Brian Whelan

Brian Whelan grew up in London, of Irish parents. After his training at the Royal Academy of Arts, he lived and worked in the East Anglia area of England near the North Sea for over 25 years.

Brian’s journey as an artist began its definitive gateway just outside his own studio door, in the medieval churches and dwellings of East Anglia. The vestiges of the medieval art form resonate with Brian’s Irish Catholic roots, back to a time when there was one church and from its painted walls great stories were told. His oeuvre, like much medieval art, depicts a sublime comedy of life’s glories and tragedies.

In addition to painting religious subjects, Brian also feels compelled to paint London, the city of his birth. He has discovered that only from the safety of his studio in the countryside can he produce these cityscapes, as if memory proves to be the only way the vast subject matter can be put into a work of art. He accomplishes this by using multi-perspectives and contradictory scales, bending, twisting and organising the urban chaos into harmony.

Brian’s work has been exhibited extensively and highlights from the recent past include an international tour in 2010 of The Quiet Men, works inspired by the London-Irish diaspora, which visited West London’s PM Gallery, where award winning journalist Fergal Keane opened the exhibition; the Celtic Fringe show at the Liceo de Noya Institute in Galicia Spain; and the Villanova University Art Gallery in Philadelphia. The tour was accompanied by the publication of the London Irish Painting Book by the Irish Embassy and Irish World Newspaper.

The Exchange written by Brian and Jeff Frohner (Pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, San Clemente, California) was published in 2011 and in 2012 Brian showcased his cityscape paintings at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery on Pall Mall, St James, London during the summer Olympics in a show opened by the Popes Band with three songs ‘live and unplugged’. In the same year, Agenda Editions published An Unscheduled Life with words by award winning poet Joseph Horgan and drawings by Brian and Brian contributing to the group exhibition ‘Art Alive’ in honour of the late Mary Fedden at the Chelsea Westminster Hospital…also known as the ‘Tate Hospital’.

Since 2013, he and his American wife, Wendy Roseberry, have split their time between the Waterford Studio in Virginia, the UK and Ireland, while Mandell’s Gallery on historic Elm Hill in Norwich, England continues to represent and exhibit Brian’s work in the UK.

2015 is devoted to Brian’s ‘The Passion of Edith Cavell’ exhibition, a commission from Norwich Cathedral. This international tour began in Washington DC at the National Cathedral in 2014, with a stop in early summer 2015 in Brussels and its final resting place and installation at Norwich Cathedral during September and October 2015, the 100 year anniversary of Edith Cavell’s execution.

2016 finds Brian preparing for his ‘Holy City’ solo exhibition at the Washington National Cathedral during Easter – a celebration of the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Discussions are also underway regarding an exhibition with The Jubilee Museum in Columbus, Ohio. On the 18th and 19th of June, Brian will open his studio for the Summer Solstice and again on Oct 1st and 2nd for the Waterford Fair Home Tours.

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