Conor's creations on show

Artist Conor Walton in his studio

Bray People

Award-winning Wicklow based figurative artist Conor Walton is exhibiting his work in Athlone's Luan Gallery's autumn exhibition 'Asymmetrical Warfare'.

The exhibition includes some new and previously unseen works by Walton and was launched by Robert Ballagh.

Dublin born Walton initially studied painting at National College of Art, Dublin and graduated with a Joint Honours Degree in the History of Art and Fine Art Painting before pursuing an MA in Art History at the University of Essex in the UK. He subsequently trained under Charles Cecil in Florence, Italy where he mastered the traditional skill of fine art drawing and colour. He then returned to Ireland in 1996 and settled in Wicklow, where he paints full-time.

Conor works out of a studio in Wicklow town and has won numerous awards for his work including ModPortrait 2017, Arc Salon 2014/15, Portrait Ireland 2005, The Taylor Prize 1993 and was shortlisted for both the BP Portrait Award in 2005, and the Golden Fleece Award in 2011.

Speaking about his work, he said: 'My aim is to paint pictures that obviously refer to contemporary events and beg for interpretation, but that, while political in the largest sense, are not reducible to propaganda. I want people of widely divergent political views to be able to take pleasure in my work yet be unsure whether their own opinions are being endorsed or mocked.'

Walton has lectured extensively and hosts the 'Conor Walton Summer School' scholarship programme drawing students from four continents.

His commissioned portraits can be found in many public and private collections, and his work has featured on book covers and postage stamps in Ireland and abroad.

Describing the exhibition, he said: 'The phrase 'Asymmetrical Warfare' in a way sums up my career and approach to painting and culture, but has particular relevance to my current work because this deals explicitly with cultural conflict, with the crises of our times - political, ecological, financial, cultural and moral - and the warped perspectives that ensue.'