Eva O'Donovan

About the Artists:

Following on from mixed media paintings constructed using pattern sandblasted on aluminium and collage of backgrounds using wallpaper, fabric or painted pattern I found that working directly on printed domestic fabrics most represented what I wanted to show.

Currently my paintings are on canvas, constructed using primed heritage fabrics which serve as a backdrop to the thin and controlled application of oil paint to portray the subject. Paintings are usually constructed in two planes; the figure and the background on which they are presented and both are equally important. These two planes of the paintings are deliberately selected to work together. The paint is applied, in general, quite discretely throughout especially at the edges of the form to allow for a sense of emergence of the figure. This blurs the boundaries between the figure and the background. 

My focus is on the lineage of portrait, with my figures painted loosely invoking a sense of cinematic drama. Historically only the most elevated had their portraits painted; it was a sign of status and wealth. The grandiose quality of the fabric further corroborates the social status of these subjects who sit quietly aloof in the paintings, out of reach from the viewer who can only imagine any turmoil or happiness that might be ruling their lives. Much like the aristocracy and the wealthy people of the time; these people have only their best sides visible. The choice of fabric may inform the viewer of the era in which each painting is set. The inclusion of costume to most of the works adds further element of opulence using dramatic attire associated with the affluent.  

I am currently looking at artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, Sofia Bonati and Miriam Vlaming alongside works by Elizabeth Peyton and Marlene Dumas among others.  My images are drawn from popular media; flashy advertisements or film stills  reinterpreted.



  • Art Upstairs Gallery Rosslare, Group show 2010
  • Tuar Ard, Moate, Group show June 2009
  • Tuar Ard, Moate, Group show June 2010
  • GMIT, Group show, May, 2011
  • GMIT, Group show, May, 2012
  • Jaja Studios, StoneyBatter, May 2014
  • Steambox Studios, Romantic Land and Art Life, Group Show, May 2015
  • Mart Gallery, Group Show ‘Motley’, April, 2016
  • Edinburgh Art Fair, (Chimera Gallery) 2017
  • 2nd Place in Iconic Offices Competition, April 6th 2017
  • Residebyw2w, Fumbally Exchange, Dame Lane, Dublin May 3rd - 6th 2017. ?Featured Artist
  • Matt the threshers, Pembroke Street, Dublin 2.  Summer Group Show 2017
  • Emerging Artists Exhibition 2017.  Invited exhibitor in the St. Patricks University Hospital Annual Exhibition to celebrate emerging talent. 4th September - 28th October 2017.
  • Sol Gallery, 8 Dawson Street, Dublin 2.  'Les Femmes Diaphane'. Solo show 23rd - 30th November 2017




G.M.I.T, Galway 2010-2012:

Bachelor of Fine Art - Part time years 1 & 2

National College of Art & Design, Dublin 2013-2017:

Honours Bachelor Degree in Fine Art (painting) continued - Full time.