25 September-Tony O’Malley

Tony O’Malley was an artist who was a native of Co Kilkenny, Ireland. His father was from Clare Island off the Mayo coast. O’Malley was born in Callan Co Kilkenny in 1913. After completing education he began working with the Munster and Leinster Bank now part of Allied Irish Bank (AIB). Whilst working at the bank he began drawing and painting as a hobby.

In the 1940’s O’Malley contracted TB which gave rise to long periods of hospitalisation. He began painting in earnest while in convalescence. When he returned to bank work, he continued to paint and in 1951 he held the first exhibition of his work.

In 1958 O’Malley, who was by then an entirely self-taught artist, retired from the bank to paint full time. He had visited St Ives in Cornwall, then an important centre for abstract artists, on a number of occasions during the 1950’s. He settled in St Ives in 1960 in the company of many leading artists of the day. The Arts Council of Great Britain provided subsidised studios and accommodation in St Ives for artists allowing them to concentrate on their work. Tony O’Malley was a beneficiary of the scheme. Now O’Malley’s former home and the shop his parents owned in Callan has been transformed by his wife into a residence where artists can work and live.

Whilst living in St Ives, O’Malley met Canadian artist Jane Harris. They married in 1973 and began to live both in the Bahamas and Callan. In 1990 they made Ireland their home and by then O’Malley was one of the major figures in Irish contemporary art. President Mary Robinson conferred on him the title of Saoí of Aosdana in 1993 and in 1994, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Trinity College, Dublin. He died at the age of 89 on January 20th 2003

Tony O’Malley, who is regarded as one of Ireland’s leading painters, was born in the year 1913 On This Day.

THE HEALING HANDS SCULPTURE [FEATURING AN ETERNAL FLAME]-116175 by infomatique on 2016-05-19 16:38:21

O’Malley’s Visual Journals by topgold on 2005-11-17 12:29:34

St Ives photo

St Ives after dark. Lumix DMC G3. P1030277 to P1030281. by Robert.Pittman on 2013-11-25 18:00:51

 

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