‘Looking Back’, a retrospective exhibition of painting, sculpture and drawing from the past two decades by Westport-based artist Marie Wood will be officially opened in the Westport Town Hall Theatre this Friday, January 11, at 6.30pm. Darren Madden, co-owner of the Clew Bay Hotel, will perform the opening.
Marie Wood has been a practising artist for 17 years. Originally from Manchester, with Donegal family ties, she moved to Mayo four years ago.
Following several successful years exhibiting in the west, Wood is excited to be having a solo exhibition at Westport Town Hall. The show contains over 50 artworks, which collectively offer a glimpse into the diverse inspirations that have encompassed her vision over the years. The mixed-media paintings, drawings, collages and sculptures have all been inspired by the places in which she has lived.
‘Looking back’ traces a journey through diverse locations, and the artist’s responses to each place. From a series of portraits depicting strong women and influenced by the study of portraiture of medieval queens to the depiction of the geisha in Japanese art. Irish dancers, frozen in a time gone by, create a joyous but eerie evocation. Floral works with altered perspectives using ‘found’ and painted papers to discover the essence of the subject and take them beyond still life. Landscapes and reflections are a response to the awesome beauty of Scotland, northern England and Clew Bay, and the influence of dramatic weather, unveiling the abstract in the everyday.
The spirit of each homeland is distilled, revealing a sense of the extraordinary, looking past the obvious and capturing the magic. Energy and passion are a constant presence throughout.
In tune with her surroundings, Wood strives to find the right alchemy between the medium, the subject and the moment. The sculptures are three-dimensional paintings inspired by found objects, revealing the character, history and essence of that place lived in at that time.
Wood has exhibited widely in public and commercial galleries throughout Scotland, England and, more recently, Ireland. Her first solo show was in The National Gallery of Scotland, and she has twice exhibited works at The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. She also has works in private collections in Ireland, UK, America, Italy and France.