Burren College of Art MFA students Amanda Patten and Holly Draper will be opening an exhibition of paintings in the Burren College Gallery. The exhibition will display works created during recent months, and will remain open from the 5th of December to Jan 24th 2015. The paintings in the exhibition will be a combination of acrylic on board and oil on canvas. The themes explored range from the depiction of food and emotion to systems of religious belief.
The two students are in their final year of the Master of Fine Arts programme.
Amanda Patten currently resides in Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland. She is pursuing her MFA in painting from the Burren College of Art. Amanda’s paintings are inspired by religious imagery and traditional depictions of authoritarian power structures and draw heavily on her own experiences within religious fundamentalism. She works to create portraits that expose and critique institutions of totalitarian control through symbolic color use and simple, iconographic composition. Her portraits draw on visual elements of Christian iconography and American and European propaganda images to confront and challenge the viewer through symbolic color use and the penetrative quality of the portrait’s gaze. Her paintings have recently been displayed in Virginia, Washington DC, and County Clare.
Holly Draper is originally from Jacksonville, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of North Florida. In 2011 she received the Carl Steinsieck Memorial Scholarship to study abroad in Bologna, Italy for two weeks—the residency culminated in a group exhibition at the Collegio San Tommaso. Draper received numerous awards through juried shows at the St. Augustine Art Association and state-wide. In 2012, she received an endowment to further her career as a practicing artist.
Her work explores food’s relationship to varying emotional states through the representation of abstracted food stuffs. In her most recent series of paintings, There’s Something in the Margarine, the margarine stands as a metaphor for overconsumption, but more importantly it represents the search for ‘something more’ through the act of eating. Draper is inspired by her own rather tumultuous relationship with food, as well as food’s powerful and inexplicable connection to early memory.