This exhibition showcases two Cork artists who share a studio space and a passionate interest in the human figure as the dominant theme in their art. Both artists are based at Backwater Studios in Cork.
Eileen Healy is a figurative artist working in pastel and oil from models in her studio. She focuses on composition, colour and light. A crisp and sensitive draughtsman of consummate skill, Healy uses the interplay of strongly modelled 3-dimensional form with linear pattern or flat shapes of colour (including areas of untouched paper) as a distinctive element in her work. Often, the figure is cropped to make a dramatic composition or extra paper may be added to make a larger painting as the work develops. Eileen Healy's work is in collections at Crawford Art Gallery, UCC and OPW. She has been awarded art residencies in Cill Rialaig,The Burren,Tyrone Guthrie Centre and at the Students Arts League, New York. She currently teaches life drawing classes and summer school at Crawford College of Art and runs weekend workshops.
David Barrett works almost exclusively from the human figure. He investigates, analyses, simplifies and reassembles his impression of the human form. Neither erotic nor essentially aesthetic David Barrett's artwork and Lucien Freud's breathe the same oxygen.
While working as a teacher of art in Cork, Barrett has had solo shows in Galway Arts Centre, Sirius Arts Centre, in Cobh and at Backwater Studios. His work has been selected for RHA Summer Exhibition in 2011, 2013, 2014. Also, on three occasions it was selected for Arnott's Portrait Award Exhibition.
"I've been painting pictures with figures in them since I was in College. I paint friends and relatives, and people who I find interesting for whatever reason, in spaces that are familiar. Sara, a dancer, I've been painting for five or six years now. Paintings may be associated with music, perhaps a song. I work from life. In my art I'm trying to evolve a naturalism that is distinct and unphotographic....That's it"