James Kirwan

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Wexford-born James Kirwan is an experienced artist now based in Dublin. His work has been showcased in solo and group exhibitions, and his mural work has been seen as far away as Canada. James has worked extensively in Ireland too, with recent work appearing in Gorey, Waterford and Dublin. James’ work is often made with bold colours, with a mix of playful abstract forms and references to the natural world and landscapes.

James has a keen interest in the importance of the protection of birds and their habitats in Ireland. He has brought this, in his distinctive style, in a stunning piece for Dún Laoghaire Anseo 2020. James returned to Dún Laoghaire in 2022, producing a mammoth piece at the Dún Laoghaire Further Education Institute again reflecitng his interest in nature, and his use of abstract shapes. In 2020 James brought his art even more directly to people – he planted several small artworks across the city, painted on wood recycled from a friend’s skip and using wood washed up from Dublin’s beaches as frames. He invited anyone who stumbled across the pieces to keep this unique and original piece of art.

Kirwan graduated with an honours degree in Fine Art from NCAD in 2005. Since then he has been a part of two person, three person and group shows mostly in Dublin. He has held solo exhibitions in Monster Truck Gallery and Eight Gallery. James has recently lived and worked in Westport, County Mayo and from there moved to Porto in Portugal to do an artist residency. He currently lives and works in Dublin.

James’ work represents wanderlust, exploration, curiosity, voyages – be it desires to actually travel or by doing so in my mind. He is fascinated by the transcendence of ego and the many ways in which we try to do so on a daily basis. His paintings can include recognizable things such as buildings, figures or landscapes but presented in a fictional abstract world. He works on many pieces at once and often returns to old work that has been dormant for a while, created from found objects and images, colour combinations and discoveries while exercising playful experimentations.

Selected Solo Exhibitions