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27 Nov 2021

Clonmel artist makes a major breakthrough in the art world

Marine Kearney opens first exhibition in Cork

A Clonmel-based artist has made a major breakthrough in the arts world.

Marine Kearney’s first solo exhibition has opened recently in Cork.
Her Banfeinni works are on display at Cork’s French Consulate on Mary Street and reflect the story of strong women who inspired her through her battle with breast cancer during Covid.
Living in Clonmel for the last eighteen years, Marine is married to Gus and they have three children.
Marine said she was so excited when told that her paintings were going on exhibition that she “couldn’t speak”.
Marine, who hopes to become a professional artist, has been working part-time as an artist and although she has had pieces go on display before this is the first time that her paintings are in an exhibit.
“It’s my first exhibition, I’ve had my work shown many times, as a group but this is the first one where it’s my work,” she said.
“When they asked me to do it I couldn’t speak, I asked them ‘are you sure?’, I was so happy,” said Marine.
“There’d been so much delay because of Covid so I didn’t know if it would definitely go ahead, but it finally became a sure thing last June,” she said.
“It’s a difficult time to do re-openings, but it’s so exciting. This is a big push for me because I moved to something much more contemporary than usual,” said Marine.
“It’s great to have it in a city as I’m a mix of urban and rural and I think the work reflects that. The paintings are a story of my life during Covid. I had breast cancer and I couldn’t go back to France so I tried to find support and created a talisman to hold and protect me,” said Marine.
“So I’ve got 15 paintings about women who are significant to me, that’s why it’s called Banfeinni. I’ve one of a woman called Phoolan Devi who was an Indian activist and on it I’ve got ‘I got you’. “Then there is one about Mary Reed, the female pirate who travelled to Nassau disguised as a man. I call that one Resilience.
“After all of that series I moved into a better place [with cancer] and I started doing landscapes. Those are paintings of different rural and city settings. My two latest pieces for example, one is called Reclaim which is about taking back rights in a city,” said Marine.
“Then there is another called Twist which is about the human effect on nature.
“There are 24 paintings in total. I was very productive during lockdown,” she said.
The exhibition started last week and anyone can go and visit. Inspired by her godmother Patricia Seraidarian who is a successful artist from Ceyreste in the south of France, Marine took art when she moved to Clonmel having to adjust to moving from an urban life to a rural life which is very much influencing her current works. Over the past few years Marine has been working closely with close friend Jaqueline Gartlan who herself was recently featured on Sky TV’s Portrait Artist of the Year.

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