ARTIST HARRY GUINANE
Irish Artist, Harry Guinane is best known for his people and animal portraits and for breathing life into the background of his sitter, sometimes using animals, or movement and nature; reflecting on his time abroad, when his art took a bolder, more vibrant turn.
Harry’s work is always familiar, echoing classical styles, where the personalities are evident in the background. A native of Ennis, Harry spent some of his early years confined in bed with Asthma. Art was a means of losing himself for days at a time in a world of beauty and nature. His first passion was for painting animals in motion, and he dreamed of one day seeing Africa from the Untamed World documentaries of the 1970’s which he loved so much. Television provided a rich glimpse into the raw wildness that he felt so attracted to, and as a boy his favourites were shows like The High Chaparral with his heroes, Big John and Victoria; and films such as Born Free and Living Free.
After receiving his degree from Limerick College of Art, Harry began teaching in Castleknock College, Dublin and then at the Educational Unit of Limerick Prison.
His teaching eventually took him to Botswana and he stayed teaching in Africa for 14 years. There, he was fully exposed to life, culture, values and all of their extremes. It was a process that took him on a journey of discovery where he eventually was much more able to understand the world and its people.
In time, Harry became more known for his portraits, and was eventually asked to present a portrait of the president of Botswana Dr. Festus Mogae on an ostrich egg; which was one of the many highlights of his time in Botswana.
Another major highlight was meeting his Indian wife Meena who was a Science and Computer Teacher. They worked for the Ministry of Education Botswana for some years. Meena and Harry married in 2005 and returned to Harry’s native town Ennis, Co. Clare where they currently reside with their son Seán.
Harry is an award wining Artist. A selection of his artwork was purchased by the Arts Council of Ireland and represented in their Collection.