Artistic License: Ciara O'Neill - The Gloss Magazine

Artistic License: Ciara O’Neill

Bold colours and textures define the abstract work of Galway-based artist Ciara O’Neill …

Who or what kickstarted your interest in art?

I’ve always been interested in art even as a young child – it was the only subject I was interested in at school. I’m not the type of person who can sit behind a computer screen for too long. I’m happiest when I’m making and creating and giving myself new challenges.

I have a degree in Interior Design but work in that profession was scarce by the time I graduated. Because jobs were few and far between, my ex-husband and I moved to Australia and ended up staying there for eight years. I feel I’ve brought my love for Australia home with me by incorporating it into my art. The colours I use (and wear) are all inspired by living in a warm climate.

How and where do you work?

I work from my studio which is very close to my house. It’s a nice big space which allows me to work on large original paintings. Recently, I set up my own printing space to produce my limited edition prints. When working on originals I always work straight onto canvas without preparing a sketch. I let the painting go in its own direction.

Your latest project was to makeover The Terrace at the Conrad Dublin …

The brief for Conrad Dublin was to transform The Terrace into a colourful and inviting art paradise for guests and customers. The team put complete trust in me to deliver and gave me free rein with my designs. The focus was a large mural. As this was my first time creating a mural, I designed this piece before I started which is not my usual process. I moved into the hotel for six days and painted all day every day. On the third day, I called my father and asked him to give me some help painting the base layers. Once he started to help things really started to take shape.

In addition to the mural, the arches of the restaurant are dotted with designs, the bulkhead and the top of the bar also have artwork on their columns, and I painted some mini icons located all over the restaurant. The Terrace also has a large original painting, six framed prints picked by Dubh House Studio, as well as hand-painted vases and candles which are available for sale at Conrad Dublin. In effect, everywhere a guest looks, they will see art! The combination of working on a dream project and staying in such a gorgeous hotel is something I’ll never forget. 

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my new series “Prism” which will be ready for release in May.

Keep up to date on Ciara O’Neill’s work here:


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