Led by artist Eoin O’Malley working with his facilitator Orla Callaghan this project covers the further research and development stages and final realisation of Eoin’s idea for a public collaborative wheel painting event called TRACKS.
Working primarily as a painter, Eoin first discovered the potential to use his wheel chair as a mark making tool at a residency in the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge in 2016 and went on to experiment with mentor Paul Bokslag on large scale floor drawings in KCAT in 2017. Since then Eoin has had the ambition to develop this area of work, always with a public preformative element in mind. Thanks to the formation of local art group Bart in Baltinglass as a result of Creative Places and a Seed Funding award Eoin has been able to develop the idea for a wheel painting event and has found the forum which can support the realisation of his ambition.
TRACKS which will be an event that aims to give the community of Baltinglass an exceptional opportunity to experience creativity in a very innovative way and reach out across all ages and abilities. Eoin will invite the people of Baltinglass to come and join him in making large scale floor paintings using all kinds of wheels. Skateboards, bikes, buggies, mobility scooters and possibly even motor bikes, all with their different kinds of tyres and owners, will come together with Eoin and fellow wheelchair users to make marks that join, cross over, merge and combine with each other focusing on the uniting power of creativity to transcend traditional ways of thinking and open new pathways for connection and communication.
TRACKS will mark an important opportunity for Eoin to cross boundaries and bring people together in a real act of agency. The effect of this event will impact on his own perception of how he can continue to grow within his artistic practice and also create a new awareness within his community and beyond of the possibilities for connection and learning that an event such as this embodies.
Funded by Wicklow County Arts Office Strategic Project Awards 2024 supported by the Arts Council.
Since starting to paint in 2008, using his mouth to hold his brushes, Eoin O’Malley has developed a signature style of mark making. He works mainly in acrylic on canvas, but also with pencil, marker and brush and ink on paper. Eoin has also experimented with using his wheelchair to create large scale floor drawings.
Eoin consistently applies a dedicated sense of purpose to his work and has exhibited successfully in both solo and group shows over the years. In 2023 Eoin benefited from several funding awards enabling him to commission the first written response to his work and to produce an artist’s video among other goals. 2023 also marked Eoin’s first experience of working in collaboration with other artists on the creation of a mural in his hometown Baltinglass and securing Strategic Awards Funding from Wicklow Arts office for 2024 sees Eoin preparing for another collaborative opportunity when he presents his community wheel painting event TRACKS next summer.
Currently working in studio on his latest series of paintings based on an interest in old maps, Eoin seeks to bring his arts practice to a ever wider audience in future, aiming to develop his artistic and community networks and continuing to expand the reach and scale of his creativity.