The Sol Gallery in Dawson Street, Dublin was the location for Niall Leavy's hugely successful first solo exhibition on Friday evening.
Large numbers of people travelled from all over the country and abroad to see new work from this artist, who lives in, and works out of his studio in Stamullen.
The exhibition presents a feast to the eyes, with vibrant colours 'bouncing off the walls', and one can't but feel 'uplifted' by the positivity coming from the thirty plus paintings on display. The positivity of the paintings was complimented by a rousing opening speech by Dundalk native Fergus Mullen, State solicitor for County Louth, occasional actor and director. Fergus marvelled at Niall's combination of painterly skills and mastercraftsmanship highlighting the vibrant, fresh and truely original work on display, and how the whole show 'oozed of positive energy'.
Niall's paintings, which are essentially abstract, are presented in a modern, contemporary manner. Most pieces comprise a series of small squares (nine on the smaller pieces and up to 80 on the larger pieces), with each small square like individual painting, with each saturated with strong vibrant colours. This body of abstract paintings vividly reflects the energy and positivity that the artist brings to his work.
Each painting is the result of a process of developing multiple layers, with elements of each layer protected and other elements washed, rubbed or scratched away, but all building a 'history' and a potential story line. Niall uses the little squares that make up his paintings to represent a 'moment', a 'positive moment' which, when presented together create a powerful and literally uplifting effect. The vibrancy and depth of each piece provides the viewer with the opportunity to be drawn in and to create their own story or stories. And what is fascinating is that your eye is drawn to different element each time you look at them. It is difficult not to just feel good when you are standing in front of these paintings.
Martin Davis, proprietor of the Sol Gallery, indicated that the attendance at the opening on Friday night last was the biggest he has ever seen at the gallery and that the 23 paintings sold on the night was by far the biggest selling opening night he has witnessed.
'New Horizon' runs in the Athena Room at the Sol Gallery, 8 Dawson Street, Dublin until Thursday, 18th October. The new paintings can also be viewed on www.niallleavy.com.