• Una Sealy RHA

    photo of Una Sealy

    Una Sealy is a graduate of Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design , (now IADT), in Fine Art, Painting, 1980, and UCD (Higher Diploma in Arts Administration, 1989). She was elected an Associate of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2010, and a full member in 2016.

    She was the winner of the Adam’s Award for the Artist with the most potential for Future Appreciation at the RHA Annual Exhibition 2015, and she was one of 12 finalists shortlisted for the Hennessy Portrait Award in 2014. At the RHA in 2011 she was awarded the Ireland-U.S. Council/Irish Arts Review Award for Outstanding Portraiture. She has been awarded several Arts Council bursaries including a Travel and Training award for a period of study in France in 2013.

    During her career to date, she has been involved in many aspects of the arts while maintaining her commitment to painting throughout. In 1982, she co-founded Studio 16, one of the first and longest running group artists’ studios in Temple Bar, Dublin. During the 80’s she was very involved in the community arts movement, and was manager of the City Arts Centre, Dublin, from 1985 to 1991. Una lectured in painting at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design from 1991 to 1996, after which she moved to San Francisco where she painted and exhibited for two years.

    She has held nine solo exhibitions including those in The Ashford Gallery (RHA), (2000 and 2016) the Molesworth Gallery Dublin, (2003 and 2006) and Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise (2004)

    She had a major mid-career review exhibition at Draiocht, Dublin in 2012/2013, and her most recent solo exhibition was at the RHA Ashford Gallery in July/August 2016.

    Una's work has been selected for curated group shows in San Francisco, New York and Britain as well as many in Ireland, exhibiting regularly at the RHA annual exhibition since 1991.

    Her work is featured in many public and private collections including The Haverty Trust, Fingal County Council, Boyle Civic Collection, Little Museum of Dublin, Office of Public Works, Commission for Energy Regulation, National Self Portrait Collection, and Great Book of Ireland

    Una has been a visiting lecturer to many 2nd and 3rd level colleges, and is a regular invited tutor on drawing courses in the National Gallery of Ireland and the RHA School where she has developed a teaching module on Anatomy for Artists in association with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

    She was a judge on the RTE series Painting the Nation in October 2016.

    Una Sealy: Northside Swim    Una Sealy: The Priests Chair    Una Sealy: Barbara Warren    Una Sealy: Cock-a-Leekie Soup

    Solo Exhibitions

    2016 The Edge, Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin

     2012 A Piano in the Kitchen and other Stories, Draiocht, Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin

     2006 Days Like These, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

     2004 A Year on Main Street, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Co. Laois

     2003 New Paintings, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

     2000 New Paintings, Ashford Gallery, RHA, Dublin

     1998 The Linenhall, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

     1993 Pleasants Factory, Dublin

    1991 City Arts Centre, Dublin


     Selected Group Exhibitions

    1992  2017  

    RHA Annual Exhibitions, Dublin , (except 2002 and 1999)


    Boyle arts Festival, Co. Roscommon, invited artist


    Inaugural Hennessy Portrait award exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, shortlisted artist

    2004  2017  

    Hermione  Exhibition, Alexandra College, Dublin


    James English RHA and Friends, Greenacres, Wexford

     OAK, Killenure Castle, Co. Tipperary

    12 x 4, curated by Bernadette Madden, Gormleys Fine Art, Dublin


    Undressed. 3 person exhibition with Mick ODea RHA and James Hanley RHA,          Greyfriars Gallery, Waterford.

    Work from Life, Arts Complex, Edinburgh

    Work from the RHA life room, Bourn Vincent Gallery, University of Limerick

    Togra Inis Leacan/The Inishlacken Project, Culturlann McAdam O Fiaich, Belfast


     Boyle Arts Festival, invited artist, Co. Roscommon

    The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, Cultural legacy exhibition, Joan Clancy Gallery, Co. Waterford


     Inishlacken: The Last Parish, Redhouse Arts Centre, Syracuse, New York

     Fis, Contemporary Irish Art Exhibition, Novas Conteporary Urban Centre, Liverpool


    Inishlacken, A Place Apart, Galway Arts Centre

    Not in Alphabetical Order, Fingal Public Art Collection Exhibition, Farmleigh, Dublin

    Boyle Arts Festival, invited artist, Co. Roscommon

    Eigse, Carlow, artist in residence

     2002 2008

    Christmas group shows, Molesworth Gallery, Dublin

     2006 2009

     Summer Exhibitions, Newtownbarry House Gallery


    Blink, 5 years of the Linenhall, Castlebar General Hospital, Mayo


     RHA Banquet Exhibition


     4 Irish Painters, Project Artaud, San Francisco

     Mission Cultural Centre Life Drawing Exhibition, San Francisco


    Academy without Walls, RHA, Dublin


     Siolru, Holles St. Hospital Centenary Exhibition, Dublin


     Aer Rianta Gateway to Art, Dublin Airport


    RHA Banquet Exhibitions, Dublin


     Great Book of Ireland Exhibition, IMMA, Dublin


     National Self Portrait Collection Exhibition, National Gallery, Dublin


     National Self Portrait Collection, university of Limerick 

    1986 -1988

     Arnotts Portrait Award Exhibitions, Dublin

     1982  Exposure 2, ILAC Centre, Dublin

     1981  Exposure 1, Bank of Ireland, Baggot St, Dublin



    Awards and Residencies


    2016 Fingal County Council residency award, Graphic Studio Dublin


    2014 Adams Award for the artist with the most potential for future appreciation, RHA, Dublin


    2014 Hennessy Portrait award, National Gallery Dublin -  shortlisted artist

    2013 Arts Council Training and travel Award, period of study in France


    2011 Ireland-US Council/Irish Arts Review Award for Outstanding Portraiture


    2008 Invited Artist in Residence, Eigse, Carlow


    2008 Inishlacken Project Residency,  invited artist


    2007 Cill Rialaig Residency,  invited artist


    1996 Arts Council Travel Award Portugal


    1995 Arts Council Studio Rental Grant


    1993 Abbey Stained Glass Studio Award for a Work of Distinction by an Artist of Promise, RHA Annual Exhibition





    The Haverty Trust

    Fingal County Council

    Galway City Council

    Little Museum of Dublin

    Boyle Civic Collection

    Office of Public Works

    Aer Rianta

    Commission for Energy Regulation

    National Self Portrait Collection

    Great Book of Ireland



    Selected Bibliography


    Edges and angst under the surface in Howth, Aidan Dunne, Irish Times July 25, 2016

    The Edge, Isabella Evangelisti, Irish Arts Review, Summer 2016

    Una Sealy The Edge,John P. OSullivan, Sunday Times, Culture, July 17, 2016

    Together Apart, Isabella Evangelisti Irish Arts Review, Summer 2011

    On Days Like These, Sophie Gorman, Irish Independent, September 30, 2006

    A Year on Main Street, Aidan Dunne, The Ticket, November 12 2004

    A Year in the life of an artist, Naomi Elster, Laois Nationalist, November 19, 2004

    Portrait of the artist as a Howth Resident, Irish Times, March 28, 2002

    Dancing, Shifting light, review by Aidan Dunne, Irish Times,  July 12, 2000

    Una Sealy, New Paintings, review by Marianne Hartigan, The Sunday Tribune,  July 16, 2000

    Una Sealy, Linenhall, review by Ian Wieczorek, Irish Times, May 27, 1998

    Una Sealy, City Arts Centre, review by Aidan Dunne, The Sunday Tribune,  October 13, 1991

    Una Sealy, Pleasants Factory, review by Bruce Arnold, Irish Independent, July 20, 1993

    Sealy and Greenaway at the City Centre, review by Brian Fallon, Irish Times, October 24, 1991

    Static Realism with more feeling, review by Bruce Arnold, Irish Independent, October 28, 1991

    The Portrait Painters, Orna Mulcahy, Irish Times, May 9, 1989