Paintings by Brian O'Connor
February 18 to March 13
Noon 5 pm daily ( Sun. & Mon. closed )
Brian O'Connor Bio
Growing up in the hills of Northern Ireland to a family of labourers, as a young boy Brian received his first set of paints - an expensive and coveted gift for someone from a home of seven children - from his grandmother who lived next door and who was determined that he develop and pursue what she early identified as his unique talent. Her sister was a housekeeper for the prominent artist, Derek Hill, and she saw art as a feasible and respectful way to make a living whilst doing what one loved.
From these early humble beginnings, influenced heavily by family and the wild natural beauty first of Ireland and later of locations further afield, visual art - specifically painting - has long been a passion of Brian's. He completed his foundational studies in art at the University of Ulster, Belfast, and then moved to study at Falmouth University's School of Art, in Cornwall, England, where he completed his Bachelor of Fine Art (with Honours).
Art education in terms of working with young people became a focus for Brian after he worked summers with the Belfast central mission, bringing inner city youth together from both sides of Northern Ireland’s political divide. Now having lived and worked in Northern Ireland, England, the Caribbean, Thailand, and having been settled in Vancouver with his wife and daughter for just over 13 years - working as the Director of Visuals Arts at St. George's School - Brian has had the travel, experiences, and time to cultivate and nurture his artistic voice. Though he has been a commission-based artist for years and has exhibited in local galleries in Belfast, England, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Canada. He has produced this body of work - inspired by the beauty of Pacific Spirit Park.
Oil on Canvas
This year we have all reached for the calm place within us: the realm of the soul. Making these paintings has as always connected me to that place inside myself. A walk in the forest gives our eye a chance to wander aimlessly, engage gently, and more importantly, relax into involuntarily looking in these surroundings.
The trees in the forest gently tug, but never grab at our attention. We intuitively know that we are not depleted, but restored in the forest. I have felt this restorative force many times this year, and am thankful to all that painting the play of light in these environments award me.
“instead of being isolated, cut off, preoccupied internally, you are presented with a world, you are related to a world, you are addressed by a world. Why should this experience strike one as being beautiful? Cognition is beautiful, it is beautiful to know!” - Notes on Blindness