Barbican Arts Group Trust

Jonathan O'Dea


Jonathan was born in the West of Ireland but moved to London with his family in 1988 at the age of 12. He attended St Martin’s Art College between 1995 and 1996 were he completed his Foundation Studies in Art and Design. After a period of time away from art, in 2001 Jonathan decide to return to art were he spent 2 years building up a body of work Jonathan. In 2003 with the support of the Prince’s Trust Jonathan presented his first solo exhibition. Since 2003 Jonathan has had a number of solo exhibitions, and has also been involved a series of group shows in Britain and in Ireland. Currently Jonathan is working on a number of visual art projects in relation to the development of the Cultural Olympiad. Jonathan has also participated in a touring exhibition in March 2009, celebrating Irish and Chinese Culture.


Change and movement is at the heart of Jonathan’s work. This has developed out of the basic principles of experimentation, building on random ideas, than developing them into defined and fully realised pieces of work. The physicality of Jonathan’s work rangers from the liner style of painting to highly textured work. From this Jonathan has developed two strands to his work, abstract landscapes and purely abstract work based on urban environments. Jonathan’s work is brought together by reflecting on both sides of his life, his passed life in rural Ireland and his current life in London. Jonathan uses his art to reconcile these two very different environments

Through his work Jonathan also addresses the complexities between English and Irish culture by exploring the positive common dominators between these two cultures, questioning the post-colonial relationship between England and Ireland. Jonathan’s work achieves this by the using abstract ideas and combined use of materials in his work, seeing abstract art as metaphor for identity.