Veronica O'Leary Profile
BA Fine Arts. BA Literature. MA Visual Arts. Dip ED
Veronica has worked professionally as an artist for over 30 years and exhibited widely throughout Australia. She has been the recipient of several major art awards including the prestigious Glover Prize taking out Peoples Choice and Hangers Choice in 2020.
In 2010 The National Museum in Canberra acquired her 182 court drawings which she did for the Lindy Chamberlain trial in 1983 working as the ABC court artist. She has been a finalist in The Waterhouse Art Prize twice, the Mosman Art Prize, the Glover Prize, John Leslie Art Prize, the Basil Sellers Prize and the Blackstone Gallery works on paper Award.
Her formal arts training was at the National Gallery Art School in Melbourne initially as a printmaker. Her interest in painting and drawing developed as a need to escape process and be involved in immediacy of execution. Working with large scale works on paper and mark making with inks and paint allowed her to express a more lyrical line and be more spontaneous in her observations of the landscapes, botanicals and still life arrangements which inform her art practice. Colour is an important element in her drawings and paintings.
Her studio in coastal Tathra on the south coast of NSW is surrounded by National Parks, coastal bush and stretches of beaches and rocky headlands which inspire her landscape work. Time spent in isolation during lockdowns inspired a new series of food related paintings and still life which Veronica has called ‘tablescapes’.
In 2022 she was one of the artists chosen to be part of The Dutch Project at the West End Art Space in Melbourne. The exhibition celebrated the tradition of the Golden Age of Dutch Still Life painting which involved painting the fruits, flowers and food of the rising mercantile class. The notion was to portray the sensuous beauty of what was only temporal. Dark passages of light and dark accentuated the fragility of what was soon to perish. This chiaroscuro is used to effect in her latest series of food related paintings.