Sharon's upcoming 4th solo exhibition - Beneath the Lakes

During an unusually hot and dry summer, Blessington Lakes gave up some of its treasures as the water level became very low. Visitors were rewarded with glimpses of old broken crockery, pieces of farm machinery and skeletal stumps of once grand trees that lined the entrances to homesteads. We caught a glimpse then of what lay beneath the Lakes.

I have always been drawn to the Lakes. This huge expanse of water, situated in the valley of Poulaphouca, is a place of great beauty but it also carries with it a story of great sacrifice, loss and sadness.

The Lakes were created 80 years ago, between 1938 – 1940, when the landscape of Poulaphouca was transformed from over 5,000 acres of farmland, bog, homesteads, villages, bridges, places of worship and a final resting place for the departed to the wide expanse of water and the tourist attraction that it is today.

They were created to provide a water and electricity supply to Dublin and surrounding areas. This came at a great cost to the people who had lived on these homesteads for generations, people who had worked the land and who had built their lives in their community. The compensation paid to landowners was very poor and people who had held rights to work the land were left with nothing – no work, no homes – destitute!

Beneath the Lakes is a tribute to the people of the land who paid a huge price for the beauty that we take for granted. It is a glimpse of the past, the full lives lived there and the secrets that are guarded under the cover of the Blessington Lakes.

More to follow.

Sharon's 3rd solo exhibition - An orange on her pillow

The Telling of Many Stories

An imagined glimpse of a lived experience. A hint of what went before. A chance to step inside a world inhabited by another, a time that we’d rather forget.

The past is a curious thing, we like believe that we have no connection with it, we weren't there, and it wasn't our doing. But It has shaped us, it's in the marrow of our bones and will continue to be even when we ourselves are long since gone.

We each leave behind powerful echoes of ourselves in the stories that we weave throughout our lives. The same is true for all of the women, men, girls and boys that have gone before. The stories within these pieces echo heartache, pain, unimaginable desolation and loss but also a beautiful resilience, a determination to be acknowledged, to have their stories heard, to be seen.

“The tragedy of strength that has been abandoned, betrayed even. The desolation, the sense of loss and corruption (in the original meaning of the word), and the overbearing loneliness. The contradiction of strength seen in the external stone work, against the internal evisceration that has left a fragile husk of rotten memories, so delicate that they may reduce to a formless powder before our very eyes. The experienced abandonment and betrayal, or just prolonged loneliness, the difference being that humans can repair and rebuild their lives”.

Eoghan O Neill – Artist, writer, activist and friend, R.I.P
We will each experience those stories from a very unique place, our own lived experience - our own story and we will respond in our own unique way.

My response has been one of anger, a sense of injustice, pain for the suffering endured and an absolute horror at the realization that there was no one to save them... Nobody came to save them!

But I also experienced the terrible beauty contained within all of this suffering. The strength of the human spirit in the face of all that was wrong, choosing to see the chinks of light. Choosing a life of kindness, love and hope despite the bleakness of their stories. Choosing to see love and kindness in a very meagre gift — An orange on her pillow.

For Rosaleen x.

The Exhibition
A launch reception took place on Sunday 4th June 2017 at 2:30pm in Straffan Antiques & Design Centre, Barberstown, Straffan, Co. Kildare.
The Exhibition was open to the public from Tuesday 30th May until Saturday 18th June 2017.

1916 Centenary Exhibition

In 2016 Sharon participated in a group exhibition to coincide with the centenary of the proclamation of the Irish Republic in 1916. The exhibition was organised by Sharon's friend, the late artist Eoghan O'Neill and was held in honour of the renowned Irish republican leader James Connolly.

Sharon's 2nd  solo exhibition - Quidara, Autumn's Lonely Rose

In 2010 Sharon launched her second major solo exhibition, entitled "Quidara, Autumn's Lonely Rose." The collection of six mixed-media works explored the story of a derelict house. A landmark in her hometown of Blessington, Co. Wicklow, the building was once a fine home. Now, despite the fact that the house was demolished for development, it carries on echoing its history through Sharon's artwork.

This body of work weaves itself around the inhabitants of this place who are now long since gone from this world. Piecing the history of the inhabitants of Quidara together with the generosity of the Blessington community and working with poet, Luke Devlin, who created a spoken word narration, we created a lasting tribute to Quidara and Margaret the lady of the house. It is a story of beauty, memories, the beauty of ordinary lives, disrepair, loneliness, isolation and a connection to our past.

The Exhibition

A launch reception took place on Saturday 18th September 2010 at 7:00pm in The Grangecon Café, Blessington Village, Co. Wicklow.
The Exhibition was open to the public from Thursday September 9th until the end of October 2010.
The complete Quidara collection was acquired by The Citywest Hotel, in 2016. The Hotel also commissioned a further four art works to accompany the collection.

Other works

Sharon has also exhibited in many group shows in Iniscarra Gallery, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin; The Eigse festival, Co. Carlow; and on many occasions with Tallaght Community Arts and RUA RED arts centre, Dublin.

Her work is in many private collections both nationally and internationally, and is exhibited throughout the year in Cruthu gallery, Russborough House, Co. Wicklow.

She also has a permanent collection in The Citywest Hotel, Saggart, Co. Dublin. If you'd like to find out more about Sharon's work, please do not hesitate to contact her with any questions you might have. She'd be delighted to hear from you.