Lucy O’Donovan

"I am driven by a fascination with the human body and feelings this invokes. I show the body as honestly as I can, irrespective of whether it’s considered classically beautiful or not. I see the motivation behind this is probably a kickback against the social pressures of achieving the perfect figure."

Race for the Prize - Flaming Lips - Oil on canvas Triptych, Ea. 65 x 45 cm

"I graduated as a vet, completed a Ph.D., then researched the brain for many years. Throughout my life, I have drawn and painted from a very early age. Eventually, I discovered oils in my adult life and I used this as a way of stress relief after hard days of work in the laboratory. I felt that my research in the lab was very black and white – positive results or negative results, when I longed for shades of grey! I distinctly remember opening a starter pack of oil paints that my parents had bought me and experimented with what oil paint felt like to mix and apply to canvas. I was hooked.

Because of my knowledge of anatomy from vet training, I am intrigued by what lies beneath the skin: muscle, fat, tendons, connective tissue, bone and joints.

In my early thirties, I had a severe brain injury which prevented me from painting and expressing myself on canvas for several years. With professional assistance and sheer determination, I slowly began to use a brush again and communicate my feelings and my visual input using paint.

In 2006 I was approached by an Italian curator who exhibited her work in Sondrio and Acquasparta, Italy – my first exhibitions. After that, I was approached by a New York Gallery for representation. I’ve since had thirteen exhibitions in the UK, Australia and the United States. I have enjoyed a wide range of art-related disciplines, including drawing and painting at Glasgow School of Art, as well as woodprint and also an adult course on art therapy.

More recently I have become the co-founder of an online project called cRxeate This consists of vets, doctors and dentists who use creativity in whatever form, to relax and de-stress during their career. The process of creativity has been shown as a way forward out of burnout and self-erosion by enriching and providing headspace.”

Out in the Open - Oil on canvas 120 x 90 cm
Truth - Oil on canvas 70 x 60 cm
Father / Daughter - Oil on canvas 65 x 50 cm
Guidance - Oil on canvas 40 x 40 cm

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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