The Presentation Arts Centre in Enniscorthy is presenting 'Chrysalis', an exhibition of portrait paintings of transgender people in oil on vintage fabric by the artist Eva O'Donovan.
Using live models, Eva set out to explore a broader concept of the term femininity with a focus on trans feminity, to redress what she saw as lack of visibility of those identifying as trans feminine in the visual arts, especially portraiture.
Eva collaborated with Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) to find subjects for the Chrysalis series, with the artist and the subjects setting out to promote positive visibility and the rights of trans people and their families.
The result is a collection of powerful portraits featuring members of the transfeminine and broader TENI community.
The artist worked closely with the participants featured in the paintings and she said their input was key to the success of the project.
Working from styled photographs and fabrics, the sitters made key choices during the process and had final approval on the resulting canvasses. Time was spent developing relationships before any work commenced.
'This project has taken almost a year to put together and it has been a year of great growth and fun' said Eva.
'The transgender community (through TENI) is a broad church and a highly inclusive one, catholic in the truest sense - representing trans men, trans women, cross dressers, people who identify as non-binary, gender queer or anywhere within the trans community spectrum.' Chrysalis was officially opened last Saturday via zoom, with a limited number of visitors allowed into the Presentation Centre galleries. It will continue until July 24.