This is a mask I was given as a gift almost 9 years ago. My good friend Ger who gave it to me said she would love to see what I could do with it and paint something of my own on it. I really loved it as it was, just a blank white smooth surface. It took about 9 years for me to finally get the urge to paint something on it and turn it into something with narrative. I wanted to paint a kind of self portrait for a while and so I thought this would best represent what I wanted to do.
When I finished it, I decided to wear it and see how it would photograph. It felt like a ‘becoming of’. Like the land we came from and back to the land we go.
For the title of the piece itself ‘Privilege Of Existence’ I had in mind my belief of how fickle and fragile our own existence is. The chance of ‘becoming’ is like a lotto in ways. Since childhood I always think of my own very existence and how being adopted makes me feel about that. Time itself is a place we survive for only an atom-size fraction, until the next cycle of generations rotate. It raises questions to me about how significant we really are, in nature and among the smallest of stars to the largest ones that we know of yet.
I painted this piece in oils and I used pieces of pine needles I found on the Djouce woods bed where I incorporated onto the mask surface before applying multiple layers of oils. I approach most of my painting in this way. I like to keep pieces I find along the way when I am out hiking and reviving then back into a kind of living state, in art and forever preserved.
Its getting closer to my show the end of the month, with 20 days to go. I am busy getting my paintings framed and photographs printed. I have 4 digital original prints included in the exhibition and this is one below where The Copper House in Dublin city centre had some very kind words to share. Their recent post quoted below on their Facebook page about my photographs which were printed onto a high quality fine art lustre paper and then framed in a box, glassed frame.
Here is what they had to say!
The Copper House- We were very pleased with our job of framing the Lustre Fine Art prints with black frames of Derval Freeman Artists work.
They are absolutely magnificent pieces and look very polished. We would like to promote Derval Freemans’ Exhibition of Paintings and Photography Entitled ‘Solace’, as she is an amazing artist who deserves more recognition.
The upcoming exhibition Solace will be held in SignalArts Centre, Bray, Ireland at the end of the month. The opening is March 3rd and runs from February 27th to March 12th. We hope to see you all there!
“These photograph were taken on my Nikon D800 of places where I go for inspiration for my painting. When I am out on walks in the mountains and forests of Wicklow, Ireland, exploring and taking in the atmosphere I photograph things that take my interest. Some photographs I like to take just to keep as a photography piece however, a lot of the time the photographs are reference to the start point of a painting.”
My inspirations for this painting derives from my many trips up into the open landscape of Wicklow National Park. Its vast sense of space and atmosphere with the constant moving and ever-changing skies and mists were part of what I wanted to express back in my studio. I have also incorporated actual pine needles and twigs I collected from the natural surroundings of the woods I walked through, before setting out to climb the hill behind, onward to Djouce summit, leaving the woods behind. These pieces are incorporated onto the actual surface of the painting captured like souvenirs, forever preserved. I approach all my paintings in this way.
‘Ledge’ will be on exhibit February 27th to March 12th at Signal Arts Centre, 1 Albert Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow, along with all my most recent paintings and photography.