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Lorna's Garden

Exhibition of Paintings
by Vicki Crowley
Jun 12th 1998

View Opening Speech by John O'Donoghue

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Lorna's Garden - Poem

Exhibition Notes

"Lorna's Garden", an exhibition of new paintings by Vicki Crowley, will open in The Kenny Gallery on 12th June, 1998. The 40 or so paintings are all inspired by the work of art that is Lorna McMahon's garden in Bushypark, Galway.

Consisting of about 10 oils with the remaining images portrayed in silk, the exhibition is one of bright, cheerful and colourful exuberance. Its luminescent quality captures the beauty and intricacy of the garden, which is also a real work of art. The exhibition depicts the garden in spring and summertime, portraying individual flowers and panoramic views.

The artist says "The first time I entered this exquisite garden, I was overwhelmed and moved to tears by its beauty and the artistry of its conception. My reactions were similar to those which I experienced in the Round Room in the Orangerie Museum in Paris, surrounded by Monet's Waterlilies. It took several visits to acclimatise to the powerful sensations which the garden evoked until I could work without distraction.

As I began to observe, draw and paint the plants and shrubs, breathing in their elusive perfume, I found myself drawn in to individual flowers, almost as if I was bewitched like Alice. They grew in scale before my eyes, revealing their secret intricacies. The garden is a wonderland of endless pleasure and discovery. Working on this exhibition has been a challenging and spiritual experience; the awesome amount of dedicated labour by is creator, Lorna McMahon, is truly inspirational."

Vicki Crowley was born in Malta and was educated there and in England. Following training in Architectural Drawing, she travelled extensively in Europe and Africa. She settled in Barna just west of Galway City, in 1970. She is a complete artist, and has worked in a variety of media - oils, watercolours, pastel, stained glass and paintings on silk. Her subjects are equally varied ranging from paintings of her native Malta to Connemara landscapes, portraits, religious studies, Irish mythology.

Whatever the subject, Vicki infuses it with Mediterranean colours which are applied broadly and spontaneously without regard for elegance or sentimentality. Her paintings are sharply observed, straightforward, forceful and full of interesting and exciting tonal values.

She has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions, and her paintings and silk wall hangings hang in public and private collections all over the world. She has received important public commissions, including church interior designs. In 1992 she published a highly acclaimed book collection of poems entitled "Oasis in a Sea of Dust", which she also illustrated.

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