Saddler & Co is pleased to present our first Art exhibition for the year ARRANGEMENTS | This is an exquisite collection of delicate still-life artworks creating vignettes of quiet simplicity by Melbourne artist, Fiona O'Byrne.
Using traditional methods of oil on linen, these rich tonal paintings focus on familial life. There is a quiet intimacy in this domestic realism.
Fiona O'Byrne distils the essence of commonplace objects and highlights their beauty and poignancy. Her artworks could be seen as meditations on our daily; a humble celebration of the quotidian.
Exclusive and original Artworks by Fiona O'Byrne
We discovered more about Fiona's artistic practice through a mini Q + A.
How much of your practice is instinctive, and how much is taught? How did your style develop over the years within your creative process?
My whole life I’ve always dabbled in drawing, but when I decided I wanted to learn how to paint (in my thirties), I took myself off to classes. I spent the better part of six years taking various classes all the while practising on my own as well. I struggled for a long time to find my vocabulary. It took many years and a lot of failed paintings to create work I was happy with. Then, as now, I was intrigued by both still life and portraiture. My aim is to not just notice the beauty of a subject, but go after something a bit deeper. I like to create a sense of space and stillness in my paintings. Each one is a little antidote to the busy, noisy, cluttered world we live in.
The moments of real life are intertwined with work and artistry. Would you have some encouragement or advice to share with others on the creative process?
As well as my own art practice, I’ve recently started teaching oil painting. Some of my students have come back to art for the first time since high school, after long and busy careers. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the joy on their faces at being able to express themselves creatively for the first time in ages. I know how hard it can be to carve time out for regular art practice, but I would encourage anyone who feels inclined to make a start. A five-minute sketch a day, enrolling in a local art workshop or an online course. Just taking that first step.
Describe one of your favourite ways to instil a sense of awe into the everyday.
Nature is the most awe-inspiring thing to me. I grew up in the country and really miss the huge expanses of blue sky that goes with that. Being a city dweller now, the next best thing is gardening, listening to beautiful music, reading a good book and connecting with family and friends.
"Modest and contemplative, Fiona O’Byrne’s artworks offer us a reflective experience, an opportunity to slow down from our busy lives and let our eyes rest and calmly observe. Her paintings gently draw one in and teach us to look closely and quietly with our hearts and mind."
About the Artist
Fiona is known for her delicate still lives and portraits, using her immediate domestic environment to create vignettes of quiet simplicity and classical harmony.
Employing mainly traditional methods of oil on canvas overlaid on the panelboard, the artist creates rich tonal paintings that are marked by sparse, carefully arranged compositions. Her subject matter focuses on interiors and her familial life – vases with freshly picked flowers from her local neighbourhood, portraits of her family and friends.
Fiona has been a finalist in a number of prominent portrait prizes, including The Lester Prize and the Shirley Hannon National Portrait Award, and the AME Bale Art Prize.