Cliona Fox is an Irish artist with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art and Contemporary Studies from the National College of Art & Design. She has undertaken residencies throughout the country, which have inspired subsequent work. These include the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, The Custom House Studios, Co Mayo and The Cill Rialaig Retreat, Co. Kerry. She has exhibited widely throughout Ireland and abroad including Brussels and Beijing, and has had many solo and group exhibitions. Her work is in several private and State Collections including The Bord of Works, Department of Foreign Affairs, Waterford Healing Trust, Cill Rialaig Collection, Sheraton Hotel Group and CIAA (European Union).
In her recent work Fox sources her images from nature and the landscape but focuses on making her work less figurative, more gestural and abstracted. It is evident that the element of drawing and the visceral substance of the paint are dually important to her as the painted surfaces reflect areas of expression and precision.
Having spent part of each year in Co. Kerry for most of her adult life, the artist made numerous trips to the Skelligs Islands which lie 12 kilometres off the coast. Here she made initial drawings and it was from these, her experience of the journey, and the artist’s memory that she found inspiration for this body of work.
The work straddles the boundary between abstraction and representation and varies in size, successfully depicting the grand scale of this rocky outpost and capturing, through an extensive palette, the ever-changing light common in the Atlantic landscape. Central to and interspersed with the large expressive mark-making and loose brushwork to focused areas of detail, are hints of habitation long-abandoned.