Áine Osborne is a Dublin-based artist. She has always had an interest in the materiality of paint, making her own first oil paintings at just eight years old. Áine’s work explores themes relating to the natural world, the passing of time and the relationship between labour and art. She explores these themes through large scale oil paintings, experimenting with abstraction. Her colour field paintings are immersive in scale, with careful attention to colour mixing. She has participated in group shows at DIVA (2022 and TEETH 2023) and also the IADT student exhibition In the Making: Butter at Pallas Projects (2023).
The materiality of paint intrigues me. You can’t predict how paint will respond, it has a life of its own. I have explored this through large scale paintings studying light and movement, specifically on the surface of water. I interact with the water and my exchange is what I paint. I’m also interested in how art intersects with labour. My project was influenced by my father’s involvement in the restoration of the Garden House at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in 1988, shortly before the establishment of IMMA.
I want to create something immersive, like you’re almost inside it. I’ve developed this work responding to my personal attachment to colour. My way of understanding is through the act of making. With the blue series, I threw myself into the blue. The red work for me feels like a moment in time. The dusty red hue of this work is nostalgic, it doesn’t reference danger or warning.
In this thesis I discuss art, work and maintenance. When I discuss work, I am not only referring to work as physical labour or compensated labour, but also as a product of the result of effort. When I discuss maintenance I am speaking about the constant role of working to preserve something. Maintenance is constant, ever changing and developing. Through dissecting the relationship between work and art I have concluded that maintenance is at the centre of both work and the creative process. My discussion of maintenance develops into the labour of art and the understanding of artistic labour. I was influenced by my personal experience with maintenance at IMMA as my father worked there restoring parts of the main building and the roof of the Garden House. I have created a case study of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and have broken down works by Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Clodagh Emoe and other artists for whom ‘work’ is a central theme or of importance to their practice. I conducted an interview with IMMA artist-in residence, Clodagh Emoe about this topic. Emoe’s work Crocosmia × is housed in IMMA and requires a unique approach in maintaining it. I have used archival images from my father’s time at IMMA as well as being informed by the criticisms of Helen Molesworth and Petra Lang-Berndt.