THE GALLERY @ ABBEYLEIX LIBRARY
Where Time Stands Still
Our urban lives have almost created a sensory curtailment that has distanced us from the natural world. Nonetheless, woodlands and national parks have always been a common place that I find myself encountering everywhere I travel. Using the tree as a motif in my paintings, I wish to provoke an emotional connection from my audience. I wish for the viewer to be pulled back down to the soil.
For me the image of the woodland awakens an inevitable fascination inside and revisits memories of my childhood summers. Exploring the ruins of an old house in nearby Garryhinch Woods, attempting to climb the trees, picking wild flowers, and envisioning the magical creatures that lived there. This firm connection to all things nature is the origin of my artwork.
Inspired by the work of Peter Doig whose landscape paintings hold an otherworldly atmosphere, but at the same time a familiarity with its seductive beauty and dreamy melancholy. Another source that has stuck with me when evolving my work is the book ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’ written by Peter Wohlleben, in which the forester personifies the forest as ‘social beings’. Wohlleben speaks about how the trees communicate under the ground through their ‘world wood web’ of roots and how they work together to make sure each tree in their proximity is kept alive.
For me the colours symbolize an origin of life. I intentionally give the trees and surrounding woodland a subtle anthropomorphic quality that gives it a somewhat compelling presence, almost forgetting the realm of man. There is a lot of gloomy art in today’s world and in my opinion my work has a certain type of ambience within it that creates a sense of joy. Fundamentally there is a spiritual dimension to the work as the trees come to life through the eyes of our inner child.
The library is inviting submissions from artists, photographers and sculptors who would like to book an exhibition space in the gallery for 2020. Please call in to the library to pick up an exhibition application form and chat to our staff about using the gallery.