Artistic License: Corrina Earlie - The Gloss Magazine
Photography by Dora Kazmierak

Artistic License: Corrina Earlie

From the grace of a rose to the opulence of a peony, the poise of an iris to the intricacies of hydrangea – Corrina Earlie’s new series of flower portraits showcases her love of colour and light…

Who or what sparked your initial interest in art?

I don’t really remember drawing much as a child. Growing up in the countryside my memories are predominantly of time spent outdoors. It wasn’t until secondary school when I took art as its own subject that I discovered I had a real talent for it. I had the encouragement of a wonderful art teacher and we had an amazing art room too. It quickly became my favourite place and subject and I went straight from school to art college in Limerick to study fine art, specifically painting. 

How and where do you work?

I’ve always loved the richness and flow of oil paint and continue to work with it. A few years ago I made the transition to painting on wooden boards drawn to the smooth surface. This shift has enriched my practice, offering the flexibility to gently sand back between layers until the desired surface, texture and intensity of colours is achieved. I feel this process has enhanced the visual depth of my work. I’m inspired by vivid colours and the effects of light on various themes, landscapes, seascapes, portraits, still lifes whatever is around me and grabs my eye. I use photographs as my source material to then reimagine the intricacies and precise details of the subject in paint. I work in a purpose-built studio in my garden. This set up allows for an easy transition from family and home life to working. I am so grateful to have this dedicated space for my art.

What was the inspiration behind your new exhibition, “Heliotropic”?

For this collection, I wanted to celebrate the compelling beauty and tonic of colour found in flowers. I’m fascinated by their perfection and symmetry. I knew I wanted an intimate view of them and a more playful contemporary lens to the traditional realist floral still life paintings we often see. After stumbling upon a botanical study of plant samples that were taped to a surface with the titles written on the tape, I was inspired to try something similar. I experimented initially by taping a blue hydrangea from my garden to a wall in the house with bright red electrical tape, where the morning sun casts dramatic shadows. The effect was intriguing and I loved the contrast between the flower’s organic beauty and the tape’s synthetic form. So, it has evolved into a series of 20 different flower portraits, using various tapes – neon, holographic, reflective, glitter – each adding its own texture and playing a dual role in anchoring the flower and at the same time adding a visual counterpoint. The collection is presented on new solid wooden panels I designed and had made specially with disappearing bevelled edges. They appear to be floating when hanging and the edges are painted in vivid neon colours, casting a soft halo like glow around each piece.

What do you hope viewers will get from looking at this exhibition?

One of the paintings is of a sunflower, and after learning that they are heliotropic, meaning they turn their heads to track the sun all day, it felt like the perfect title for the series. I also like to think it mirrors our own innate desire to orientate ourselves towards light and soulful connections. The work is a tribute to the simple profound joy that observing a flower can bring. I hope they offer the viewer a moment of respite where light and colour converge and in contemplating them, they find some solace from the chaos going on in the world.

I believe you have a mindfulness morning as part of the exhibition?

Yes, when I made the decision to hire my own venue to showcase the work, I knew I wanted to host some kind of event or workshop in the space while the exhibition was on and donate money raised to charity. The venue, Studio 10 on Dublin’s Wicklow Street, has the most beautiful large floor-to-ceiling bay window with incredible light, so I decided to have a morning of mindfulness and yoga where art meets the heart, which we have named “Bloom and Balance”.

I’m very excited to collaborate for the first time with my husband, broadcaster and meditation teacher Dermot Whelan. After a brief talk from me about the work, Dermot will speak about the benefits of creativity and nature in fostering a more peaceful mind. This will be followed by a gentle, balancing yoga class with poses inspired by the flowers and there will be some acupressure too for the final relaxation. I think it will be quite special all happening in among the paintings. All proceeds from the sale of tickets for this event will go directly to GLAS community gardens in Ballymun, an outdoor space where people can learn about sustainability and green living that caters to all kinds of groups from the local community, providing them with a sense of belonging. It felt appropriate to extend the theme of growth and light beyond the gallery walls and support wellbeing in the community in some small way.

Need to Know: “Heliotropic, exhibition of new works” by Corrina Earlie opens on Friday May 10 at Studio 10, 10 Wicklow Street, Dublin 2 (Above the Camper shop). Tickets to the “Bloom and Balance” on Sunday May 12 cost €40 including art, mindfulness and yoga, and are available through Eventbrite. For more information on Corrina’s work visit


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