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Tangiene Martin-O’Hara

Artist Statement:

Tangiene Martin-O’Hara is an artist and illustrator whose practice focuses on portrait and abstract drawing. These two trajectories are linked by intuitive gestures and a play of vibrant colour. Using her friends’ photographs and social media posts as source material for her drawings, Martin-O’Hara seeks to express a deeper connection with and consideration for her subject matter that counters the ubiquity and disposability of the original snapshot. Given that the original photographs are freely shared with her or online, the portraits celebrate the agency with which people in her life present themselves, as well as the image of themselves that they are comfortable with. Her portraits of friends are commonly centered on the everyday positive moments in their lives or the animals and people that give them pleasure. She also produces abstract work with similar consideration for the use of colour. She explores the therapeutic aspects of colour and tone to create a meditative space in our lived experience.

On August 27th, 2020, EE was delighted to host the inaugural Community Conversation between Tangiene Martin-O’Hara & Evelyn Roitner, facilitated by artist D’Arcy Wilson. This event was an opportunity to hear about the experiences of our FARR artists and exchange insights in an open dialogue with each other.

Click here to watch Community Conversations with Tangiene Martin-O’Hara & Evelyn Roitner – Guest Facilitator D’Arcy Wilson

Below you’ll find some thoughts from Tangine herself regarding her current project and some drawings of Tangiene’s Friends Anna Swanson.

“My current project is a 50 cm x 76 cm colour pencil drawing of Anna Swanson, a St. John’s resident and friend who swims in Newfoundland ponds. This is part of her self-care and it nurtures her well-being during COVID-19. Like myself, the subject feels isolated as she is not in anyone’s bubble. Although these swims in nature cannot prevent solitude she uses the phrase “survival joy” to talk about swimming. She writes, “For all that I am lonely a lot, it’s a gift that I can still be outdoors.” I am moved to draw this subject as her experience mirrors mine and she was one of the few people I made friends with since I’ve moved to Newfoundland. Similar to the way that swimming is a self-care and meditative process for Anna, drawing is a self-care and
meditative process for me.”



Here is a sample of some of Tangiene’s past work.