Each of Rebekah’s still lifes is flawless in execution – a tribute to her skill. She says: "I am fascinated by the dark and light techniques of the Dutch masters. I like the technicality of painting this kind of work – the precision and the symmetry. It’s very fulfilling to me."
Rebekah Mooney might be the only painter in the world to have considered Angel Delight as a suitable subject for artistic interpretation. In her unique paintings, Rebekah updates the still life template of the Dutch masters by lining up beautiful natural materials (fruit, shellfish, flowers) next to modern branded products: beer bottles, coffee jars and, yes, Angel Delight.
In this, Rebekah achieves something remarkable. Her paintings are always beautifully composed and executed, each with a black background that sets off the still life composition with flawless precision. But then the white of the table cloth descends into freewheeling multi-coloured abstraction. It's a wonderful combination – like Pieter Claesz teamed up with Mark Rothko.
Interestingly Rebekah has been chipping away at this aesthetic since school. She says: "I loved the look of labels, and tried to reproduce them. But I was also interested in still life so I liked to combine them with the found objects I collected from the beach," she says. The beach was in Donegal where Rebekah grew up in an artistic family. Despite her lineage, she chose to study English Literature at the University of Essex. After graduating in 2014 Rebekah lived in Brighton for six years, where she worked in hospitality.
But the pull of painting was too strong. Rebekah moved back to Ireland and painted solidly without interruption for two months. After that, her mind was made up. She moved to Belfast and decided to paint full time. Happily, it didn't take long for her work to sell. She gathered many loyal followers on Instagram and was selected for the prestigious Art4U exhibition. She now shows with several galleries across Ireland and has taken part in group exhibitions.
The Catto spotted Rebekah in 2021 and displayed a handful of her paintings. The response was excellent, and Rebekah was asked to exhibit a complete set of works. The resultant collection doesn't disappoint. Each work is flawless in execution – a tribute to Rebekah's skill. She says: "I am fascinated by the dark and light techniques of the Dutch masters. I like the technicality of painting this kind of work – the precision and the symmetry. It’s very fulfilling to me."
However, the work doesn't stop when Rebekah is away from the studio. In her desire to find the perfect objects to populate her compositions, she says she is always attentive wherever she happens to be. "Oh, I never stop," she admits. "Doesn't matter where I am – the supermarket, greengrocers, charity shop – I am always on the lookout for something that I can use.”