VISUAL ARTIST Barbara O’ Meara is a professional artist with a B.A. (Hons) Degree in Fine Art Painting and a Post Graduate Higher Diploma in Community Arts Education both from the National College of Art & Design. She also works in print, textiles and installation art and is a writer of both poetry and prose with a particular interest in contemporary Celtic Shamanism.
Marta Faye -Women’s Inspirational Stories
She connects deeply with areas of land that are of sacred, historical or geographical interest. Walking the shamanic pathway has always been at the heart of her work, a sense of connection which transcends time and place and focuses on our very existence, our ancestors and the fragility of life. Her paintings, which offer a journey beyond the immediate reality of our world, created in a deeply meditative and solitary process are rooted in a wildness she seeks to capture with a purity of expression beyond the physical act of painting. Believing in the healing power of creativity, this is incorporated into her teaching practice, where she designs and facilitates workshops such as The Art of Soul Journaling.
With two decades as a professional artist her numerous solo exhibitions include: Loughcrew Megalithic Centre, The Excel Arts Centre Tipperary, The Ulster Hall, The Waterside Arts Centre Derry, The Market Place Arts Centre Armagh, The Alley Arts Centre Strabane, The Five Lamps Arts Festival- 2016; where as part of the centenary commemorations for the Easter Rising she exhibited ‘Na Leanai’ Children of 1916 reimagining the lives of the children who were killed and in 2017; B.O.R.N a social commentary concerning the plight of women and children worldwide inspired by media coverage of real events at The Point Village in Dublin. Her work has been selected to exhibit in many open submission competitions and features in private and public collections including Microsoft, ESB, Dept Foreign Affairs, Irish Life, Impact Trade Union, Bologna District Council, Behaviour and Attitudes. In 2012 she was one of six Irish artists selected to exhibit at Lockhart Gallery New York in ‘Contemporary Irish Art’. Her work was part of a two year worldwide touring exhibition of 100 International Artists – ‘The Drawing Box’ exhibiting in Europe, America and the Far East and is now part of the ‘NIVAL’ Collection. In 2016 she spent time in a remote area of Iceland on an artist’s residency resulting in a two person show ‘Radljost- Enough Light to Navigate by’ at the Russell Gallery in the Burren Co. Clare which she also considers to be a spiritual home.
Her work as a qualified community artist includes various collaborative and socially engaged projects such as ‘Portraits of Pain’, N.C.A.D.’s Public Art Placement Programme exhibiting with Coolmine Addiction Group at I.M.M.A, Northern Ireland’s Re-Generate Project, artist in residence at Tallaght Children’s Arts Festival with Alternative Entertainments in 2015, 2016 & 2019. In the past she has worked extensively with ADVIC – Advocates of Victims of Homicide, a bereavement support charity. Her most recent community arts project ‘Stitched With Love’ 2017-2019, a two year voluntary project where hundreds of participants nationwide hand crafted white baby squares to commemorate the Tuam Babies creating a baby blanket of 796 squares entitled ‘The Covering’ which, in 2018, was laid out over burial site at Tuam by survivors and families during a healing ceremony in collaboration with Karen Ward of Moon Mna Women’s Celtic Circles.
‘Sort Our Smears Campaign Art As Activism facilitated by Barbara O’Meara is an open call to make a piece of art highlighting the isssues of the Smear Test Scandal in Women’s Healthcare in Ireland. This installation art piece with over 150 pieces to-date was exhibited at Rua Red Arts Centre in 2019 in an Installation Mandala with a healing ceremony performed by Moon Mna Women’s Celtic Circles .
‘SORT OUR SMEARS CAMPAIGN’ -ART AS ACTIVISM
FESTIVAL OF FEMINSIM S 2019 Silence + Voice
2019 The Healers Spiral – Sli An Chroi Centre for Celtic Shamanism
2019 The Heroines Writing Journey – Creative Writing Course facilitated by Siofra O Donovan Author
2019 Art to Heart – Painting Residency – Trani Southern Italy
2018 Women Spirit Ireland ‘Mother Earth & the Megamachine’ Theology Course
2017 International Art Therapy Course –Metamorphosis ‘Everything can be Anything’
2016 ‘Rising of the Heart’ 1916-2016 – Sli an Chroi International Gathering of Artists, Writers, Poets, Musicians, Shamanic Visionaries Dunderry Shamanic Centre
2014 Art to Heart Painting Residential Course Stromboli Volcano The Aoelian Islands Italy
2014 Sli an Chroi Celtic Shamanic Centre One Year Course Shamanic Medicine Spiral
2013 Painting Personal Mandalas – Dublin- ( 1 year Course)
2011 ‘Art to Heart’ – Painting Residency –Tivoli Italy
2009 Mapping the Universe 10 Week Course –The Ark Dublin
2009 The Sky Within – ‘Art to Heart’, The Burren, Co. Clare
2008 Teaching Creativity to Children- Foundation Course
2007- 2008 N.C.A.D. Post Graduate Higher Diploma in Community Art Education
2003 – 2007 N.C.A.D. B.A. (Hons) Degree Fine Art – Painting
2002 – 2003 Bray Institute Further Education – Portfolio Prep
2000-02 Bray Institute Further Education F.E.T.A.C. Awards Art, Ceramics & Design (9 Distinctions)