Liam Treacy Retrospective
Liam Treacy was a native of Avoca, Co. Wicklow, where his family on both sides have lived for many generations.During his early years Liam showed a strong interest in drawing and was encouraged and influenced by his brother Sean. In 1952 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was moved to Newcastle Hospital, Co. Wicklow. While confined to bed Liam’s brother Sean encouraged him to paint and a completed picture was hung over his bed. It was at Newcastle where Liam met two men who were to have a lasting influence on his life path, the first was Dr. Noel Browne, who was Assistant Medical Superintendent at the hospital and Liam was one of his patients. On his ward rounds Dr. Browne was so impressed with Liam’s art work he told Liam that he knew a professional artist he would like to introduce to him. The artist was Yann Renard Goulet, the sculptor of considerable renown and art professor, who was to become the second man of major lasting influence on the course of Liam’s life. Yann Goulet gave him drawing lessons from a still life composition he arranged at the end of Liam’s bed and some drawing paper to practise on. Yann Goulet was so impressed with Liam’s work that he resolved to continue tutoring him and introdiuced him to the paintings of Claude Monet, the first great artist’s work Liam had ever seen or studied and it was Monet, more than any other artist, who influenced Liam’s life work. By 1956 he was painting “en plain air” on the hospital grounds both stimulated and intrigued by the constantly changing light on the landscape and how this came about. His distinctive impressionist style developed. In 1957 he held his first solo exhibitioin at a gallery in Arklow, sponsored by the former Brennans Bakery, with whom he had an association. In 1958 he was able to move back home to his beloved Avoca and he began cycling around his local area painting. In the 1960’s he had many jobs from teaching art and painting signs. Throiughout his career he shared his talents by teaching art to the prisoners at Shelton Abbey Detention Centre, a position he was to remain in until 1995 and for many years he was the art teacher at Arklow Community College holding night classes, teaching his students how to use paint in a colourful and impressionistic way. In the late 1960’s Liam met Mary Jameson from Wicklow, they married in the 1970’s and Liam was often heard describing Mary as his “greatest critic and best friend”. As his paintings were becoming so sought after, it was in 1978 that Liam took up Painting full-time and made a very successful career which is testimony to the sheer quality of his work as an artist with such a distinctve style and every stroke he applied to the canvas had meaning. He was described as “a sensitive artist and his blending of colours can cleverly convey the changing skyline of the Irish countryside”. He exhibited regularly with The James Gallery, Dalkey and had many solo-exhibitions there, his first two-man show with his friend Norman McCaig in 1985 sold out on the first night. He frequently featured at the Wexford Opera Festival, the R.H.A., and was a regular contributor in galleries across Ireland and abroad. EXHIBITIONS: The James Gallery, Dublin Kilakee Art Gallery, Dublin Robinson Gallery, Dublin Wexford Opera Festival Dillon Gallery, London Oriel Gallery, Dublin Kennedy Gallery, Dublin Bray Art Gallery, Wicklow Kenny Gallery, Galway Kilcock Gallery,Cork Arts Society, Eakin Gallery, Belfast Concept Gallery, Pittsburgh, USA,Irish Impressionists, Bavaria, Germany & Gallery 4, Sandymount.
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