83-85 Main Street

Bushmills, Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland

BT57 8QD

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Gallery 1608 County Antrim

Orr, Maurice

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BIO: Maurice Orr

 

I have always loved drawing and painting. I had my work first exhibited in Belfast when I was only 15 years old. I was born in England, but now have my studio in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. I studied at Belfast College of Art and Design in the early 70’s before working as a graphic artist in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. After taking early retirement, having had major surgery, I turned to oil painting as a hobby. In 2002 I won my first international residency and in 2003 I was awarded the prestigious Northern Ireland‘s Arts Council Banff Residency in Alberta, Canada. In 2006, through the Arts Council of Australia, I was awarded a residency for 2007 at Hill End, Bathurst Regional Gallery. During my visit to New South Wales, I also worked with the Barracks Artists in Thirroul, Australia. I was awarded a professional artists bursary to attend a residency in Iceland, October ’09 and exhibited in The Freezer Gallery, Skagagtrond, Iceland. In 2010 I was awarded a Commission from London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympiad and Paralympic Games and that body of work was exhibited in the Southbank, London. In 2013 I was awarded two professional artists bursaries to attend residencies on Vancouver Island and Whitehorse, Canada. The Commission from the London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympiad and Paralympic Games was to produce works using both oils and a new material called fish leather. The project “The Screaming Silence of the Wind” comprised 5 large scale paintings (5’x7’) on canvas inspired by the bare, raw landscapes of Northern Ireland and Iceland. One of the locations I was told had to be of our most visited tourist attractions here in Northern Ireland, the Giants Causeway. That painting was purchased by a private buyer who in turn donated it to the National Trust and it is now on permanent display in the visitor centre at the Giants Causeway. I cite Monet, Turner, Arthur Boyd and the Canadian artist Tom Thompson’s use of light and its changing effect on nature as being a main influence in my style of painting. I use oils and a palette knife to create works that have been interpreted as bringing nature to life. I am a representational painter but with an abstract slant. My landscapes are less an attempt to faithfully reproduce a particular place than to convey an ambience or an emotion. My paintings, which convey an atmospheric quality, encourage the viewer to look and explore the spirit of the landscape. My work is now in private and public collections around the world.

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