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 reflecting 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 
2022 Selected Works, SO Fine Art Editions, Dublin
2018 The Augmented Struggle Is Real – Lucky’s, 78 Meath St, Dublin
2017 New Worlds – Dunlavin Arts Festival, Wicklow
2015 Recreations of Mind Journeys – Eight Gallery, Dawson St, Dublin

Selected Group, 2 & 3 Person Exhibitions
2023 Winter Exhibition, SO Fine Art Editions, Dublin
2023 Thin Places with Clare Henderson, SO Fine Art Editions, Dublin
2019 That Space Between with John O’Reilly, The Space Between
2017 No Mad Rush with Deirdre Byrne, Gorey Library, Co.Wexford
2017 Process Art Portraits, Gorey Library, Co.Wexford
2013 Keep The Dog On The Leash with Colm McAthlaoich & Conor Wickham – Eight Gallery, Dublin

Recent Commissions & Murals
2023 Mural for Mayo GAA & Mayo Heritage at McHale Park
2023 Mural for Tidy Towns Belmullet, Mayo
2023 & 2022 Sallins Train Station, for Iarnroid Eireann
2022 Birdwatch Ireland & Laois Heritage, Mountmellick
2022 Mural for Limerick Arts Office & Street Art Ink
2023, 2022, 2018 Waterford Walls
2022 & 2021 ANSEO Dun Laoghaire with The Walls Project
2022 Thurles Walls with The Walls Project
2022 Appearance on Landscape Artist of The Year for Sky Arts
2021 & 2019 Facebook, Ballsbridge Dublin
2021 Estate of Seamus Heaney, Wicklow Town
2021 Gorey Little Theatre with The Walls Project
2021 Skibbereen Arts Festival

2017 Cill Rialaig Kerry
2016 Dublin Fringe Festival
2016 De Liceiras Porto, Portugal
2015 Custom House Studios Westport

Trinity College Dublin University Art Collection The Hendrick Hotel, Smithfield Dublin
The Law Society of Ireland, Dublin
DAC Beachcroft LLP, Dublin
Frontline Ventures, Dublin
Office of Public Works
The Dean Hotel Galway