This body of new work by Una Sealy RHA explores the Dublin north side suburbs from Baldoyle to Howth, the area where she grew up and returned to after 20 years, to bring up her own family. The Edge refers to the edge of town, the edge of land where it meets the sea, and the edge where childhood meets adulthood, depicted in landscapes, seascapes, and portraits of teenagers and young people who are growing up in same environs as the artist.
Some things have changed: The old factory, which has always been there, is now derelict and earmarked for redevelopment, which will dramatically change the nature of this old fashioned village. Sealy has painted the crumbling industrial site before it is transformed into gleaming apartments and retail units. Some things stay the same: the timeless cliff path to the lighthouse, Baldoyle estuary and the beach, remembered from early childhood, and somehow ingrained in the psyche. Some things are in constant flux: the faces of teenagers changing on a daily basis, which Sealy sees in her own children and their friends. And there’s always the train, a constant moving presence, with its overhead wires, signals and paraphernalia, connecting – the edge – to the city.
Una Sealy RHA was awarded the Adam’s Award for the Artist with the most potential for Future Appreciation at the RHA Annual Exhibition 2015, and was one of 12 finalists shortlisted for the inaugural Hennessy Portrait Award at the NGI in 2014. Sealy was awarded the Ireland-US Council/Irish Arts Review Award for Outstanding Portraiture, in 2011 at the 181st RHA Annual Exhibition and has been awarded several Arts Council bursaries including a Travel and Training award for a period of study in France in 2013. Sealy has been selected for curated group shows in San Francisco, New York and Britain as well as many in Ireland, exhibiting regularly at the RHA Annual Exhibition since 1991.
She was elected a full Member of the RHA in 2016, having been first elected to Associate in 2010. Her work is in many public and private collections, including the Haverty Trust, Fingal County Council, Boyle Civic Collection, Little Museum of Dublin, Office of Public Works, Commission for Energy Regulation, National Self Portrait Collection, and Great Book of Ireland. This is her 9th solo exhibition.