Irish artist Claire Guinan is bringing her exhibition “Heart and Soul: Portraits of Irish Musicians home to the Áras an Chontae, Tullamore this November.
Guinan presents a collection of large scale oil paintings of prominent figures from the Irish music scene. The title, “Heart and Soul” captures the essence of the exhibition.
Guinan met all of the sitters so that she could capture them in a more relaxed and natural environment. The musicians featured are spread over different genres of Irish music: Mick Flannery, Gavin James, Christy Dignam, Mundy, Lisa Hannigan, Paul Brady, Cathy Davey, John Sheahan, Imelda May, Damien Dempsey and The Coronas, to name but a few.
“Music is so powerful” Guinan explains, “It can evoke memories, enhance our emotions and influence our everyday lives. These musicians take their talent and reach deep into their heart and soul to create wonderful music that enriches our lives. Each and every one of these artists has added to the depth and richness of both Irish music and Irish culture.”
Guinan, a Tullamore native, studied her degree in Fine Art from Limerick School of Art and Design. She continued her studies in University College Dublin with a Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management. She grew up surrounded by art and music and discovered her love of the figure and portraiture from an early age. She draws inspiration from both parents, her mother, a dressmaker encouraged creativity and her father a maths teacher balanced that creativity a logical mindset that Claire utilizes today in her work.
Guinan’s work is heavily influenced by the idea of the soul. After seeing a documentary about British sculptor Anthony Gormley where he says “the body is an empty case for the soul” she started to look into what the soul encompasses. She came upon the 21 gram experiment published by Duncan Mac Dougall that hypnotized that souls had physical weight and weighs 21 grams.
Music has also been a huge source of inspiration in her work. She recently painted a portrait of Irish singer/songwriter Gavin James, delighted with it; he shared with his thousands of followers on social media. Guinan uses large canvases to create a connection between the subject and the viewer. The exhibition brings together Guinan’s love of portraiture and Irish music and is a reflection of the rich and varied musical talent that Ireland has to offer.
“Heart and Soul: Portraits of Irish musicians” opens on Friday 9th Of November and runs until the 5th of December. For more information check out her Facebook page: Claire Guinan Art, claire_guinan on Instagram, @claireguinanart on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org.