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Christine O'Brien

visual art

News / Exhibitions

Unfamiliar Territory

 “Unfamiliar Territory” is a collection of new paintings by Waterford artist Chris O’Brien Shanahan at in Foley’s on the Mall in Lismore Lismore. Based on travel sketchbooks, this solo exhibition coincides with the Immrama Travel Writer's Festival and continues until the end of June.

Christine has been creating landscape inspired art works since graduating from Art College in 1985. Time, seasons and the way human activity impacts on our environment are common themes in her work. The abstract pieces, influenced by the artwork of desert artists in Western Australia, are a visual journal recounting the 5000km journey across the desert and outback. Strong colour and abstract images depicting the expedition by car contrast with the soft tones of oil paintings based on sketches made during walking expeditions in Tuscany and Ireland.

“We have all experienced reaching that point when traveling where there are too many cathedrals, shops, castles or vineyards. Staccato memories superimposed on each other like transparencies; perspective flattened; boundaries blurred. When in unfamiliar territory we filter out noise, heat and colour or risk being overwhelmed by it. Stopping to sketch an alien landscape, to study lines and contours, search for a definable motif and distil visual information enriches my memory of the place. Back in the studio I may not totally recall all the features of a landscape but the feel of the place or time is strong. Since the Australian trip abstractly expressing what was truly a journey into unfamiliar territory is as rewarding as the expedition itself!”

Many thanks to manager Gavin Higgins, and staff at Foleys on the Mall. The restaurant is open from 12.30am to 9.00pm each day. Booking is recommended telephone: 058 53671.



detail oil on canvas, tavernelle at twilight, 2007

kalgoorlie goldmine, 2006

noosa sunrise 1.2, 2007

Train to La Spezia, 2008 | Goldmine 1.5, 2008 | Three Sisters, 2008
© Christine O'Brien 2006- 2018 | all images, paintings, photographs © Christine O'Brien