Cultúrlann Sweeney in Kilkee is hosting a very special exhibition of oil paintings by Senan O’Brien, featuring images of Scattery Island.
The Scattery Island Paintings exhibition runs from today (June 23rd) until July 12th, 2014.
Born in 1964 in Dublin, the youngest son of Denis O’Brien the noted Dublin artist and sculptor and Lilian (nee Behan) from Kilrush Co. Clare, Senan was named after his parents’ friend and fellow artist Fr. Senan Hederman O.F. M. from Ennis. Senan received many letters from Fr. Senan always commencing ‘My dear namesake’. In fact Fr.Senan gave his namesake one of his works, a beautiful oil painting of Saint Fabiola, a copy of the long lost original by Jean-Jacque Henner.
Senan attended Carlow Regional College, following on to Bolton Street College of Technology, Dublin. His early artistic training was accomplished as a small child at the side of his father, Denis O’Brien. His father was firm in his insistence that Senan attain complete proficiency in drawing before moving on to other media, so that Senan did not lift a paintbrush until he was eighteen years old. His more formal education led him into an early career in graphic and structural design. Senan’s contemporary realistic style developed over the past twenty years, even as he worked in a number of graphic design situations. Several years after his beloved father’s death in 1985, Senan’s career passed through an unquiet period, which found him for a short time with a design department for a movie studio.
It was in 1996 that he decided to devote himself exclusively to painting. His bond with the nearby countryside and the people who live there, simply going about their rural daily life, is a major part of his inspiration.
Senan was introduced to Scattery Island shortly after his mother Lilian passed away. They were devoted to each other and she spent many hours in his studio just watching him paint. She would have been particularly proud of his paintings of Scattery Island , an island she knew very well. Senan could feel her spirit watching over and guiding him as he painted the series.
Senan’s work is held in high regard and some of his commissions include A.I.B. Bank and Mary McAleese. Solo Exhibitions include; Tinahely Courthouse Centre, Tinahely Co. Wicklow. Wexford Opera Festival, Eigse Arts Festival, Co.Carlow. Arklow Arts Centre, Athy County Library. Listowel Arts Centre, Athy Art Group, American Women’s Club of Brussels, Belgium. Iontas at The Guinness Hop Store, Sol art gallery Dublin. Since 2011 Senan has had many of his works, including the Scattery Island Series on display in the Riverside Art Gallery in Tinahely. Senan is currently carrying out numerous private commissions.