Feelings, hopes on canvas resonate with all viewers
By Maurice Garvey
A Ballyfermot artist was inspired to take to the canvas after suffering years of mental illness.
Artist Fiona Dowling is running an exhibition at Ballyfermot Library, which is open to the public until the end of December.
Living in Ballyfermot for 15 years, Fiona formerly worked as an architectural technician for over 25 years but “always had an interest in design and model making”.
“My interest in art came about after years of mental illness and various hospitalisations – it was suggested I attend or visit the art room,” said Fiona.
“Drawing was replication when I was a technician. With art I could transfer my feelings, fears and hopes on to the canvas. I’ve been involved in an art exhibition in St Patrick’s Hospital for three years now, and contribute two paintings every year.
“This year with the help of Una Gomez – senior librarian in Ballyfermot Library – I was offered space to hold my first solo exhibition. The theme is ‘Regeneration’, a concept which anyone with mental illness will understand.”
Fiona thanked Michael Dillon, CEO of Ballyfermot/Inchicore Credit Union, for sponsoring her, Cllr Daithí Doolan for opening the exhibition, Marie Clarke, Dubco Credit Union, and Ballyfermot Library.
Una Gomez, Head Librarian Ballyfermot Library, said: “Fiona is self-taught and very talented. Many visitors to the library have been drawn to her work. Each painting is accompanied by a short piece of writing which provides a background to the work. The emotions expressed through Fiona’s work resonate with viewers who can identify with the feelings which inspired her art.
“There is always a strong focus in Ballyfermot Library on supporting local artists and bringing their work out into the public domain through the library service. The exhibition would not have been possible without the very generous sponsorship of the Ballyfermot/Inchicore Credit Union.”