Through his new exhibition of paintings, Jonathan O'Dea explores the inter-relationship between the rural landscapes of England and Ireland. Jonathan's new work is a result of journeys made over the last 18 months into the English and Irish countryside. From his trips, Jonathan has produced paintings that draw comparisons with the rugged landscape of Cornwall to that of Co. Mayo in the west of Ireland, and comparisons with the flat lands of The Cambridge shire Fens with the peat bogs of the Irish Midlands. Through his work O'Dea aims to capture the essence of these landscapes rather than the physical space, using light and texture to create an abstract art suffused with the reality of its subject. The techniques behind these new paintings are a combination of linear painting and highly textured work.
The manner in which O'Dea brings together rural England and Ireland through his paintings suggests that these two spaces have more in common with each other than differences. O'Dea uses his art as a means of creating a common dominator between cultural and geographical differences. Through his work Jonathan O'Dea also draws upon influences from historical and contemporary English and Irish landscape painting. O'Dea has created work that furthers the cultural discourse between English and Irish visual culture, and the influence of place and poetry upon it.
The exhibition is supported by Barbican Arts Group Trust (www.artworksproject.com). BAGT was established in 1972 by artists in order to establish studio space for their practice. Today BAGT has two studio buildings, which accommodate artists with national and international reputations.
The exhibition is also supported by Apex Arts (the Arts Council for Waltham Forest), and the Irish Embassy, Great Britain.
Exhibition curator: Neil Irons
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