Biography

Gerry O’Mahony graduated from L.S.A.D. with honours. He has taught art in Ireland and has travelled extensively, spending long periods in both Israel and Malawi. On returning from Africa he became a member of one of Limerick’s first artist collectives All + 10 sorts, and exhibited at length with the group. His first solo exhibition was in 1989 at the Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick, and subsequently this travelled to Temple Bar Gallery Dublin, and the Nun’s Island, Gallery, Galway. In 1990 he was invited to participate in a residency at Limerick’s City Library for a year.

During this period O’Mahony was awarded a Grant from the Arts Council, which was followed by an invitation to exhibit at their offices in Dublin, culminating in the purchase of 8 pieces for Government buildings. O’Mahony continued his practice as a painter from his studio at O’Connell St. Limerick until 2005, when he joined Contact Studios, Limerick, where he is now a permanent member. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. His most recent solo exhibition was held in South Tipperary Arts Centre Clonmel in July 2011.

 

Artist Statement

"In my work I seek to confront the instinctive realities of human and cultural challenges in a world which fluctuates between the familiar and the unknown, an odyssey that shows humanity’s struggle to find ways to inhabit the planet in a peaceful, productive and co-operative way. From Plato’s Simile of the Cave, to Job in the belly of a fish, the paintings assert that the basis of the problem lies in the individual’s personal struggle to integrate the physical and the spiritual realities of human existence.

Employing a vocabulary of symbols and characters in the work often distorts the line between painting and drawing, and sometimes can provoke an emotional and instinctive response from the viewer. These works though not allegorical, undulate between the perceptible and the concealed, the vibrant and the hazy, and implicit is a struggle between memory and imagination. My work shows the influence of the patterned, symbolic, colourful images of ancient and primitive art where the creations are a celebration of life that is simple and uncontrived- an art without “art”. It is a response to all of these influences and yet none of them – a separate entity created from the inter-mingling of both major and minor influences. The work is an expression of a vision of the world, an invitation to observers to share that vision and create their own. It is both a statement and a challenge."

 

Statements

“This exhibition, Emerging Light, is part of an odyssey for Gerry O’Mahony. An odyssey that shows humanity’s struggle to find ways to inhabit the planet in a peaceful, productive and co-operative way. From Plato’s Simile of the Cave to Job in the belly of the whale, the paintings assert that the basis of the problem lies in the individual’s personal struggle to integrate the physical and the spiritual realities of human existence.

The paintings chart the journey from war and pain through the perils of life to the safe harbour of home. A voyage from despair to hope. In some of the work the process is characterised...”

~ Trish Rainsford

“The drawings of Gerry O’Mahony with their detail of fine script show a mind allied to intuition.”

~ Desmond Mac Avock
Irish Times


“…The flow of line is soft and sensuous yet controlled and not allowed to meander from the original idea of creating a gap-like expanse which the viewer wanders over.“

~ Samuel Walsh


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