Oonagh McAteer’s primary conceptual focus is on the subjects and stories that preoccupy her internal discourse. However, more recently she has been influenced by the anthropomorphic characters she encounters in her daily life - one of whom is a rock called ‘Sumpy’. Sumpy inspired Oonagh to focus her attention on the immediate area around where she now lives, combining personal stories with local, vernacular tales.
While creating in her studio, nestled under her house in a valley in County Down just a stone’s throw away from a fairy fort, she became aware that the studio itself was becoming more and more like a spinning room from a fairy tale. She embraced this fully, allowing her practice to follow the path of blending reality with the fictional through the process of creative writing. It was during this period that Oonagh began to make these thoughtful, handmade miniature corners depicting scenes from within her stories.
Oonagh received a First-Class Honours in her BA (Hons) Photography with Video in 2019 from the University of Ulster and has recently completed her MFA in Fine Art also in the University of Ulster. Oonagh was Long listed for the RDS Visual Awards in 2019. She exhibited in Belfast as part of the MFA end of year show in Arts for All and with Catalyst Arts as part of her MFA Interim Show.
Behind the hill, group exhibition April 2022, Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast
Portrait of Northern Ireland:neither an elegy nor a manifesto, group exhibition October 2021, The Golden Thread Gallery Belfast
Not Here/Here, group exhibition June 2021, Arts for All Belfast, Cityside, Belfast
Here/Not Here, group exhibition May-June 2021 Ulster University Belfast
E-Quadrant, Virtual group exhibition January 2021 Ulster University, Belfast
Ephemera, group exhibition January 2021 The Glass Box Ulster University, Belfast
Continuum, group exhibition June 2019 Ulster University, Belfast
The Afternoon Herald, group publication project as part of Belfast Photo Festival, June 2019, Belfast
Connections, Translink, group exhibition June 2019, Lanyon place station, Belfast
Connections, Translink, group exhibition June 2018 Victoria Square, Belfast
Infinite Yore, group exhibition, June 2018 Ulster Photo Fair, Ulster University, Belfast
Otherkin, Chrysalis, group exhibition June 2017 Millennium Court, Portadown
MFA Ulster University with commendation
BA (Hon's) Photography with Video with first class honours
HND Photography with distinction
Longlisted Artist 2019 RDS Visual Art Awards
Dean’s List for Academic Year 2017-18
Co-founder of Rayoo Photography
Founder and Co-Host of Buoy Park Art Podcast
The Visual Artists' News Sheet, VAI, Issue 4 July-August 2020 - Here