Kirkby Gallery in Knowsley is presenting FIVE, an exhibition showcasing the work of five unique and exciting fine art painters from across the Liverpool city region and North West of England.
From Monday 22 January a group of artists are exhibiting this show that’s worth venturing out of the city centre to see.
One of those displaying work is Tony O’Connell. His name is already known to many local creatives, not only as an exhibiting artist but also as a lecturer. As the artist himself explained, “I loved my art foundation course so much, I didn’t want it to end, so when I graduated from university and the opportunity came up to work at my old collage, I leapt at the chance. It allows me to work in an environment of constant experimentation”
The exhibition will see Tony’s work displayed alongside five other artists including Sophie Elsden, Natalie Gilmore, Paul Gatenby, Alun Roberts and Roger Owen. The collection is very eclectic and Tony used the opportunity to venture outside of his own comfort zone saying, “I rarely paint, so this gave me a chance to really push myself to create something very different to my usual work”.
When Tony began studying art, he initially thought he would be an illustrator but his final degree was in fine art and sculpture. He still produces copious amounts of sketches and leads several regular life classes outside of his formal lecturing calendar and when you view his work, you see how he utilises all of these disciplines and more.
As a gay man brought up on the Catholic faith, Tony’s relationship with Christianity was often challenging. Despite now being a Buddhist, Tony is still fascinated by traditional Christian imagery and iconography and that is the lens that he’s used to the create paintings going on display in Kirkby. In Tony’s own words, “I’ve tried to reclaim and reimagine subjects we’ve all seen as part of art history for centuries, combining modern and ancient images and techniques”.
This has resulted in the largest collection of pieces Tony’s ever produced in terms of physical scale and it’s unlike anything that’s currently on display in Liverpool.
The exhibition takes place at Kirkby Gallery from the 22 January – 30 March, on the first floor gallery. Entry is free and opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-1pm, (last entry 30mins before closing). For more information contact, [email protected].