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Born in Limerick in 1950, Shinnors spent time in the early 1970s studying at the Limerick School of Art under influential local artist, Jack Donovan. Combining juxtaposed abstract shapes with familiar motifs such as lighthouses, cattle, sheep, scarecrows and kites, the present work is a seminal example of Shinnor's bold expressive style. He is known for his three-tone colour schemes executed on a large scale and his use of contrast with light and dark pigments lend both balance and a sense of pattern to his work. He has cited Rembrandt and Vermeer as central to his understanding of the interplay between light and shade.
λ John Shinnors (Irish b. 1950), 'Rising Kite, Clare Island Cycle', Oil on canvas | Est. £10,000-15,000 (+Fees)
Shinnors developed his mature abstract style in the early 1990s moving away from a more realist approach of earlier years. The emblematic kite has since become a recurring theme in his painting and, as the artist himself explained, one that was central to his artistic development: '...I was in Kilkee, out on George's Head. It was a miserable day, with a grey mist over everything. Looking down, there was a tiny white figure moving against the rock, and I saw a flash of yellow in the sky. It was a child playing with a kite, and something clicked. It had all the elements - the human presence, air, sky and sea, a kind of dynamic interaction, and me, an interpreter, which is what I count myself as now...' (Shinnors in conversation with Aidan Dunne, John Shinnors, Gandon Editions, Kinsale, 2002, p.18). The present work, painted in 1998, on the mountainous Clare Island off the coast of County Mayo, returns once again to the powerful image of the kite - in its monumental form, the kite whilst always recognisable, becomes one with the harmonious juxtaposition of shapes and forms that complete the composition.
Shinnors has exhibited widely across Ireland, represented by Taylor Galleries in Dublin. His work is held by numerous public and private collections such as the Arts Council of Ireland, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Limerick City Art Gallery and the National Self Portrait Collection. He has also been involved in supporting the visual arts in Ireland with the Shinnors Scholarship for an MA in Curatorial Studies in partnership with LIT, LSAD and Limerick City Gallery of Art and the Shinnors Drawing Award at LCGA.