Adam's IMPORTANT IRISH ART 8th December 2021

76 51 TONY O’MALLEY HRHA (1913-2003) Bahamas Painting with White Shape, Oct/Nov 1987 Oil on board, 64 x 76cm (25 x 30’’) Signed with initials and dated; also signed, inscribed with title and dated verso and numbered 1908 in the artist’s oeuvre. € 15,000 - 25,000 When Tony O’Malley and Jane Harris married in 1973, they settled into their home at Seal Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall and their communal studio, where they worked side by side. While they were happy and productive, Jane was always conscious that living permanently in a cool, damp climate was less than ideal for Tony, because he has survived TB and was prone to angina. At the same time, he drew inspiration from his environment and was es- pecially attuned to the historical texture of place. At a family gathering following the death of her mother in 1974, Jane’s sister Clarice, who was living on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, suggested that they should all visit her there. It was beyond Tony and Janes financial means but here father generously paid for their flights (and for the following twelve winters, until her sister moved to Florida). The balmy environment was hugely beneficial to Tonys health. Less predictably, it proved to be pro- foundly inspiring for his work. With scant traces of the legacy of ancient history (just the remains of one monastery), and working in an outdoor studio set up in the idyllic garden, he became intensely alert to the living fabric of the place. Birds in flight, birdcalls, birdsong, fish darting in the water, breez- es, currents, luminous flushes of colour, a pervasive brightness: all these things and more fed into a series of lively, lyrical evocations of a magical place. The Bahamas provided him with a whole new high-keyed palette. Even the warmth and light of the Scilly Isles had not provided a comparable sense of warmth and well-being. The paintings were a revelation when they were exhibited back in Ireland. Aidan Dunne