IMAGE: Shadow Play I -(detail) – Pastel on canvas
Presented as a dreamlike journey through unfamiliar jungles “The sun casts a shadow” is a new body of work emphasising the longing felt by many throughout the pandemic to submerge within the landscape. Emma O’ Hara grants you access to her own experiences, allowing you to explore and experience new landscapes, while highlighting the necessity of the landscape and our obligation to protect it. The work depicts lush and verdant, fantasy landscapes that evoke a sense of the sublime, nostalgia and wanderlust through immersive paintings, vivid paper works and ceramic sculptures.
These imagined paradises exist outside of any particular time or space, allowing a more visceral experience that creates a sense of reverie and suspended sensation. The work explores the relationship between desire and dreams, culminating in ferociously lucid, imaginary landscapes and motifs- conjuring the memory of an interaction with landscape rather than a specific site. The scale of the work draws the viewer into the landscape and by proxy, into the memory. The spontaneity of the marks flowing over the surface suggest movement within the landscape itself, further immersing the viewer in the fantasy. All the while, colour and abstraction are used to remind you that this is a dream, a subtle gesture that aims to highlight the urgency of our current environmental crisis and the danger posed to our natural environment.
About the Artist
Emma O’Hara is a visual artist based in Cork City, Ireland. She graduated with a BA majoring in Printmaking in Contemporary Practice from the Limerick School of Art and Design (2016). She was awarded the Cork Printmakers 12-month Bursary (2016) where she has continued to hone & expand her visual practice. She has exhibited in numerous national and international exhibitions and her work is held in a number of private and public collections including the OPW. She was also the recipient of the 2021 Arts Council Agility Award. Her most recent solo exhibition, ‘One who walks the clouds’ took place in Hang Tough Contemporary Dublin in August 2021.