Helen O’Leary was selected for the Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection 2018.
O’Leary’s work ‘Refusal’ (2014) uses oil and wood while ‘The Problem with Adjectives’ (2017) uses egg tempera and oil emulsion on constructed wood. O’Leary’s work has been described as an un-writeable novel, and she describes the frame-like structures she produces as paintings that can stand by themselves, that have their own architecture. Her paintings hold a history of their past lives, with panels fashioned from pieces of previous paintings, cloth and materials at hand in the studio. The materials become woven together to create non-representational three-dimensional pieces that hold a story beyond what is immediately visible. She has described her process as “knitting” with wood, “cobbling together paintings out of the ruin of their own making.”