Two Distant Views

23 May 2017

Artists to share ‘Two Distant Views’ in Birmingham

A joint exhibition at the RBSA (Royal Society of Birmingham Artists) in Birmingham from 12th to the 24th June 2017 will showcase the work of two artists, Jo Ashby and Majella O’Neill Collins.

Maj and Jo lg thumb (L-R) Majella O'Neill Collins and Jo Ashby ARBSA

The title of the exhibition is 'Two Distant Views' and is the third in a series of two person shows by the two artists who share a love of Sherkin Island, a tiny island off the south west coast of Ireland. The fourth show will be held on Sherkin Island in August 2017.

Originally from Birmingham, and now dividing her time between London and Sherkin Island, Jo Ashby has a long-standing connection with the RBSA and is an elected Associate Member of the society.
She said: “Exhibiting at the RBSA brings my life full circle, as Birmingham is my home town. This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the West Cork coastline to a wider audience and to share our affinity and connection with the sea, particularly, the ever-changing seascapes of Roaring Water Bay. What is interesting is to see how each of us interprets these themes so differently, from bold, broad, swift marks and strong colours to carefully crafted layers of glazes and subtle shifts in soft tone and colour.”

Jo works mainly in acrylics and her approach to painting the sea is underpinned by observation and drawing. She said: “I sit and watch the patterns of the tides and changing light. The sea is constantly moving and changing so drawing is important so that I get an understanding of that. My paintings aren’t topographical though but are more the distillation of repeated observation of island views and landscapes I know and love so well. There are repeated motifs in my work as I try to capture the many different lights and moods.”

Sherkin Island artist, Majella O’Neill Collins, works mainly in oils, and her approach is intuitive and expressive. She said: “The sea influences everything because it is so much part of our lives here on Sherkin Island. The sight and sound of the sea is with me at all times. The memory, essence and unpredictability of the sea is the starting place for my work but it’s not just about the sea but more about life and mood and place, interpreting memories and relating to different emotions and island moments in my life.”

The work will show the two artists’ joint preoccupation with the sea, from looking down on the shoreline and across the surface of the water to studies of what lies beneath the water and views out to the horizon.

Issued on behalf of Jo Ashby and Majella O’ Neill Collins by Copylines PR. For further information please contact Patsy Atkinson at Copylines PR on 00353 21 435 8517 or email

Note to Editors:
For further information on the two artists see:
Jo Ashby:
Majella O’Neill Collins: