Esther O’Kelly BDES, BA, is an Irish Artist, from Wexford, living in Belfast. She graduated from The National College of Art and Design with an honours degree in Visual Communication. Esther has over 20 years experience working within the Creative Industry, in Dublin, Melbourne & Belfast.
My work celebrates the natural beauty of our rugged island the dwelling places dotted along it and the lives lived on our shores. Each piece follows the raw beauty and lines of the coast, vibrant colours and forms that seek to capture a memory and evoke a sense of place.
The idea that our land is shaped by the unseen forces of the wind makes me think of the complex beauty of how the forces of nature work, and how they can mirror our own inner workings. This place where four seasons can be born and die in a day. I feel alive and perceptive to the wild elements in ways that awaken senses in me. I sense the hidden elements below the familiar skin of this place called home.
My paintings begin as depictions of a place from memory but during the painting process they take on a life of their own, I try to keep the painting open to all possibilities, deviations and directions. I like working back and forth between organic and architectural elements, colours and textures that become saturated or atmospheric, marks that whisper or shout. Fine layers of paint are built up and stripped away creating delicate colour passages and textures reminiscent of stone and peeling paint. Houses and shapes are painted over but the imprint remains visible, creating an archaeology beneath the painted surface.
Through my work I try to create my home as a metaphysical space, I ground myself within this space and subsequently I’ve come to find home in my work.
Visual Arts Ireland
Vault Artist Studio
Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
Goose Lane Gallery, Belfast
Catalyst Arts Belfast
Duke Street Gallery Dublin,
Lavelle Gallery Clifden,
The Rosslare Gallery
QSS Gallery, Belfast.
Arts Council of Northern Ireland