Helen O'Keeffe

Helen was born in Cork in 1963.  At the age of 17 she was awarded a scholarship to Crawford College of Art in Cork but due to family commitments this was not to be and so she began working in administration which continued for the next 20 years, this included 3 years in Australia.  In this time her own family came along, but her love for art was constantly being revived by sketching, painting, life drawing and photography.  

In 2003 she began a two year foundation course in art in Stiofain Naofa, Cork City which led to her applying to Crawford College for a Honours Degree in Fine Art and in 2005 she realised her dream and began studying in Crawford.  

Helen in her studio at the Backwater Artist Studios in Cork city.

Graduating in 2010 with an Honours Degree she began her career in earnest.  For the past six years she has had a studio in the Backwater Artists Studio complex in Wandesford Quay.  Helen is also a member of Cork Printmakers which is also located in the same complex. 

Her love of West Cork is evident in her work, she captures the ever present kaleidoscope of colour that is this part of the world.   Memory is a re-occuring theme in her work.  Her family connections extends back over generations.  Her great grandmother hails from Horse Island off this coast and her grandmother hails from Schull - a place very close to her heart.  Off the coast of Schull is Long Island, this place in particular has influenced her work - she has many bodies of work with this Island as its inspiration. 

 

"As a child I would look over to Long Island from Colla and see these white cottages almost on the horizon, and to me they were like little dolls houses.  I would try and imagine the families who had lived, and still lived, in them."

 

This island, now numbering 6, was once home to 300 people.  The small identical cottages dot this long, low lying island - most of which are now empty.  These derelict cottages lay witness to the many lives which began in this beautiful place,  its many people now living locally and also around the globe.  Layers of many different colour paint peel away from interiors and exteriors, testament to the years lived within.  

Helen now lives her dream, surrounding herself for many years with the vibrant environment that is West Cork - its land, sea and islands - the result is her work.


History

Awards

  • Eli Lilly Prize Cork Printmakers Exhibition 2013
  • Office of Public WorksPrize CCAD Degree Show 2010
  • Eli Lilly Prize CCAD Degree Show 2010

Group Exhibitions

2017    Group Show - Cork Printmakers, Cork - December

2017    Group Christmas Show - Blue House Gallery, Schull - December

2017    'Islands' - Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - June

2017    'Elsewhere'  -  Elizabeth Fort, Cork City. (Selected) - April

2016   Group Show - Organico, Bantry, Co. Cork - December

2016   Group Show - Cork Printmakers Christmas Exhibition, Cork - December

2016   Group Show - Aisling Gallery, Ballydehob, Co. Cork - September

2016   Upstairs @ Blue House Gallery, Schull - Helen O'Keeffe/Catherine Weld - August

2016   'History' - Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork- March

2016   Lavit Gallery - Selected, Members Group Exhibition

2015   'Silver, Part 3', Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibereen, Co. Cork - November - Selected

2015   'Small Works' Lavit Gallery, Cork - October

2015   'Silver, Part 2' Garter Lane Gallery, Waterford - October (selected)

2015   Featured Artist, Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - August

2015   Morgan O'Driscoll Online Art Auction - August

2015   'Maritime',  Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - July

2015   Silver, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork Group Show

2014   Stellar, Cork Printmakers Members Annual Exhibition, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork

2014   Group Christmas Show, Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork

2014   'Postcards from North & South, Simultaneous Exhibition between Cork Printmakers, Firestation Print Studio, Victoria, Australia and                   PressNorth Printmakers, North Queensland, Australia

2014   70.8%, The Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - Two Person Show with Keith Payne

2014   BAG 2014, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork - Annual Show

2014   The Blue House Gallery,  Schull, Co. Cork - Group Show

2014    Lavit Gallery - Selected, Members Group Exhibition.

2013   'Nova', Cork Printmakers, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork

2013   The Blue House Gallery,  Schull, Co. Cork - Group Exhibition

2013   Grainstore Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork - Group Exhibition

2013   Lavit Gallery - Selected, Members Group Exhibition

2012   'Art in Schull', Group Exhibition

2012   Lavit Gallery – Selected, Members Group Exhibition

2011   Art Work Embassy, The Elysian, Cork

2011   Place/Space – Selected, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork

2011   Drawing Connections, Sienna Art Institute, Italy - Selected

2011   Brown Thomas ‘Art in Fashion’ May/June – Selected Artists

2010   Clyne Gallery, Templebar, Dublin -  Gallery Artists show

2010   RDS Student Awards Exhibition Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co. Mayo – November

2010   RDS Student Awards ExhibitionIsland Arts Centre, Lisburn Northern Ireland –September

2010   RDS Student Awards Exhibition RDS, Dublin - August

2010   Fractals – Degree Show, CIT Crawford College of Art and Design

2010   Look and See – An exhibition of four final year students from CCAD

2007   Christmas Show, Lavit Gallery, Cork

2007   Fledglings Show, Lavit Gallery, Cork – An exhibition of chosen emerging artists

Solo Exhibitions

2014 'Lollipop Trees' Mono Screenprint Exhibition, Cork Printmakers, Wandesford Quay, Cork

2013 'As I See It'  Backwater Studios, Wandesford Quay, Cork

2013 'A Sense of Place' The Blue House Gallery, Schull, Co. Cork

Collections

Helen's work is displayed in The Office of Public Works, Ireland, Eli Lily, S.A. as well as in private and corporate collections in Ireland, England, United States and Germany.