Sinéad Ni Chionaola

2022 Artist Biography Sinéad Ni Chionaola

I was born in Co. Waterford to a family which valued music, art, literature and, languages.

When I finished school I studied in The Crawford College of Art & Design, in Cork. During my time there my influences included Impressionism, Rothko, Hughie O Donoghue, and Brian Maguire.

One of the defining moments in my early career was when I visited Russia in my final year in college. The experience of seeing the real work of Matisse in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg had a profound effect on my artistic process. In his painting ‘The Dance’ the subject matter shows how he is influenced by his predecessors. His interpretation of the subject matter uses stylized figures, sparsely painted in bold and vibrant colours. This painting freed me from the constraints of representational art.

In the early nineties, fellow artist Carmel Cleary and I decided to organise a national touring exhibition. This exhibition started in Ireland, and, visited other countries before it finally reached Adelaide in Australia.

I applied for an artist in residency for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. Being immersed in and surrounded by nature in the Rocky Mountains was another defining moment for me. I discovered the joy of doing very quick sketches of the fleeting landscape from the over-sized window of the train which transported me from Vancouver to Calgary.

Recently I have had an  opportunity to fully embrace the online experience during lockdown,  I updated my website and increased my online visibility. I receiver a Trading Online Voucher to upgrade my cv for e-commerce. I participated in the Artist Support Pledge. It was created to provide support for artists in a time of crisis.

Part of my online experience has been receiving an award of special Recognition Category for Excellence in Art. For my painting ‘On Pause,’ This was curated by and celebrated the 10th Anniversary of 2020.

My career as a visual artist has spanned 35 years. My work forms part the OPW collection, and private collections in Ireland, Europe, Switzerland, and America.

Television Appearances:
In 2003 The Irish television company TG4 interviewed me about my art residency in Co. Kerry. In 2007 The RTE interior design show Showhouse featured some of my paintings. TG4 approached me and interviewed me for  Mol Scéal @TG4TV 2019 video story hub from #TG4
Reviews and Articles:
The Irish Times, The Independent, The Sunday Tribune, Examiner,
Together with local papers in Ireland, Australia, and France.

I have always been inspired by  the beauty of nature and the movement and energy of water. I create vibrant abstract expressionist paintings. Over the years to express something specific I have introduced figures into my paintings. The themes are connected by water: light and colour, movement and memory, a sense of presence in a moment in time, and the physicality of the paint in the studio.

Artist Statement Sinéad Ni Chionaola

I am a visual artist based in East Cork, Ireland. I grew up in the coastal town of Dungarvan. Co. Waterford. Nestled between the Sea and the Mountains. Surrounded by nature in all its forms: flowing rivers, ebbing seas, and thunderous waterfalls. Each one possessing energy, dynamism, and inspiration. My father was a native Irish speaker from the Ring Gaeltacht and my mother loved Irish so we grew up speaking Irish at home.

A few years ago my life changed over-night. I had to create something new in the ashes of my broken life for myself and my children. In the process, I questioned everything about my life including my voice as an artist. At times, life was been grim, but I relied on my optimism to keep going. Painting became my antidote to grief. My optimism allowed me to create work which is authentic to me. I find light, energy, and beauty in the every-day.

Over many Winter mornings, driving the back roads to school, I noticed the trees painting their black silhouettes against the rising sun. My daughter took photos which I used as a reference for a series of paintings. During the first lockdown. I walked every day, it was good for my soul. I started to look with renewed attention and appreciation at my locality. I parked my car at the side of the road and painted the landscape. I went to my local beach and painted there as the sun was going down. I caught the colour reflected in the sky and the sea. I wanted to capture the memories and essence of the places in my work.

In the studio I layer acrylic paint onto the canvas.  I use a variety of brushes, a palette knife, and water to blend and spread the paint. I render the natural colours of nature and create my vivid interpretations. I allow the paint to guide me, to be spontaneous. Overnight the  paintings dry. With subsequent layers I tend to be more cautious, seeing what I want to retain, omit, emphasise. Titles for my work come to me as I paint and listen to music. I use photos as references for my paintings and preparatory drawings. When I am ready, I draw on the canvas with paint or pencil, sometimes freehand and occasionally with a grid for guidance.

My paintings are manifest memory imbued with energy and positivity.

Sinéad Ní Chionaola 2022 


College Qualification 

1997-98     National College of Art & Design Honours-Diploma-Art & Design Teachers 

1996-97     Crawford College of Art & Design Foundation in Art Therapy  

1987-90     Crawford College of Art & Design  Distinction-National Diploma Fine Art  Painting/Printmaking 

1986-87     Waterford Institute of Technology Certificate in Visual Education 


Her work forms part of the OPW collection and in private collections in Ireland, Europe, Switzerland, and America.  

Online Exhibitions 

2022       Incognito-online exhibition and fundraiser for the Jack and Jill foundation
2021        Contemporary gallery online exhibition  ( 
            Incognito- online exhibition and fundraiser for the Jack and Jill Foundation

2020        Online 10th anniversary Exhibition

            3rd annual women artists 15th quarterly art competition juried art exhibition.


            Incognito-online exhibition and fundraiser for the Jack and Jill foundation

Group Exhibitions 

2021     The Courthouse gallery & studios ‘The Winter Open and Trasna X 

              Castlemartyr House gallery & gifts. Art Fair 

             Backwater Artists Group, Winter Salon 2021  

2019 Lavit Gallery Member Show 

             The Doorway Gallery, Dublin  

            The Half Light Co-operative Youghal Christmas Market 

            www.ARTBOX.GALLERY  Zurich 


            The Joan Clancy-Gallery, Celebration of poet laureate John Betjeman 

            The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, Sinéad Ni Chionaola and Helen O Connell 

            The Half Light Gallery, Midleton, Co Cork 

2018  The Doorway Gallery, Dublin,  

            More than just a Number, Greywood Arts Centre, Co Cork 

            Anniversary Féte, Greywood Arts Centre, Co Cork 

            Exhibition at Launch of & inclusion in East Cork Magazine, Cork Airport 

            Secret Spaces, The Half Light Gallery, Midleton, Co Cork  

2017   Midleton Arts Festival 

            Opening Celebration, Greywood Arts Centre  

2013   Cork printmakers@21, The Atrium, City Hall and CIT, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork 

2010   Tramore Oceanic Surf and Sea Festival                                                                          

            Backwater Twenty, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork 

2009      Explorations -from the mountains to the sea.  Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan 

2008   Art from the East, Sirus Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork 

2007/08  Youghal Arts Festival, Co.Cork 

2006/07  Open Studio, Cork Art Trail, Killeagh, Co. Cork 

2007 Showhouse, presented by Neville Knott, RTE Television, featured my paintings 

2006/07 The Lemon Street Art Gallery, Dublin 

2003/04  Imagine Arts Festival, Municipal Gallery, Waterford 

2003    Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Co. Kerry 

            An Tuatha Nua, TG4 Arts program featuring my paintings, process and studio practice                 

2000   West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, Co. Cork                                                                      

1998   Taispeantas Ealaíne, Conradh na Gaeilge, Dublin                                                                

1997 Eitilt, Waterford Airport                                                                                                          

            Irish Artists, Wemyss Gallery, Sydney, Australia                                                                              

1996    Iontas 7, Small Works, National Touring Exhibition, Ireland                                                      

1995    Designs for Peace-In Honour of President Bill Clinton’s visit to Ireland, US Embassy, Dublin  Crossroads,                      Symposium, Co. Roscommon, Ireland                                                           

1994/96 Rur’Art travelling show, Toured France                                                                      

            Image, Woman, Text, Boole Library, UCC, Cork                                                                 

            Printers Impress, Lavitts Gallery, Cork                                                                       

            Christmas Show, Lavitts Gallery, Cork                                                                                  

1993   Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France                                                                                                         

            Art Presents, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork                                                                   

            MOE, Monaghan County Museum & Gallery                                                                      

1992   The Wyvern Gallery, Temple Bar, Dublin                                                                   

            Impression, Spanish Arch Gallery, Galway                                                                                     

Two-person shows                                                                                                                     

2019 The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, S.Ni Chionaola and H.O Connell                            

1997 Explorations with Carmel Cleary, Gothenburg Irish Arts Festival, Sweden                                

1996 Explorations with Carmel Cleary, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Australia (secured private funding for the                         trip)                                                                                                                                         

1995 Explorations with Carmel Cleary- National Touring Exhibition, Ireland.                               

1991 www.Kevinkavanaghgallery, Explorations with Carmel Cleary, Dublin, Ireland 

Solo Exhibitions  

2005    The Summer House Gallery, Lismore, Co. Waterford 

2003 The Private Collector Gallery, Fredrick St, Dublin 

          The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford  

1995 Hidden Horizons Unfolding, The Art Hive, Cork 

1993 Cerzeau Arts Festival, France 

            Presence, Newry Arts Centre Co. Down 

            Transitions, Cork Regional Dental Hospital  


2007 Documentation grant, Foras na Gaeilge 

2000 Travel Award, The Arts Council 

1993/95/96/97/98/00 Aer Lingus Art flight, The Arts Council of Ireland 

1995 Exhibition Assistance, The Arts Council of Ireland/The Art Hive 

1994 Explorations, Touring grant, The Arts Council 

1993 Travel Award to France, Department of Foreign Affairs 

1993 Residency, Virginia Centre for the Creative Arts, USA 

1991 Materials/Documentation grant, The Arts Council of Ireland 

            Printmaking Studio Feasibility Study, The Arts Council  


2004 Heinrich Boll Cottage, Achill 

2001/02/03 Cill Rialaigh, Kerry 

1995/99/01/02 The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Monaghan 

2000 The Banff Centre of Excellence for the Arts, Canada 

1997 Old Fire Station Mural Project, Waterford Arts Office 

            Artist in the Community, Waterford Arts Office 

1995 Crossroads Symposium, Roscommon Artist Collective 

1994 Artist in Residence, The Art Hive, Cork 

1993 Rur’Art Artist Residency, France 

1992 Niort Arts Festival, France 


Visual Artists Ireland, Lavit Gallery Cork, United Artist Space, 126 artist run gallery, Backwater Artist Network/BAN 


Colette Sheridan, The Cork Examiner, 03/1993 & 09/1995/2020/2021                                                                               Christy Parker, Cork Examiner & Dungarvan Observer 2006/2019/2021 
Aidan Dunne, The Tribune, 1996  /2001                                                                                                                

Alanna Hopkins, The Sunday Times / Culture Ireland, 1996.                                                                              

Marc Ewart, The Irish Times, 01/1996 & 09/1996.                                                                                                  

JN & Robert Dunstan, Adelaide Fringe Publications, 03/1996.                                                                          

Marianne Hartigan, The Sunday Tribune, 06/2003                                                                                              

Kya de Longchamps, Irish Examiner, 06/2003                                                                                                   

Roísín Ingle, The Irish Times. 06/2003                                                                                                                        

Sophie Gorman, Irish Independent 07/2006,                                                                                                                              Dungarvan Leader and Observer 06 /2008 & 07/2009            
Dungarvan Observer,10/2019                                                                                                                                      

Dónal Buckley, Dungarvan Leader 10/2019                                                                                                        

East Cork Visitors’guide 2018 & 2019                                                                                                              

Mitre press 1993 

Digital presence and contact 

A project by Greywood arts- an online journal about the creative process issue #2 

My artwork was shown digitally on the screen at the ARTBOX.GALLERY in Zurich.