New Art Collection 'Chrysalis' Celebrates Transfeminine Subjects

On May 9 artist Eva O'Donovan will launch 'Chrysalis,' a collection of paintings depicting transfeminine subjects contacted through TENI.

Painting of Aoife from Chrysalis

A new collection of paintings, ‘Chrysalis’ by Eva O’Donovan, goes on show for one day only on May 9th at Rotunda, Dublin City Hall, featuring portraits of transfeminine subjects contacted through the Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). An official opening will take place from 6.00pm to 8.30pm.

The exhibition will move to Dublin City Council’s Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 from May 27 through 31, 2019.

For this collection of portraits, O’Donovan continues her distinctive oil on vintage fabric style, this time working with live models. She remains focused on the essence of femininity but for this collection celebrates and explores a broader conception of the term. In an attempt to redress the lack of visibility of those identifying as transfeminine in the visual arts and portraiture in particular, the artist collaborated with TENI to find subjects for the ‘Chrysalis’ series. The artist and sitters aim to promote positive visibility and the rights of trans people (and their families) by presenting a collection of powerful portraits featuring members of the transfeminine and broader TENI community.

O’Donovan has worked closely with the participants featured in the paintings and their input has been key to the success of the project. Working from styled photographs and fabrics, they made key choices during the process and had final approval on the resulting canvasses. Much time was spent developing relationships before any work commenced.

“This project has taken almost a year to put together and it has been a year of great growth and fun,” says O’Donovan.

Working with O’Donovan on the project were stylist Kieran Kilgallon and photographer Micheál Masterson. Much appreciated support and donations towards the cost of the exhibition have been given by Dublin City Council, CPL, The Shed Distillery, and Care Plus.

Further displays of ‘Chrysalis’ are planned for around the country later in the year and into 2020.

Chrysalis portrait of a subject named Alice
‘Alice,’ a portrait from the ‘Chrysalis’ collection

About the Artist

Eva O’Donovan is an NCAD Fine Art graduate living and working in Dublin.

She has previously exhibited at Sol Gallery (solo show), Art & Style at Brown Thomas, Art Source (RDS), AFF Battersea (selected artist) and Hendrix College, Arkansas (currently). She has been featured in magazines from The Gloss to Dazzle (Japan) and her work is in private and commercial collections throughout Ireland, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Iceland, the United States of America and Germany.

More of O’Donovan’s work can be found on her website.

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