Artist Orla Mellon is passionate about painting animals, honing her fascination with the subject into her unique art, which juxtaposes pattern and vibrant colour beside these beautiful creatures, so connected to us and to the earth itself.
As a child, Orla’s father in Omagh took her fishing, hunting for rabbits and when it came to Christmas, even had her plucking the turkey too. This imbued a deep appreciation of where her food came from, and a connection to the animals we so often take for granted. It wouldn’t take long before these visceral experiences found their way into her art.
Meanwhile, her love for pattern originated more than 20 years ago, during her degree in fashion and textiles at Belfast School of Art. There she focused on surface decoration and started incorporating repeat pattern into her work. Travel preceded her first solo exhibition, Dreams Down Under, and the following years were highly productive, with a stint as an art technician and another three solo shows – one in Hidden Places in Derry, as well as Between Heaven and Earth, and A Forgotten Past in Belfast. Further study – a postgraduate diploma in Art & Design education in Manchester – enabled Orla to teach art at secondary school level Scotland, while love took her back to Dublin and her first solo exhibition in the capital, Hunted, in the Front Lounge bar.
Now married with two young children, Orla still teaches art, while producing her own work in her home studio in Dublin. Her work, so easily accessible, is in high demand, sold all over Ireland and the UK and as far as Australia, the US, France, Germany, Poland, Holland and Norway. She is currently available for commissions.