"In contemporary art I feel that there is a heavy emphasis to 'read' paintings as texts, there seems to be a need to decipher a story out of the image and find its 'meaning'. While I do believe that this approach can add value to work, I feel that it often overlooks something important. The visual arts uniquely possess the ability to evoke feelings and sensations that cannot be articulated in words, and it is this visual language/affect that I am interested in and focus on in my paintings.
In particular I am interested in the human figure as I believe that is one of the most versatile and relatable forms, and it is therefore the subject matter in the vast majority of my paintings. The main objective of my work is to create figures that exude an intense sense of presence, not only within the borders of the painting, but beyond into the space in which the painting is displayed. I approach each piece as a study into the mechanisms by which this 'presence' operates, while always aiming to improve my draughtsmanship and become more fluent in the language of colour and composition.
Currently I work from old family photographs from my Japanese side, my personal photographs and nudes. I pursue different visual sensations in each stream of work (for example the feeling of nostalgia/memory with the old family photos) but what is interesting is that each stream starts to influence the other. My hope and aim is that the resulting affect of the paintings become more and more inexplicable and complex as I continue and expand my practice. My ultimate goal is to be able to create work that has intense presence, and offer visions and sensations that have not been seen or felt before." - Shane Berkery
Shane is half Irish, half Japanese artist currently represented by the Chimera Gallery. Shane has been painting full time since graduating from NCAD in 2015 and has exhibited work in 14 exhibitions to date. He has received the NUI Arts and Design Award at the degree show and at the 186th RHA Annual Exhibition, the Hennessy Craig Award and the Whyte’s Award. Most recently, Shane's solo exhibition at the Chimera Gallery concluded on 23 June where all 14 paintings were sold.
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