–The mystical and the symbolic prevail –
Maura Fahy’s Papillon Art Studio lies at the heart of Ireland where she creates oil paintings that draw on the love of her own countryside, the extraordinary landscapes and on Irish culture, in which a thread of mysticism is always present.
Having worked at the CBS, where she was as an Art Teacher 20 years, Maura made the decision to change her career and become a full-time artist in 2001. Since then, she has developed her own Art Studio ‘Papillon’ in Durrow and has exhibited widely since. She has forged an impressive career as a professional artist in the intervening 13 years with 32 shows in total.
Blending influences from my spirituality with those from nature, and with sensitivity and harmony, I paint works in which familiar places are turned into timeless landscapes and shrouded in a veil of mystery.
I draw on my love of my own countryside, where the landscapes and nature as a whole are extraordinary, and on Irish culture in which a thread of mysticism is always present. My paintings tell of my own emotions, my memories and my dreams, creating the special, enchanted atmosphere, which surrounds my works and distinguishes them.
My work is abstract in nature and is inspired by our natural surroundings and spiritual influences. I use oil paints and sand in many of my pieces to create unusual images with rough textures.
Using my own vibrant and vigorous style, I create pictures that are rich in thickly applied colour- to which I often add sand to make it thicker- and other various textures. The pictures reveal my intense deep feeling of connection to the landscape of the Irish countryside, especially the West coast, but also to the spiritual and mystical dimension of Ireland where handed-down legends, stories and fairytales are still alive today.
Through their strong visual impact, my paintings cannot be categorised under a single heading; over and above the figurative, abstract and narrative aspects, the mystical and the symbolic prevail. Enthralled, in the canvas, organised with force and energy, viewers find the product of impulses and journey of my mind: This, while it may dream, is nevertheless always alert to natural scenes with their many possibilities.
Maura successfully exhibited at Ferraro, Italy as part of an international exhibition in 2008, having been selected by the curator, Poula Trevison, and was invited to exhibit again in 2009. Her paintings are held in both private and public collections: in Aras an Chontae, in the newly refurbished Courthouse (the painting purchased by the OPW for this site), in the offices of the VEC, in the HSE offices, and in the Blackrock clinic to name but a few. Closer to home, Maura has exhibited at the Kilkenny Arts Festival on five occasions, Zozimus Art Gallery, Dublin, Art Ireland Exhibitions at the RDS, Art Galleries at Athy, Thurles and Cong, a solo show at Ardmore Art Gallery, Dungarvan, numerous shows in Offaly including the Phoenix Festival, Lions Club exhibitions & two wonderful shows with Olive Cuskelly in the late 1990s.
She worked as part of a team of people, under the umbrella of Offaly Community Arts Group. The Group was committed to promoting the arts in the county & provided a vehicle for artists to showcase their works. The appointment of a full time Arts Officer and the development of an Arts Centre were central objectives of the Group. It is wonderful to see the development of an Arts Centre in progress and a full-time Arts Officer in-situ in County Offaly.