Gallery Zozimus | Acclaimed Artist Mark O’Neill to Revisit Dublin
10 years since Mark O’Neill’s last exhibitions in Dublin – a sell out series of shows in Adams Auction Saleroom on Stephen’s Green – the acclaimed painter returns with new exhibition ‘Back to Mine’, hosted by Gallery Zozimus.
Born in Lancashire in 1963 to Irish parents, O’Neill obtained a first-class honours degree in Art from Kingston College in London. Taking a position as a graphic designer and illustrator, he built a reputation working with very high-profile corporate clients and well-known authors. He even produced posters for classic film Back to the Future.
1988 saw O’Neill move to Ireland where he concentrated more on painting. Quickly, he built up a following. His beautiful but recognisable rural scenes stirred a nostalgic warmth – showcasing dappled light on sheep and cattle in the fields, the comradery of farmers at the markets, as well as the subtlety of still life lemons and oranges.
Winning the Adams Artist of the Future award in the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1991 established O’Neill as one of the most sought-after artists in the country. This, in turn, led to exposure on the international stage. In 1998, half a dozen of Mark’s works were included in “Ireland: Crossing Borders”, an exhibition of Irish art at Gallery Revel in New York. All his paintings sold.
According to O’Neill, the title of his upcoming exhibition ‘Back to Mine’ can be taken on two different levels: “[There’s] a literal interpretation, as many subjects featuring in this exhibition are found “back to my” home in County Wexford. Animals, landscapes and still lifes depicted can be found in my local environs. Flowers and vegetables featured in the still lifes have been grown in my garden, sheep and cattle can be seen in neighbouring fields. Pathways and lanes travelled during my dog walks.”
“On a more expansive interpretation, ‘Back to Mine’ refers to a return in style to a more painterly fashion that I used in my work several years ago. My artistic influences at the moment include William Nicholson, Edward Seago and John Singer Sargent amongst others. All of these artists painted with a wonderful bravado, some small amount of which, I dare to hope will creep into my work.”
‘Back to Mine’ will open at the Gallery Zozimus at 56 Francis Street, Dublin 8 on October 3 from 6-8 pm. There it will be exhibited until October 31.