Famed Irish Writers as Contemporary Art – -Fiona Lowe Brunell

Fiona Lowe Brunell is a contemporary artist based in Ireland, and her inspirations are formed from Irish literature, cemented whilst studying Louis le Brocquy’s portraits at University. Brunell’s work is centred around a unique concept of painting dates in time, with days, months, and years, being transformed into a visual manifestation. As the viewer begins to understand her concepts they then will reveal the didactic narrative that lies behind each piece.

Fiona graduated with a First Class Honors degree from Queen’s University, Belfast where she studied History of Art. It was also during this time that her painting was put on hold. However, her studies play an invaluable part in her work and its development. Brunell’s work can be seen both in Ireland and abroad, with collections currently on display in the Titanic Foundation, Belfast, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, South Africa.

Fiona has been, in her words, “dating ten men”. By this, she means that she is currently working on her latest collection “Irish Writers Collection”, a concept which is built from seminal Irish writers such as James Joyce, C.S Lewis, Seamus Heaney, Samuel Beckett, W.B. Yeats and Oscar Wilde, amongst others. This immersive process of painting and research is indebted to Brunell’s personal connections with the writers’ works.

Speaking about the connections with these writers, Fiona said: “This year is the centenary of the rising but for me, it was the purchase of Ulysses in the university book shop on the centenary of Bloomsday that created a lasting impression on me. Having an interest in dates and statistics, it was firstly the date that drew my attention to the book, the story and intense admiration for the book was soon to follow.  My outstanding memory of Ulysses is from Episode One when Buck Mulligan looks into a mirror. I began reading the book when brushing my teeth in the bathroom of my student house. I distinctly remember having the book in my hand whilst looking in the mirror, wondering about the coming trajectory of the book and also pondering what my owns life’s journey would be.”

Fiona Lowe Brunell will be hosting an exhibition later in the year and plans a number of talks on her her latest collection, “Irish Writers Collection”. This is a year of cultural re-awakening in which Brunell immortalises these lauded literary greats in a new visual imagining. For more information visit, www.flbrunell.com, reference the artist’s insightful blog posts or you can find her on Twitter.


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