I am delighted to be joining other artists next week for the Annual Christmas Art Exhibition 2017 at Schoolhouse For Art The Square, Enniskerry Village, Co. Wicklow. The show opens next Friday evening on the 1st of December at 7pm and I will have 3 of my most recent new paintings on exhibit.
Enniskerry is not too far from the places I haunt for inspiration. All my current series is influenced and drawn from the beauty and wonder of nature in the surrounding environment of Djouce, Crone, Maulin and the open landscape of the Wicklow mountains.
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.
I stood at the brow of the waterfall over powerscourt that day, looking at Djouce Woods and taking it in within its own environment.
That was the ground down there that I picked up most of the pine needles which are incorporated into my recent paintings. With the Sugar Loaf in the distance beyond and my lungs filled with the fresh forest Spring air.. I feel luckiest. I feel free. I will re-live this when I paint it..
Hiking through Djouce woods today and ended up here. Not a sole to be seen as on a normal day this place has lots of people around. It was a great experience to get the space to myself and really take it in..