March 3 - 26 2005
Laurence O'Toole was born in Bray, County Wicklow in 1968. He launched his career with a number of solo-exhibitions in corporate and public spaces in and around Dublin before migrating to the United States. He subsequently held a series of successful group and solo-shows in San Diego, California and Arizona with the California Artists Guild and the National Group Showing. Whilst pursuing a professional career in fine art, Laurence has worked as a motion picture set and scenery artist. To date, he has collaborated with many eminent artists and directors on films such as Michael Collins, The Count of Monte Cristo, the award-winning Saving Private Ryan and, more recently, King Arthur. He has since returned to Ireland and, due to significant success, has elected to focus his attention on a career as a fine artist.
In the summer of 2003, Laurence was chosen by the organisers of the televised Festival of Arts Competition in Padru, Sardinia to represent Ireland. Out of the thirty participating European artists, Laurence was awarded second prize and had works accepted into their permanent collection. His inaugural solo-exhibition at the Oisín Gallery promptly followed and featured a storyboard-style visual installation of incandescent figurative & skycape paintings on broad canvases. The show received favourable coverage and resulted in a number of exhibition invitations and commissions from private collectors and financial institutions in both Dublin & London, including the Office of Public Works.
A recent move to Carlow, however, has seen a measured change in both his choice of subject matter and style. Today, Laurence's concern is with challenging traditional ways of interpreting and framing the landscapes of Ireland. As our urban and rural environments are, often controversially, undergoing irrevocable change due to the acceleration of development; Laurence depicts Eden-like scenes on the periphery of cities to emphasise this gradual decline of our bucolic surroundings. His very unique and subtle way of blurring the boundaries between the physical and fantasy offers dramatic interpretations of nature and its elemental forces. The resulting compositions and palette are both evocative and meditative, whilst witty titles offer inexhaustible interpretations of these elegant geological records. Antoinette Sinclair, Curator
Paintings in the exhibition