Art gifts

Scientist James O’Hanlon shares the art of ‘Plan B’ | Inverell times

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Scientist-turned-artist James O’Hanlon presents his first solo exhibition at New England’s creative hub, The Makers Shed, this fall, featuring an array of works inspired by exploration, discovery, and pushing the boundaries of nature. perception. After moving to the New England area with his family five years ago to start a new job, James says he never imagined changing careers and becoming a freelance artist and illustrator with a nifty side hustle. in the murals. “This region has been the backbone of my creative career and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support, enthusiasm and opportunities given to me by local people, businesses and organizations,” he says. -he. James said art had been a hobby for most of his career. “[It was] an indulgence when I had free time and inspiration,” he says. “Perhaps because of this, my art has become a means of complete escape. The subjects of my art come from other worlds and universes, idiots that probably don’t make much sense. “Why? Because I can, and that’s the gift art gives us, isn’t it?” said James. During his scientific career, James spent years exploring the natural world, so it’s no surprise that quirky animal characters feature heavily in his work. “I’ve always admired artists who create their own little worlds to explore and fill them with endearing creatures,” he says. “Whether it’s the cute clay world of Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit, or the dark, gritty world of comedic artists like Greg Capullo and Todd McFarlane [both North American comic book artists], I like to get a glimpse of the spirit and passions of the creators themselves. “Changing the world is hard in real life, but fictional worlds give us a sandbox in which to play and explore new possibilities before we can take the first steps towards making change in the real world.” Throughout the Plan B works, art lovers will encounter themes of exploration and discovery; small characters encountering new environments and pushing the limits of their perception. “I enjoy creating expressive characters placed in absurd circumstances to explore ideas about how we perceive our own life experiences,” says James. “I celebrate the underdogs, the problem solvers, the ugly ducklings, the fish out of water and the just plain unlucky.” I use a range of mediums including acrylic, watercolor, ink and digital art to tell stories and hopefully make people smile and calm down. laugh.” James said he took the plunge to focus on his art about two years ago, right at the start of the pandemic and with the arrival of his daughter, it’s been a hectic two years. is not a career path I would recommend others take,” he said. never thought I’d have, doing everything from illustrating books to learning to ride a scissor lift to painting large-scale murals. . “I work hard to be as much of an entrepreneur as I am a creative. “While I love bringing my own ideas to life, I also love being a service provider and helping other people’s visions come to life! I look to the future and am excited to work with more people and organizations to bring color and light into their lives and communities,” he said. Plan B works will be exhibited at the Makers Shed, 123 Gray Street Glen Innes. , until May 28.