Zara Dolan

S-3-HR-#F6D000-SC, 2021, Monotype print on Fabriano Accademia paper, 780mm x 600mm


Zara Dolan is an Irish born, New Zealand artist. Her current series of work involves one-off monotype prints created on a large traditional printmaking press. Dolan’s work presents a dynamic energy - a suspended moment of lively animation. Drawing on abstract expressionist gesture, her mark making is direct and intuitive, mediated only by the application of colour and the printing process. It is Dolan’s intention, through her role as intermediary, that the emotive action achieves form and chaos realizes order during the printing process. The titles of each work encodes the process. 


The process-based nature of monotype prints is central to Dolan’s practice; repeated motions follow an exacting method, yet each iteration is unique and immediate, a translation of painterly expression. Her works purposefully create an intense sensory experience through commotion and bursts of colour. Elements alternately push forward or sink back in a painterly double exposure; a confusion of foreground and middle distance, which further renders a vibrant yet unhinged atmosphere. 


Similarly, Dolan’s oil paintings echo process and how form translates into movement - her textured brushwork of vibrant, lyrical colour gives a sense of dynamic energy. The gesture of Dolan’s mark-making is carefully composed, attentive to the relationships between them and to the weight of each expressive brushstroke. Inspired by the valley where she lives, this way of abstract painting is another aspect of the artist’s spirited process – the experience of being in nature and the representation of landscape. 


Dolan recently completed her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury (ILAM). She previously studied a BA (Honours) Degree in Fine Arts in Ireland. She currently lives and works in Otautahi, Christchurch.  









EDUCATION: Masters in Fine Arts, IIam School of Fine Arts, 2021; Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Art & Design), 2009, University of Wales, Institute, Cardiff, Wales, UKBA(Honours) Degree in Fine Arts, 2008, Sligo Institute of Technology, Sligo, Ireland 


AWARDS: Public commission, Elevator Door Award - IIam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand 


PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS: Rhythm Loop, The Central Art Gallery, The Arts Centre, Christchurch (2022); Monotypes, Sanderson Contemporary, Auckland (2021); Hine Auaha, The Central Art Gallery, The Arts Centre, Christchurch (2021); Chaos and Order, The Den, Christchurch (2021); Transfiguration, Chambers Art Gallery, Christchurch (2021); Select exhibition - Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury, Christchurch (2020)EvolutionThe Railway Station Museum, Belturbet (2008), Co. Cavan, IrelandReflections of a powder room, The Railway Station Museum, Belturbet (2007), Co. Cavan, Ireland


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY: ‘Chaos & Order’ by Tessa McPhee,, 2021; “Chaos & Order”, by Warren Feeney, Art beat newspaper, 2021; Ilam Press, University of Canterbury, 2021; “Evolution”, by Linda O’ ReillyThe Anglo Celt Newspaper, 2008; “Reflections of a powder room” by Linda O’ Reilly, The Anglo Celt Newspaper, 2007  



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