CATHERINE  CREANEY
I am a self taught artist from Northern Ireland who has featured in many group exhibitions in the UK and Ireland. These include The Royal Hibernian Annual exhibition in Dublin, The Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition in Belfast and The Derwent Art Prize in London. I have received several awards for my work including The ESB Keating Award and Silver Medal for an outstanding art work at the 185th Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, First Place in the 2014 Artist’s Magazine All-Media Online Competition and twice winning The Drawing Prize and The Rowel Friers Perpetual Trophy at the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition.

Being self taught I have developed my practice by visiting galleries and museums, researching and viewing different techniques and learning by trial and error. This process of development has taken me from working in abstraction in my early years to the realism I create today. My influences range from periods such as the Renaissance to modern contemporary realism. I take influence from all forms of art including film, where I find lighting effects and scene compositions inspiring. The work of Lucian Freud and his almost brutal honesty in capturing people has also been an influence and I am inspired in my own work by this honesty.

The focus of my work lies mainly with portraiture. Lighting and expression being key areas that a lot of my compositions centre on. I use lighting to create a mood and enhance my compositions, being influenced by artists such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio and their use of chiaroscuro. I purposefully choose expressions in my portraits that can be open to interpretation and offer a glimpse into the internal world of the sitter. I have started incorporating backgrounds that also offer the viewer a possible insight into the subjects world. I intentionally create portraits that capture people as faithfully as possible. I find the character and perceived imperfections in a face show the unique identity and life of the subject. 

I work in the mediums of pastel, pencil, charcoal and oils, each medium offering different qualities to my practice. I develop my pieces from a combination of photographs and sketches of the sitter. I find the use of photography gives me the opportunity to capture fleeting and interesting expressions that can be harder to capture when a model is having to hold a pose for long periods. My technique in oils is a time consuming process, involving the development of the work in many layers and glazes and each piece can take many months to produce. Works in charcoal, pencil and pastel are less time consuming and can be produced in days to weeks depending one the medium, scale and detail of the work. 



​Awards
2017 The Don Niccolo d'Ardia Caracciolo medal and award at the 187th Royal Hibernian Academy Annual
Exhibition
2015 The ESB Keating Award and Silver Medal for an outstanding art work at the 185th Royal
Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition
2014 First Place in the 2014 Artist’s Magazine All-Media Competition
2014 Drawing Prize sponsored by the Tom Caldwell Installations at the Royal Ulster Academy’s
133rd Annual Exhibition
2014 The Rowel Friers Perpetual Trophy sponsored by Bewley’s Ltd at the Royal Ulster
Academy’s 133rd Annual Exhibition
2011 The drawing Prize sponsored by the Tom Caldwell Gallery at the Royal Ulster Academy’s
130th Annual Exhibition
2011 The Rowel Friers Perpetual Trophy sponsored by Bewley’s Ltd at the Royal Ulster
Academy’s 130th Annual Exhibition

Selected Group exhibitions:
2017 21st National Open Art Competition, London
2017 The Royal Ulster Academy’s 136th Annual Exhibition, The Ulster Museum, Belfast
2017 Royal Hibernian Academy 187th Annual Exhibition, Dublin
2016 Summer Exhibition, Gormleys Fine Art, Belfast, Dublin
2015 Royal Hibernian Academy 185th Annual Exhibition, Dublin
2015 Edinburgh Art Fair, Edinburgh 
2015 Semblance, Gormleys Fine Art, Belfast, Dublin
2014 The Royal Ulster Academy 133rd Annual Exhibition, The Ulster Museum, Belfast
2014 Trowbridge Arts Festival 2014, Trowbridge Arts, Trowbridge
2014 Derwent Art Prize, Mall Galleries, London
2014 Royal Hibernian Academy 184th Annual Exhibition, Dublin
2011 The Royal Ulster Academy’s 130th Annual Exhibition, The Ulster Museum, Belfast
2011 Christmas Exhibition, Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
2010 Summer Exhibition, Tom Caldwell Gallery, Belfast
2010 Carrie Neely Contemporary Christmas Exhibition at the Waterfront, Belfast
2009 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Eakin Gallery, Belfast
2009 Dungannnon Arts Festival, Linen Green, Dungannon
2009 Eakin Gallery, Belfast
2008 The Royal Ulster Academy 127th Annual Exhibition, The Titanic Quarters, Belfast
2008 Christmas Exhibition, Eakin Gallery, Belfast
2007 Dungannon Arts Festival, Linen Green, Dungannon
2006 The Royal Ulster Academy 125th Annual Exhibition, Ormeau Baths, Belfast

Media & Publications

INPA 7 (International painting annual 7), 2017
Art and Freedom XI - Artlibre, 2017
Strokes Of Genius 8: Expressive Texture (The Best of Drawing), 2016
Artist’s Magazine All-Media Competition, July/August edition of The Artist's Magazine, 2015
Revealing Expressions – Realistic art by Catherine Creaney, BHL- Bald Hiker Life, 2015
Against All Odds, Culture Northern Ireland, Features, March 2009
Eakin Gallery 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Inside Ireland, 2008
The Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Belfast Telegraph, Art Review, 2006
Exhibitions & Awards