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A professional Mixed Media Artist based in the heart of Cheshire, Louise O’Hara creates her work in her home studio. She originally studied Fashion and Textiles at degree level, then later went on to gain a PGCE In Adult Education. From then, she taught art courses for over a decade at numerous levels including Foundation Degree. The passion for art and creativity shared by her students sparked the decision to leave teaching and become a full time artist.
Her style has been described as quintessentially English, romantic and nostalgic. She explores the richness of light, colour and texture that she observes around her. Often focusing on rugged northern landscapes with brooding skies and lighter coastal scenes, which are based on the memory of a place or a childhood holiday, each piece produced is usually made from a collection of places visited by Louise both as a child and as an adult.
“I don’t want the viewer to be anchored to one place but, instead, reminisce about memories and experiences they have had themselves. During My Masters Degree in Fashion and Textiles I discovered ‘wabi Sabi’ and the ethos of ‘beauty in imperfection’; this really captures my inspirations and the work which I produce, I am influenced by tactile aged surfaces like peeling paint on walls and fabrics which are threadbare but laden with memories and stories to tell. It’s tremendously important that these textiles and ephemera are salvaged from a previous life, reclaimed and given a new lease of life.”
Louise O’Hara begins to create her art work by gluing hand painted papers and hand dyed vintage fabrics to heavy weight paper or canvas, then uses a sewing machine to not only anchor the pieces but also as a tool to draw with, adding details to boulder-strewn fells, ramshackle fences, and the shifting waves and eddies of sullen grey seas. Often, she will use a soldering iron to create burns or a leaden effect allowing the picture to become three dimensional and tactile.