ningyoprints

Notes from ningyo editions studio and gallery

Kathleen O’Hara

The ubiquity of greeting cards throughout Kathleen O’Hara’s childhood and adult life (her parents own a greeting card company) has naturally found its way into her work, as evinced in landscapes that manage to be at once quaint and eerie.  Other influences include film stills, collectibles, catalogues, and newspapers (images of which are often collaged directly onto the work.)  Despite the benign scenes that influence her work, her landscapes are often altered to highlight disquieting features such as angry dark clouds or silent, colossal icebergs.  These inimical features imbue quaint idylls with the awe and terror that the Romantics felt towards the forces of nature.

Newfoundland, 2010, acrylic, marker, pencil, collage on canvas, 24×30”

Her recent paintings take on an expansive grandeur of nature photography that, on closer inspection, belie the staged appearance of the fabricated, shallow movie-sets.  Although influenced by the iceberg paintings of Frederick Church, the introduction of an acidic pallet of pinks, greens and oranges combined with bold iconic texts that seem to occupy the physical space of the landscape furthers the disconnect between deep and shallow space.

ningyo editions

The Jubilee, 2009, acrylic, marker, pencil, collage, glitter on canvas, 30×24”

The etchings created in 2008 at ningyo editions were created on copper and printed on 9 3/8” x 29.25” strips of Torinoko lightweight (Mulberry) that was collèd onto a larger, second sheet of the same to allow for margins at the top and bottom.  Using green, black and silver inks wiped very selectively, plate tone was left to emphasize the tumultuous skies, and steel wool was used to create light but forceful drypoint marks indicating wind, clouds and an angry, roiling sky. Collage elements culled from magazines (the fires) and Kathleen’s own drawings (the satellites) were added last.

ningyo editions

Swamp Event I, 2008, etching, drypoint, pencil, collage, on Torinoko Lightweight, 8×28.75”

ningyo editions

Arctic-Desert Wreck, 2009, etching and drypoint mounted on Torinoko Lightweight, edition of 5, BAT, 8×29”

Kathleen’s work examines both a grandiose landscape few have or ever will see in there lifetime, along with the middle-class domiciles we are all only too familiar with.  In juxtaposing these culturally (if not geographically) polar extremes, she creates floating, melting subdivisions that raise the question of where our continuing lust for expansion is taking us.

Kathleen is represented by BK Projects.

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Filed under: Editions (from ningyo editions), Uncategorized

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