Chris O’Hara makes abstract paintings on a large scale. His work is informed by the time he has spent working and travelling around the world, and by the desire to find peace or meaning in the material world.
Chris’s work is generally acrylic based on canvas. His work aspires to engage with the expansion of painting beyond a strict definition of paint applied with a brush. He experiments with materials, adding foreign substances such as coffee, sand and glue to the paint. Along with traditional brushes, he explores mark-making with a range of different tools; serrated knives, trowels and other instruments are included in the process. The work is physical; a culmination of actions and processes are testified to in each piece.
The work process is intuitive and direct; no sketches are made before working. Colour plays a vital role in the work, as a way to convey memories of places and references to different cultures, while also investigating the experiential value of colour. Patterns, shapes, and marks are applied, layered, scraped away, changed and reapplied, the work’s visible under-layers alluding to history and time. Patterns suggesting decorative and cultural art from around the world appear and reoccur alongside pure abstraction and sometimes slight figuration in an amalgamation of memory and experience.