“My paintings are manifest memory imbued with energy and positivity. I have always been inspired by the beauty of nature, the movement and, the energy of water. I create vibrant, joyful, abstract expressionist paintings. Themes are connected by water: light and colour, movement and memory, a sense of presence in a moment in time, and the physicality and tenderness of the paint in the studio. In rencent years I have included figures in my paintings The juxtaposition of the controlled tightness of the painting in contrast with the loose, gestural paintwork of the water captures the joy of my children, swimming, a fleeting moment, a total immersion.
I grew up in the coastal town of Dungarvan. Co. Waterford, nestled between the sea and the mountains, in a family that valued music, art, literature and, languages. My artistic influences include Impressionism, Rothko, Hughie O Donoghue, and Helen Frankenthaler. A viewing of the work of Matisse in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg during my final year in college had a profound effect on my artistic process as it freed me from the constraints of representational art.
At times, life was been difficult, but I have relied on my optimism to keep going and find my voice as an artist. Painting has become my antidote to grief. My optimism allows me to create work that is authentic to me. I find light, energy, joy and, beauty in the every-day. I paint the landscape at the side of the road. I catch the colour reflected in the sky and the sea. I capture the memories and essence of places in my work.”
Sinéad Ni Chionaola is a visual artist based in East Cork, Ireland. Her career as a visual artist has spanned 35 years. She holds an Honours Diploma in Art & Design (Teachers) from the National College of Art & Design (1998), a Foundation in Art Therapy Certificate (1997), and Distinction NDFA Painting/printmaking (1990) from Crawford College of Art & Design and a Certificate in Visual Education from Waterford Institute of Technology (1987).
Exhibitions include solo shows at The Summer House Gallery, Lismore, Co. Waterford (2005), The Private Collector Gallery, Fredrick St, Dublin (2003) and The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford (2003), two person shows with Helen O’Connell, at The Old Market House Arts Centre (2019), Touring exhibiton Explorations with Carmel Cleary, Gothenburg Irish Arts Festival, Sweden (1997), Adelaide Fringe Festival, Australia (1996), National Touring Exhibition, Ireland – various venues (1995) and recent group shows at The Doorway Gallery, Dublin (2019), The Half Light Co-operative, Youghal, Co. Cork (2019), The Joan Clancy-Gallery, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford – Celebration of poet laureate John Betjeman (2019), The Half Light Gallery, Midleton, Co Cork (2019).
Awards include Documentation grant, Foras na Gaeilge (2007), Travel Award, The Arts Council (2000), Exhibition Assistance, The Arts Council / The Art Hive (1995) and Explorations, Touring grant, The Arts Council (1994). Residencies include Heinrich Boll Cottage, Achill Island, Co. Mayo (2004), Cill Rialaigh, Co. Kerry (2001, 2002, 2003), The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co. Monaghan (1995, 1999, 2001, 2002) and The Banff Centre of Excellence for the Arts, Canada (2000). Her work forms part of the OPW collection, and private collections in Ireland, Europe, Switzerland, and America. TV appearances inlcude TG4 (2003, 2019) and RTE (2007). Newspaper interviews and reviews include The Irish Times, The Independent, The Sunday Tribune and Irish Examiner.