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Great opening exhibition by Olwyn Colgan last Friday night at The Icon Factory ! Congratulations Olwyn for your work. Thank you all for coming, old friends and new visitors. Thank you for supporting Olwyn and The Icon project ! The exhibition will run until 31st March, for those who missed it we are open Monday to Sunday. All welcome!!


Olwyn Colgan was born in Co. Tyrone, and is now living in Dublin. She graduated with a degree in Fashion and Design at the University of Ulster Belfast in 1995. She then pursued a career in London, designing for fashion companies Cyberdog and Sue Rowe. 

In 2000 she moved back to Ireland and began to move into a fine art tradition studying Painting and Drawing, bringing into her work illustration skills but also powerful dynamics from her fashion background and culture.

Lay of the Land

Olwyn’s new body of work tells the story of her visit to Cill Rialig, an artist residency set in a restored pre-famine village based on remote Bolus Head Co. Kerry. 

Inspired by walks in a history loaded place, with never ending roads leading to views of surrounding ocean, ever changing skies, windswept hills, spectacular moon-lit nights, standing stones, ruins and animals with stories to tell, she generates visual images expressing stories through realism and abstraction.

Olwyn’s paintings interpret narratives laden with make-believe stories of day-to-day life within these landscapes and interiors of her cottage also introducing figurative imagery. The Iconic hare and cottage chair, symbolic to the famous Van Gogh chair become a recurring theme in Olwyn’s paintings. This unique body of works is an invitation to step into her very own surreal universe, and engage the viewer’s imagination.

Her distinctive choice of colours project an atmospheric mood and establish a structure within her work without trying to be true to the natural world resulting in a wholly independent product of her perception and imagination. Her exploration of collage brings an inherent atmosphere to Olwyn’s paintings. In time these newly combined layered elements lead to unexpected background colours, textures and sometimes lead to the beginning of narratives within her paintings.

Personal expression for Olwyn is among the most important aims of her painting to present the world solely from a subjective vision, distorting it for emotional effect to evoke moods, ideas and new worlds.


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