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For immediate release 5 December 2008
Villa Maria’s James O’Brien offers ‘a fresh view of
familiar things’ in his Summer Break exhibition
James O’Brien, as recognised for his work with children with disabilities at
Villa Maria as he is for his impressive brushwork, will open a new exhibition,
Summer Break, at Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club, 9-11 January 2009.
Portrayed as ‘a fresh view of familiar things’, the paintings celebrate summer
and the heat, the beach and the brilliant light of the sun on water to evoke a
world we all know from childhood. Even though the settings are distinctly
those of Point Lonsdale and Queenscliff, the impressions and the feelings
generated in these pictures are universal.
Local viewers will delight in recognising particular places and experiences;
strangers will feel that they too know these scenes.
James is a part time school teacher at Villa Maria’s St Paul’s College in Kew
that offers Early Childhood Intervention Services, a bridging program and a
comprehensive educational program for students aged 5 to 18 years with
disabilities (see www.villamaria.com.au ).
“We have a well-established sensory art program at St Paul’s and my
students never cease to inspire me with their spontaneous and uplifting
approach to self-expression,” says James.
James’ paintings have wide appeal and show lively form. Two paintings
entitled Effervescence show three girls rushing into the water in a flurry of
spray. Light so brilliant that it is almost white breaks the water into sparkling
surfaces and the girls run through this, unimpeded and free. The world James
depicts is both, idyllic and real, full of a happiness that is reflected in the clear
colours of his palette.
James has entered paintings for the Archibald Prize in past years featuring
the late Archbishop Sir Frank Little, the cricket legend David Boon and
Australian operatic tenor and composer David Hobson. He intends entering a
painting in next year’s contest.
Villa Maria’s James O’Brien offers ‘a fresh view of familiar things’ in his
Summer Break exhibition ADD 1 -
“My subject for next year’s Archibald Prize is Clarko, a former resident of Kew
Cottages for 40 years,” says James. “He has had his fair share of ‘hard
knocks’ but he is now lauded as one of the successes of
“These days Clarko is a member of the Choir of Hard Knocks and has
performed at countless venues including the Sydney Opera House,” says
James. “He has met a raft of famous Australians, including Prime Minister
Rudd on several occasions.”
The Summer Break exhibition will feature at the Point Lonsdale Surf Life
Saving Club, Corner Buckley’s and Ocean Road Point Lonsdale from January
9 to 11, 2009. For more information, contact James O’Brien on 0407 879 311
or visit www.jamesobrienart.com.au.
Villa Maria is a values–based organisation providing quality services and life
enhancing opportunities for older people and people with a disability.
From humble beginnings as the Catholic Braille Writers Association in 1907,
Villa Maria has grown to become one of Victoria’s largest providers of
disability, education and senior services, with more than 60 programs
supporting 5,000 people across Victoria.
For more information on Villa Maria’s services contact 9855 7600.
Media enquiries: Contact Marlene McIntyre on 9855 7729.