Amanda Doran is a Gorey born figurative artist who has had group exhibitions in her home town, Dublin and London. Her newest solo exhibition, The Devine Feminine, is currently at the Amber Springs Hotel and explores identity and subcultures.
“I’m a figurative artist,” said Amanda, who is also one of the Malocca clan, a familiar name to everyone in North Wexford! “I’ve always been curious about people and with the different techniques you can use to paint a figure. You can depict a figure simply but it can be very powerful.”
Amanda’s work has come to international attention, including the Saatchi Gallery in London. “I deal with subcultures, mostly the tattoo culture, or music trends, punk and ‘sideshow’ culture. I’m very influenced by the classic painters of the Renaissance and bring the classical to a contemporary setting – my work is light-hearted and colourful. I like the idea of embellishment.”
Indeed, in its description of her painting, Tattooed Lady, the Saatchi Gallery notes say: “The too-muchness of her painting is part of its vision of unselfconscious abundance: excess is the point.”
Now, audiences in North Wexford – and visitors to the hotel – will be able to see collages and drawings of works yet to be finished by Amanda, a graduate of NCAD. “It is lovely to be able to show your outlook,” she said, adding that the collages and drawings illustrate how this exhibition, The Devine Feminine, is an ongoing body of work.
“I get inspiration at concerts and tattoo conventions – because I deal with people, I also get inspiration just from being out and about.”
Amanda is going from strength to strength – and was recently named as one of the ten most notable painters under the age of 30, working in Ireland right now. “She paints abundantly messy works that dance on the line where the grotesque and attraction meet,” according to the list published on the RTE website.
Luckily, she has chosen her home town for her first solo show, and is keen to invite the community in. “Art can be intimidating, but this show and the workshops organised by Conor McDonald show what local people can do. We will have free workshops and talks – I’m doing a workshop on junk journaling with my mother. We’ll also be doing a live radio broadcast and a workshop with Gorey Youth Needs and the LGBT group.
This concept of art in the community is one she is keen to expand. “I’d like to do workshops in the community to promote positive mental health and to raise people’s self-esteem – you can express so much through creativity!”
Interview: Deirdre O’Flynn