Sonia Shiel

Written by Lara on . Posted in Artists

(b.1975) lives and works in Dublin.

Sonia Shiel’s immersive and performative installations expand the spatial and temporal boundaries presumed of painting by inviting the viewer to inhabit them as if a protagonist in the landscape, or the studio, or the street-scape, or in the artist’s mind itself. Often free-standing or set away from the wall, her paintings are oddly 3-dimensional, forming installations or fictional landscapes-cum-terrains. Whether house-size, calendar-size; soft, hard; still or moving they originate as oil on canvas works, and are later variously appropriated into other forms and onto other structures. Sometimes the works take on other lives; in animation and performances where they are the subject, the set, or the prop; and in architectural interventions where their facade’s dimensionality is just painted-on, knowingly existing somewhere between real art and fake. A similar self-reflexive dichotomy between the ‘artist’s’ idealistic intentions and the adversities that contaminate the ‘artist’s’ actual agency has come to dominate her work’s many far-fetched narratives.

She has had exhibitions at VOID, Derry; The Glucksman Gallery, Cork; Rua Red, Dublin; The Crawford Gallery, Cork; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the ISCP, New York; The Cable Factory, Helsinki, Atelier Frankfurter; the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, the RHA Galleries, Ormston House, Limerick; the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, among others. Shiel has been the recipient of many awards including the Tony O’Malley Award from the Butler Gallery and the Hennessy Craig Award from the RHA. She is represented by the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin and her work features in many international public and private collections, including the DLR Municipal Collection; the Arts Council of Ireland, the City of Frankfurt, the Glucksman Gallery and the Office of Public Works. Rectangle, Squared (2018) is a series of recent short stories and plays created as UCD’s Artist in Residence for Arts and Humanities, at the Department of English, Drama and Film from 2016-18. Other residencies and fellowships include the Art and Law Program, New York; the ISCP, New York;  HIAP, Helsinki; The Kulturbunker, Frankfurt; Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin; and the Leighton Artists Studios residency at The Banff Centre, Alberta. Her current work is supported by the Arts Council and the DCC Visual Artists Bursaries for 2018.


Artist Website | Reviews | Publications

Download CV here.


Links to previous shows;

Rectangle, a written thing, 04.05 – 27.05 2017

Here, While the Bees are Sleeping, 30 April – 30 May 2015

Group Exhibition – Instant Crush, July 4 – August 2 2014

Selective Perspectives, Group Show, 30 May – 27 June 2013

The Human Race – 12 January – 11 February 2012

Group Show – Preview 2012, 20 December 2011 – 6 January 2012