The Aristology exhibition developed from my love for the colour and rich lushness of freshly picked fruit, vegetables, fish and food. In the act of painting natura morte I was always conscious of the historical fact that in traditional still life painting fish and food were potent life affirming symbols of fertility and renewal.
Initially Covid lockdown meant for me the studio was inside. The domestic space and the ordinary beauty of little things was paramount. What was at hand became a source of painting inspiration, drawing compositions and investigating the visual modalities of pictorial space.
I wanted to celebrate my subjects and the connotations of abundance and beauty – open fruit and vegetables, special plates laden with memories, treasured bowls and collected platters, patterned textiles. Pattern, texture, suggestive folds reminiscent of Cezanne, and the spillage of fruit my interest.
This collection of my paintings acknowledges an alchemy of sorts. Painting the ordinary into a visual metaphor for captured moments in time.
– Veronica O’Leary, 2023