Dawn Crothers is one of the few lucky irish artists to hit the ground running in the early days of her career. With her first solo exhibition in October 2008 being such a massive ‘sell-out’ success, she’s quickly established herself as a household name in Northern Ireland. In fact, as Dawn’s popularity has grown her impact on a much higher level is starting to be felt. Now, it seems every one of her finished paintings naturally achieves collector status.
Studying Fine Art at the University of Ulster, Dawn quickly developed a keen interest in the work of Jack B Yeats. Whilst she’d admit few similarities between his work and her own, subtle connections can be made between their mutual use of colour and abstract thoughts. When painting, Dawn likes to close herself off from everything in order to fully concentrate on what she wishes to achieve, experimenting as she goes along to reach an aesthetically pleasing end product.
Whilst she’s moved away from sculpting, its influence is still alive in her paintings. Perhaps in the way she adds layers and textures to position her work in an almost three dimensional arrangement. Or, her use of materials and the way she scrapes into the paint to add a depth rarely seen in the others’ work.
Dawn creates quirky, colourful and bright paintings, all based on different animal themed characters and selected purely for her love of animals. She says, “People enjoy being able to name the characters and they grow quite attached to them. I will always hear back about how much of a talking point the paintings have been over dinner parties and other occasions.”
All of Dawn’s paintings are a reflection of her personality with their bubbly and approachable attributes. She wants her work to put a smile on people’s faces and she likes to think her paintings can draw people in by introducing them to a completely new side of art.
Her paintings make it obvious Dawn is taking art back to its most pure and simple form by removing the pretentiousness so often associated with it. She doesn’t believe all art should assume there must be more to it and so, with her work, she ensures no hidden meanings – what you see is really what you get!
2004 Foundation Studies at Castlereagh College, Belfast
2005 University of Ulster, Belfast College of Art, BA in Fine Art