Self-taught Wicklow artist assembles a hugely prosperous inaugural exhibition in Arklow



Burgeoning Arklow artist Niki Keane is around the moon with the fantastic reception she been given at the launch of her first solo exhibition in Arklow Library very last week.

he 27 piece exhibition, which operates until the conclude of September, is comprised of two different styles of operate, showcasing equally Nikki’s steam punk assemblages and her summary fluid artwork.

“We experienced a amazing turnout, it couldn’t have long gone any better,” Niki mentioned. “I was saved busy the total evening chatting to persons, and ended up promoting five items, which I’m totally delighted with.

“I had tons of assistance from area artists on the evening and owe a large thank you to so numerous people today. In particular, Carl Byrne for facilitating the exhibition, Martina Kinch and Edel Thomson for aiding to dangle the displays and, of program, all the incredible employees at Arklow Library.”

Initially from Sandyford in Dublin, Niki moved to Arklow more than 15 many years back. She experienced labored as a computer software engineer for about 20 many years, in advance of she was made redundant in 2017.

“That’s when I took some time off to re-evaluate my options,” Niki stated. “I then uncovered my passion for artwork and made a decision to pursue it. It was a scary stage, but I am so happy I took it. I haven’t appeared again given that, and have basically spent the last five a long time honing my craft.”

Niki is a self-described ‘mixed media artist’, who has a passion for functioning with old, broken or uncovered objects. She takes jewellery, Do it yourself merchandise, wire, metal or wood and turns them into gorgeous assemblages and unique pieces of art.

“I generally attempt to perform with as significantly recycled substance as doable,” Niki stated. “That could be bits from the Diy lose or broken jewellery. Broken printers are fantastic for plastic cogs and gears. I’ll use just about anything I can get my arms on really. All my mates and household now have jars in their houses exactly where they conserve things for me!

“I am encouraged by mechanical, industrial and Steampunk aesthetics and this is mirrored in my work,” Niki extra. “Quite a few parts make a statement on the world all over us or, especially in the individually commissioned items, explain to a story.”

Much like the old commemorative bronzed shoe, Niki’s assemblages, or “3d collages” as she describes them, have demonstrated to be incredibly well-known with private folks. She builds private items for her purchasers, for milestone birthdays and anniversaries, employing sentimental tokens of their choosing.

Niki has also designed a penchant for fluid portray just lately. She spelled out that she derives inspiration from the electric power of natural absolutely free-flowing movement, colors, power and harmony. Her goal is to evoke emotion, pleasure, positivity and splendor with her fluid art.

“I just appreciate abstract artwork, particularly abstract painting,” Niki mentioned. “I observe fluid acrylic art, an abstract artwork kind in which paints are designed much more fluid applying different mediums and then manipulated on the canvas working with strategies these as airflow, hearth, palette knives and gravity. So, no two items will at any time be the identical.”

In the upcoming Niki plans to create a workshop in her again yard, so that she can extend into steel perform and welding artwork.

“I have been producing some copper sculptures and accomplishing some soldering. I by now have welding gear, I just need to make some room to truly go at it. I’m quite excited about it.”

Niki’s art is held in private collections in Ireland, the Uk and the US, like a lot of individually commissioned pieces. Despite the fact that this is her 1st solo exhibition, she has experienced a couple of modest items in exhibitions about the earlier couple of several years, with her first team exhibition held in the Arklow Visible Arts Gallery in 2020.

Before this calendar year Niki’s steampunk piece entitled ‘broken’, which is currently on clearly show in Arklow Library, was picked as on of 60 winners of the Earth Recovery Challenge Exhibition 2022 . The on the web group gallery, which was hosted by the Labyrinth Gallery in Brighton, consisted of 60 global artists perform, which experienced been whittled down by a jury of industry experts from an original 400 candidates.

Niki’s current exhibition will operate right until the end of September and will feature on Arklow’s Tradition evening, on September 23, as one particular of the places on the Arklow ‘Culture Crawl’

For additional information about Niki and her artwork, go to www.nikikeaneart.ie

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