13 January to 25 February
Jane O’Malley’s use of drawing laid the foundations for her artistic career. This exhibition and accompanying publication is a survey of the artists black and white works on paper, never seen before in such volume and range. Jane has an eye for beauty and a gift for creating a strong sense of place, which is reflected in much of her subject matter. This survey will, for the first time, show a very strong and surprising body of work that reveals a starkness of line devoid of the usual high colour most closely linked to her work.
The drawings, many gathered from Jane’s notebooks, sketchbooks, and her visual diaries, span a lifetime of work, of travel, of working alongside her husband, the artist Tony O’Malley, and of time spent alone. Jane displayed a confidence in her use of line right from the beginning. She loved to draw as a child and the more she drew, the stronger the work became. This collection of works on paper charts a journey from St Ives in Cornwall to Clare Island in County Mayo, and from there to Physicanstown in County Kilkenny, with many exotic trips to the Bahamas, the Tropics and Lanzarote. It reads almost like a travelogue. No matter where they landed the O’Malley’s captured the essence of life around them.
In his last days Tony O’Malley kept reminding Jane to keep working “Janie, promise me you will keep on with your work”. True to her word, Jane has continued to draw and paint and has added to her exceptional body of work. This diverse selection of works in ‘Black & White’ display a range and skill set that is the backbone of all her work over the past forty years. These works are full of curiousity and joy and provide an intimate glimpse into a life richly lived.
Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny
T: 056 7761106