A Belfast artist is set to launch her first solo exhibition – ANAM – this week at her gallery and studio on Ormeau Road. Anna McKeever, from south Belfast, will open the exhibition of thirteen oil-on-canvas works of art focusing on the soul and stoicism of the Irish people; North and South. ANAM, the Irish word for soul, also has wider associations with how the collective memory and experience of the island continues to impact us in modern times.

Anna is a former doctor who studied in Glasgow and worked in Ireland, the UK, Australia and New Zealand for ten years before returning home to Belfast in 2016. She started painting at school and produced works of art throughout his adult life. Her reputation quickly grew both locally and internationally, and she opened her own gallery on Ormeau Road in 2021. To date, her work has focused on bold, contemporary landscapes, art abstract and maritime. His original prints and paintings are highly sought after in Ireland, the UK and have been purchased by collectors in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia and the USA.

Speaking before the opening of ANAM, Anna said:

This exhibit is an exploration of what it means to be from the island of Ireland. What it means to be Irish, Northern Irish or both. There are things that are so deeply embedded in our identity that we hardly recognize that they are part of us. But we are all products of our past.

The Irish psyche is often tarnished in popular culture. For fit into a commercial narrative – a fairy tale land known for joviality and humor. But there is a much darker side to our story. We are proud people. We have known pain and we have known loss. We learned to talk a lot but often to say very little. We bury things very deep here. Even Freud said psychotherapy is lost for the Irish.

The the works in this exhibition are deliberately darker than my previous works. There are an undeniable darkness to this series. A darkness. A sweet stoicism. It’s the story of Ireland, but the themes are universal.

ANAM comprises thirteen paintings, all oil on canvas, and explores various themes from Irish history that have shaped our culture. These include the relationship between faith and the Irish people, famine, emigration, unrest, loneliness and human connection.

The collection includes locations across the island, including the Aran Islands, the Burren, Dublin, Omagh, Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula, among others.

Press Eye – Belfast – Northern Ireland – September 27, 2022 – Anna McKeever Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

ANAM opens to the public on 1st October at Anna McKeever Gallery, Level 2, 455 Ormeau Rd, Belfast BT7 3GQ. More details online at www.annamckeever.com or on instagram @anna_mckeever.

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