Paul McCloskey was born in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, Ireland and is now living and working in Gorey Co. Wexford. Paul attended the National College of Art and Design (N.C.A.D) Dublin from 1981 and graduated in 1986. Paul also attended De Montfort University UK and was awarded a Masters Degree in Fine art painting (MFA) in 2010. Paul is a professional member of ‘visual artists Ireland’.
Paul has work in the following collections;
• Monaghan County Council, art collection.
• Wexford County Council, art collection.
• Smurfit Collection
• Irish Bank of Commerce
• Monaghan VEC
• Kavanagh Heritage Centre, Monaghan
• Connemara design centre
• Education centre, Dublin
• "Comhairle Bhaile Cheanntair" (Public works) Civic Centre, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan
• As well as numerous private collections throughout the country.
• 2013 - November 9th - '3rd Splash Art Festival' Back Loft, La Cathedral Studios, Dublin(Invited Artist)
• 2013 – September 19th – 23rd October – ‘Ireland in our eyes’, London Irish Centre, Camden Sq, London.
• 2013 – “Clouds” – August (2013) - Centro Storico /The Palazzo Ca' Zanardi, Venice, Italy.
• 2013 – July 25th - Sept' 10th - 2013 - ‘The Story of the Creative’, (invited artist) See | Exhibition space, 26-19 Jackson Ave. Long Island City, NY 11101 New York.
• 2013 – ‘Awakenings Reloaded’ - Market House Arts Centre, Monaghan Town. (Arts Council Ireland and Monaghan Co. Council) (Solo show)
• 2011/12/13 - Mealy's/SCOOP Contemporary art exhibition.
• 2012 - 'All sorts' - Sweetshop Gallery of contemporary art, Rosslare, Wexford - Invited Artist.
• 2011 - 'Splash' - Back Loft, La Cathedral Studios, Dublin - Open submission.
• 2011 – 'Harvest' – Hive Gallery and Studios – Waterford – Open Submission.
• 2011 – 'Pink Pink Pink' - Mad Art gallery and Studios-Dublin- Open submission.
• 2011 – 'Masters Exhibition' - De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. (Solo show)
• 2009 - Gallery Show – Henry Gilmore Gallery - Belfast.
• 2007 - ’08 - Group Show - Art Upstairs - Rosslare.
• 2006 - ‘07 - Salon Exhibition - Montserrat Gallery of Contemporary Art - New York.
• 2006 - "Awakenings (The Alpha)" - Art upstairs Gallery - Wexford festival opera (Solo Show)
• 2006 - " Summer group show - Clifden art gallery Galway
• 2005 - " Christmas Show" - OS/B Gallery Enniskerry
• 2005 - “Summer group show” - OS/B Gallery Enniskerry
• 2005 - “Summer show” - Kennedy Gallery Dublin
• 2004 - "Eigse - Carlow arts festival - open selection.
• 2003 - "East meets West" Invited artist Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan.
• 2002 - "Eigse - Carlow arts festival" - Open selection.
• 2001 - "Wexford Opera Festival" - Wexford Arts Centre (Invited Artist) (2 person show).
• 2001 - "Group Show" - Taylor Gallery Belfast.
• 2001 - "Scenes before the eye" Agora Gallery (2 person show) Broadway, Manhattan, New York.
• 2000 - "Comhairle Bhaile Cheanntair" (solo show)(Public works) Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan.
• 2000 - "CELTIC CONNECTIONS" - (The Arts Council Ireland.) (A Welsh/ Irish exchange exhibition of four short listed artists) Fishguard Wales.
• 1999 - "Gorey Summer Fair" (Solo Exhibition)
• 1998 - "Award winners exhibition" (Wexford arts centre, sponsored by Lions club and Arts Council Ireland.) (Solo Show)
• 1997 - 2000 - “Lions Club exhibition “(Arts Centre Wexford)
• 1997 - “Group show” (Watch house Gallery Enniscorthy)
• 1996 - "Opera festival show” Wexford Arts Centre- Solo Exhibition-(Sponsored by Guinness Ireland and The Arts council Ireland)
• 1995 - "Christmas show" (2 man show)(Woodland arts and crafts gallery Gorey)
• 1995 - 2005 - "Wexford showcase" (Arts centre Wexford)
• 1995 - "Art with a view" (Wexford Co. Council. A short listed exhibition of six artists)
• 1994 - "Monaghan Artists" (Carrickmacross Co. Monaghan)
• 1994 - "Lough Derg" (Kavanagh heritage centre Monaghan) Permanent collection.
My most recent series of paintings called ‘Awakening’ and ‘Awakening Reloaded’ (oil on canvas/board) attempt to highlight the familiar, the places and things we see every day, to see with fresh eyes the beauty that's all around us and to awaken, refresh and enlighten us to the fact that everything we need to know is already inside and all around us. Currently I’ve been working with landscape, for now it facilitates me in portraying that sense of immensity and space which in turn assists me in expressing the power of spirit, the glory of something greater than me but connected to me. This is intended to evoke to some degree a sense of spirit, of enormity through the ethereal qualities of the paint using this vastness of landscape of matter and space as the catalyst in which to express this. I have also used the theme of seasons as a way to suggest the beginning and end, the circle of life. My paintings attempt to summon a primordial energy and reveal a sense of the power of nature, energy and Spirit. The use of gold within the ‘Reloaded series’ of paintings stems from this concept of the halo and the flat gold leaf backgrounds of the early Greek iconography. Although these gold areas coexist with the painted areas of light perceived as being more natural to the painted landscape, its purpose however is principally to separate divine/spiritual light from earthly light, gold being precious and standing out as extraordinary, intending to evoke a sense of the sacred aiming not so much to evoke particular emotions although that may well arise but to evoke a sense of connection to spirit.
The beauty of my surrounded environment, the wonder of its creation is the starting point and one cannot be but moved by the splendour of creation, however that connection to this splendour with the absence of ego is expressed from inside. I have built up layers of paint under some of the gold areas to add texture and shimmer thus adding further to the dimensional element of the paintings, as the idea of spirit is that it is all things and all directions simultaneously. I attempt to reflect this dichotomy by allowing the shapes and colours to interchange from solid (enhanced by impasto layers) to atmospheric on the canvas surface. The intention is to bring all things together, textural, atmospheric, dark, light and gold causing a tension and cohesion forming explosive qualities that transcend the two dimensional surface of the canvas. The emergence of the landscape bathed in light, giving glimpses to its vast splendour adds a mystical element to the paintings. In places sky and earth are as one, evoking for me the sense of personal growth, the sense of awakening to the beauty, divinity and perfection, to the divine order within all things. This suggestion of heaven and earth in constant struggle, merging yet separable, solid yet amorphous all suggest the dichotomy of the spiritual, the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega, the struggle within between the conditioned self and the divine/spiritual self.
My most recent paintings ‘The Omega (awakenings 3d)’ builds on my previous series ‘Awakenings (The Alpha)’ and ‘Awakenings Reloaded’ this is the third in the trilogy of the awakenings theme. They consist of a number of 15 cubes, 10 of which are wall mounted and 5 of which are suspended at varying heights from the ceiling, allowing the viewer a full 360 degree view of the works, also inspired by the landscape, what we perceive as everyday and perhaps ordinary, the places we merely glance at without allowing ourselves to get lost in the breathtaking creation and beauty that surrounds us. This visual influence is determined by the surrounding landscape of my environment, but its intention is primarily as a catalyst in expressing divinity and is therefore secondary to this expression, the primary purpose being process, allowing and presence. Also the cubes question and challenge the staple of painting being confined to the two dimensional surface, pushing the boundaries into the third dimension. The cubes suggesting the dichotomy of spirit, being all things in all directions at once and is also a more literal translation of the work of post impressionist painter Cezanne and the subsequent Cubist movement, however the painted surfaces of my work has more in common with the Romantic philosophy , in particular that of Turner.