maggie o'brienI have two strands to my art practice, painting and drawing and issue based project work. In the past this has included work on the pollution of our oceans, immigration, personal and collective memory and the institution of marriage.

Like most artists, my art practice tends to be influenced by my immediate environment. In 2006 I moved from London to St Just in the far West of Cornwall and began to tentatively paint the stunning Cornish landscape. I paint and draw outside whenever I can and am most concerned with the elemental, with the effects of weather and light and the changing seasons. I use a variety of techniques and materials and the work is a mixture of place, memory and imagination.

The flip side of the beauty of the coast is the damage we are doing to it. For 100 days during Winter 2006 I cleared a patch of the beach at Priests Cove, Cape Cornwall. I collected, documented and drew hundreds of industrial and consumer objects and fragments. This work became the focus of an ongoing body of work about the pollution of our oceans consisting of drawings, paintings and drift plastic constructions.

In 2011 I moved from the North Coast to the more lyrical South. I now live next to a farm just above St Loy, a remote cove between Porthcurno and Lamorna. Wooded Valleys, sheltered coves and gentler weather encourages an abundance of wild life in this part of Cornwall and this has inevitably crept into my work. It is informed by the ancient cycles of life on the farm, by the birds that nest in the barns and trees and by the creatures that inhabit the woods and fields. A lifelong love of animals has become something deeper and richer, with a new sense of the mysterious connectedness of things in this wild and remote part of Cornwall. With this sense of connection however, there is increasing concern and growing sense of responsibility about the way we treat those beings who share the planet with us. The latest research shows they have rich emotional lives and high levels of communication. My latest work explores our relationship to animals and birds and what I believe we can learn from them.

 

Education

MA Drawing, Wimbledon 2002 (distinction)

BA Hons Painting and Drawing, Camberwell 2000 (1st Class Painting)

Foundation, Central St Martins 1997

BA Hons English and American Lit, Warwick University, 1976

Shows / Exhibitions

Selected Solo Exhibitions

September 2011 – Sula Gallery, Guernsey

May 2010 – Exchange Gallery Penzance

September 2009 / December 2007 – The Great Atlantic Gallery St Just and Falmouth

December 2008 – Barnes Thomas Gallery, Penzance

May 2004 – International Maritime Organisation, South Bank, SE1

Two artist show

September 2013 – The Summer House Gallery Marazion

Three artist shows

2008 – 2015 – Gallery Tresco, Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Dec – Jan 2014/15 – Junction Gallery, Woodstock

Selected Group Exhibitions painting

2011 – 2015 – Summer House Gallery Marazion

2010 – 2014 – Badcocks, Penzance & AAF London

2010 – 2015 – Josie Eastwood Fine Art, Hants –

2009 – Light House Gallery, Penzance and Truro

2007 – 2014 – Waterside Gallery, St Ives

2007 – 2011 – The Great Atlantic Gallery, St Just & Falmouth

2007 – 2010 – The Rainy Day Gallery, Penzance

2004 – 2005 – Hutson Gallery, W1

2002 – 2004 – ‘A’ Gallery, Wimbledon

Selected Solo / joint Exhibitions issue based project work

May 2010 – The Exchange Gallery Penzance :

November 2004 – Croydon Clock Tower Arts Centre

February 2003 – The Priory Hospital, Wimbledon: The Wedding Album

October 2003 – Lounge Gallery, London

October 2001 – Gallery Gas, Hackney

Selected Group Exhibitions

June 2010 – Jubilee Pool Penzance

May 2003 – Bury Art Gallery & Museum

February 2002 – The Museum of London.

November 2001 – Trinity Music College, London

November 2000 – Future Map 2000, Best of Graduates Show, London Universities

Teaching

Tutor with Newlyn School of Art since 2011

2009 – 2011 – Painting Tutor with Authentic Adventures, holiday travel company, India, Scillies, Nepal, Gozo, Greece

2006 – 2011 – One to one mentoring with A level and foundation students, painting and drawing workshops

2001 – 2003 – Weekly class in watercolour painting