‘Niamh O’Malley’s artwork reveals a profound appreciation for the act of trying. Trying to catch a certain slant of light, trying to prove a pattern or uncover a composition, trying to fathom a mountain, trying to hold time still. Working with the moving image, mark making and sculptural materials such as glass and wood, O’Malley’s work attempts to contain and reflect the weight and wonder of the world in its becoming. It is the act of trying, in the face of predictable failure, that gives way to conviction and a sense of hope within the artist’s work. Full of reflection, both literal and metaphorical, filled with absence and framed by negative space, O’Malley’s work asserts something unstoppable about the human spirit, something that neither distance nor death can extinguish’ Exhibition text by Kate Strain, Grazer Kunstverein, 2018
O’Malley has made numerous solo exhibitions in recent years including Irish Pavilion, 59th Venice Art Biennale (2022), The Model, Sligo Ireland (2023), Temple Bar Gallery & Studios (2023), Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (2023), mother’s tankstation limited (2020), Royal Hibernian Academy (2019), Lismore Castle Arts (2019), Grazer Kunstverein (2018), Bluecoat Liverpool (2015), Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2017) & (2015) a five venue solo show called ‘The Mayo Collaborative’ Ireland (2013), ‘Garden’, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2013) Ha Gamle Prestegard, Norway (2012), ‘Model’, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2011), ‘Island’, Centre Culturel Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (2010), ‘Frame, Glass, Black’ Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France (2010), ‘Echo’, Gaain Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2010), ‘No Distance’, Void, Derry, Northern Ireland (2009). A selection of group exhibitions include Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, CAG, Vancouver, KARST, Plymouth, eva International, Biennale of Visual Art, Limerick, Eli & Edythe Broad Museum, Michigan, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Galleria Civica di Modena, White Box, New York, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Germany, Maria Stenfors, London
Her work is included in numerous private & public collections including Stefan Stolitzka Collection, Graz, The Hugh Lane, Dublin City Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Arts Council of Ireland, Office of Public Works, Ireland & Galleria Arte Moderna, Turin, FRAC Méca-Nouvelle Aquitaine, France. O’Malley received a PhD in practice-led research from University of Ulster, Belfast in 2003.
Publications include, ‘Gather’ (monograph) 2022, texts by Brian Dillon, Lizzie Lloyd, Eimear McBride, Published Ireland at Venice, ‘Niamh O’Malley’ (monograph) 2019, texts by Claire Louise Bennett, Isobel Harbison, Published Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. ‘Niamh O’Malley’ (monograph) 2015 foreword by John Hutchinson, essay by Rebecca O'Dwyer, ‘Niamh O’Malley’(monograph) 2013 essays by Luke Gibbons, Matt Packer, Patrick Murphy, published Linenhall Arts Centre, Co Mayo, Ireland; ‘Viewfinder’, essay Chris Fite-Wassilak published Centro Cultural Montehermoso,Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; Torch (monograph) 2008, essay Brian Dillon, design Robin Watkins, published TBGS, Dublin; ‘Window’ (monograph) 2006, essay Maeve Connolly, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy. Residency awards include Funen Art Academy, Denmark, 2014, HIAP, Helsinki & IMMA, Dublin, 2008, Firestation Artists Studios, 2005-8, International Studio Programme Residency at PS1, MoMa, 2003/04 and the Northern Irish Fellowship at The British School at Rome, 2000.
Niamh O’Malley in her Studio at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, 2021
Photograph by Dragana Jurisic (www.draganajurisic.com)
Courtesy Ireland at Venice 2022