Ciara O'Hara is an Irish visual artist based in Sligo. She graduated in 2006 with a BA (hons) in Fine Art Printmaking and Art History from National College of Art and Design, Dublin; she also has a MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management from University College Dublin. Most recently Ciara exhibited in a three-person solo Equinox at Graphic Studio Gallery in March this year. Her solo exhibitions include Place, 2016, Farnham Maltings, Surrey; Diverging Streams, 2015, Custom House Studios, Mayo; and Nowhere Here, Somewhere There, 2012, Talbot Gallery, Dublin. Ciara has also exhibited in galleries such as RHA, the Cross, Galway Arts Centre, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Red Hot Press and Draíocht. She has taken part in three artist residencies in Iceland in 2009 and 2012. Her work is part of the Office of Public Works, University College Dublin, Town of Skagastrond, Iceland and several private collections. She is a past member of Graphic Studio Dublin and was a member of the steering committee of Badger Press print studio in Hampshire, England up until September this year.
My work incorporates ideas of metamorphoses, dreams, power, and other-worldliness. It is presented to the viewer with a sense of the uneasiness of the unknown, of the familiar becoming unfamiliar. Everyday subjects enter a world similar to that of legend, folklore and mythology in an unidentified space. Often this space is empty or devoid of a particular or recognisable place. This results in an unexplained narrative of touching moments and decontextualised encounters in the relationship between man and nature. There is a sense of melancholic hope with the imaginary subjects, predominately children and animals, emerging with a strong knowingness of their existence in this unreal space. Like in folklore and legend, recognisable subjects from our world are involved in unlikely or impossible situations evoking an emotive or didactic response in the audience. This is a place removed from our world, where freedom of movement and restriction co-exist, people become semi-rooted plant-life and animals fight trees for territory. Landscape is a recent preoccupation in my work, inspired by a residency I undertook in Iceland. Landscape appears in my work with only certain signifiers remaining, alluding to a recognisable reality, often with little recognisable physical or material sense. This landscape and its occupants rarely appear simultaneously, they are detatched from their environment, isolated within particular moments and events. My practice involves using a range of media, including print, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture. This use of a variety of media allows each body of work to take on new connotations and subtleties.