Two local artists are set to showcase at Ireland’s top art fair, Art Source, which takes place at the RDS from November 11 to November 13.
Malahide-based artist Susan Cairns and award-winning Portmarnock-based artist, Fergus A Ryan will both display their work at the event.
Featuring 160 of the best contemporary Irish and international artists and galleries, Art Source is expected to attract over 15,000 people.
The move by Malahide-based Susan Cairns, a former watercolourist, to still life and oils, was a major turning point in her journey as a painter.
“Taking old, broken, unwanted and often forgotten everyday objects, my ambition through painting is to capture character and beauty, transforming the usual into something unique and wonderful,” says Susan, who has exhibited across Ireland and the UK.
With many years spent drawing and watercolour painting, her current work in oil has evolved and developed into a style that is very identifiable, clear and detailed.
Exploring light, colour, texture and tone is an essential part of Susan’s painting, and she strives to make the simple things stand out, the not-so-pretty to be beautiful and everyday objects to shine.
“As a child, I adored art. Painting by numbers was a particular favourite of mine, but at the time I did not really think I could be an artist”, Susan says.
“I studied Interior Design in college, but the bit I loved most was the drawing aspect of the course. I knew at that stage my heart lay in fine art, so I took art lessons just as a hobby like many people do. From there, I just could not see myself doing anything else.
“To take simple everyday objects, rubbish in some people’s eyes, and turn them into something beautiful, wanted and desired, really appealed to me. From that day on, away went my watercolours, I bought some oil paints and started my still life journey.”
Former Aer Lingus pilot, Portmarnock-based Fergus A Ryan also exhibits at Art Source next month.
Fergus once jetted around the world but now devotes much of his time to finely detailed portraits and landscapes.
His work has been exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy, the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts and has been included in the Government of Ireland's State collection.
Fergus’ portrait, “Rain on the Wind” won the Friends of Royal Hibernian Academy Award for a Senior Artist in 2020.
His egg tempera portrait “Harold” was exhibited at the National Gallery of Ireland in the Hennessy Portrait Prize 2016 finalists exhibition.
He was awarded a first-class honours degree in Theology after retiring and began painting professionally in the 2000s after a lifetime of drawing and sketching.
Fergus was a regular visitor to the great art museums of New York, Boston and Chicago during his career with the national airline.
And he attended workshops and summer schools in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Norway and Italy to develop his skills.
Fergus’ subject matter includes objects, buildings, animals, places and portraits and his instructional YouTube video on how to paint with egg tempera has over 120,000 views. His portraits attempt to capture hidden thought and emotion.
“It is the very inaccessibility of those thoughts that creates a certain detachment I strive for. Most of my subjects are in their own private world, looking away,” says Fergus.
“As a realist painter, I face a certain difficulty: the all-too-obvious tangible presence of the subject.
“The inspiration may be, at its birth, a mere “whim” or wisp, a wistfulness or yearning, a sense of incompleteness. Yet the place at which artist and viewer first converse is the reality of the visible subject itself.
“This phenomenon is often minutely explored in my work in anticipation of a glimpse of what endures forever,” he concludes.
An exhibition of works by Damien Hirst, the English artist who recently burned hundreds of his artworks, will be the centrepiece of Art Source.
The fair will also play host to a unique sculpture garden featuring over 40 top Irish and international artists, including works by renowned sculptors such as Patrick O'Reilly, Salvador Dali, Giacinto Bosco, Ian Pollock, Eamonn Ceannt, Bob Quinn, Anthony Scott and Sandra Bell.
Irish art lovers also have the unique chance to get their hands on 100 pieces of original artwork for €100 each on a first-come, first-served basis on the opening morning of the show - Friday, November 11.
The show will also feature Source Your Own Art, a free children’s pop-up art workshop where youngsters are invited to express themselves creatively in response to the art they see at the fair.
Admission to Art Source is €10 adults. Children under-16 free, if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For further information, see ArtSource.ie
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