combining my technical skills as a painter together with my emotional response to the landscape brings an immersive and reflective quality to my work, for both the artist and observer”, Leah says. Beggs’ latest exhibition The Space Between ran from January to February with The Gloss calling it “suggestive, evocative, atmospheric and dreamlike”.
We reckon Leah Beggs’ star is on the rise! Head over here to see some of her other paintings.