Debut Exhibition Zest coming to SMAC Space Studios
Tighes Hill-based creative space, SMAC Space Studios is playing host to an eclectic show by Newcastle local artist, Clare O’Hara and her debut exhibition, ZEST, kicking off with an opening night on the 27th of May, and you’re invited!
The ever-so-bubbly Clare O’Hara has created a collection of pieces that reflect every piece her personality, bold and bright colours. Setting up her debut exhibition at SMAC Space Studios, the opening night is set to be an evening dedicated to a celebration of colour, art, and fun!
Originally from Sydney, Clare has been in Newcastle since 2014 following career paths surrounding art, fashion, and the local pub scene. After a few tumultuous years, art became Clare’s expressive therapy - leading us to ZEST.
“I was thinking about what was next for me, and I was using art as therapy for myself. Then a few people ordered things and they loved it. It’s just flowed on from there. It’s all very organically grown since the get go,” Clare said.
Having always had a creative flair, with her background in fashion design and styling, Clare finally took the plunge into the art world moving into her own studio in Mayfield East in November last year.
“I had my own space at home, and I had stuff everywhere. It was like what this studio is, but it was in the middle of my living room. So, I knew I needed more space and I needed to separate work from home.”
“I got this space in November last year and it’s opened up so many doors and taken me to that next level. I can’t believe I have my own studio!”
Clare’s style of artwork is full of life and light - think lots of bright colours paired with metallic accents, resin work, and experimental textures. She draws a lot of inspiration from nature, with a heavy focus of painting animals, particularly birds.
“My style of work is generally pretty colourful and abstract. However, if I get a custom order, I can work with them on a particular colour palette. However, am naturally drawn to colour, and I love abstract and gold foiling; it really makes artworks pop! I love big scale pieces and I also really love animals!”
Catching up with Clare to hear all about her creative journey, she shared that a number of Australian and locally based artists have shaped her own creative style. From Melbourne-based artist Jessie Breakwell and her quirky and whimsical pieces, Adelaide creative Tiff Manuell and her hand-painted accessories, Sydney-based Ken Done for his interpretation of Australian landmarks, and local artist Prudence De Marchi; Clare is well in-tune with the art world around her.
Having moved into her Mayfield-based studio in November, it wasn’t long before the concept of pulling together an exhibition came to life. Having looked around our local gallery options, one step inside the industrial space that is SMAC Space Studios, Clare was sold.
“People kept asking if I was going to do an exhibit, which I guess is the natural next step. When I actually did some business planning, I realised that an exhibit would actually be a great thing to work towards. When I was looking around at different galleries to host the exhibition, I really liked the industrial rawness at SMAC.”
The debut exhibition, ZEST, will be a physical culmination of everything that Clare has worked towards over the past few months and in some ways, a true representation of who Clare is, inside and out.
“Opening night will be a lot of fun and vibrant and anyone is welcome. It’s a big celebration of colourful art. I wanted fun and approachable vibes for the exhibition and ultimately, I wanted to have a party! I want it to truly be a showcase of everything art, colour, fun, and me!”
Whilst the opening night is set to be an evening of fun vibes larger than life, the entire exhibition will be showcased all weekend long at SMAC Space Studios wrapping up on the afternoon of the 29th of May. For those who have not attended an exhibition opening before, this might be the perfect opportunity to dip your toes into the world of art exhibitions!
Opening Night is running from 6pm-9pm on Friday the 27th of May, makes for a great spot to pop into after work for a browse, a drink, and even enjoy some nibbles. And guess what? It's a FREE event! For those who can't make it along to opening night, you can still drop into the ZEST exhibition from 10am-3pm on Saturday 28th of May, and Sunday the 29th of May.
With big plans beyond the upcoming exhibition, including being invited onboard a superyacht in Croatia this July to paint with guests, and hopes to work towards creating murals alongside Jacinta Fintan and even Newcastle's Big Picture Fest, we've got good feelings about Clare O'Hara's future in the local, and broader art world.