Artist in Profile: Beth O’Halloran

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Walking down Marlborough Road, Dublin 4, local artist Beth O’Halloran (pictured) noticed a box of wind-fallen apples left by the roadside for people to help themselves.

A day or so later there was a note asking the person who had baked and left the apple pie in place of the wind fallen apples to please call to get their plate back.

Having grown up between Maine, America and Raglan Road, Dublin, Beth now 44, lives and works on a “bohemian cul de sac” just off Morehampton Road. She has noticed a really supportive community in the area, where acts of kindness and sharing of homemade jams are the norm.

As an artist Beth describes herself as a painter, using photography as reference, as well as making objects. “All three are connected with an interest in the fragility of nature and in the potential of nature to make us feel better,” says Beth. The objects she makes include sculptural installations, these have taken the form of recreations of trees in gallery spaces, or series of snow globes and paper lanterns in the shape of small animals. Her paintings, often of wintery landscapes or animals, are often informed by photography.

She studied for a degree in Fine Art and History of Art at the National College of Art and Design and later for a Masters in Visual Arts Practices at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design. She has exhibited widely since graduating including solo shows at Monster Truck Gallery and The Lab, both in Dublin and The Irish Arts Center in New York.

She showed NewsFour the snow globes she exhibited at her most recent solo show at Monster Truck Gallery in Temple Bar, which along with small trees have models of animals in them, animals who exist in the urban world; foxes, pigeons, stray cats, hedgehogs, and squirrels.

As well as being a practicing artist, for the past year Beth has been writing a book. She has also been producing a range of handmade soft toys, teaching, and working as a mediator at IMMA.

By Emma Dwyer