Marking an historic time: 24 - 29th April 2016

I have just spent an amazing week on an art residency in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Co. Monaghan. It was a wonderful experience sharing time and stories with some really wonderful writers, musicians, directors and painters from across Ireland, Europe, Canada & Australia. It will go down as one of those fabulous weeks where I feel I learnt so much from the whole experience. A big 'thank you' to Meath County Council for the bursary to attend and Tyrone Guthrie Centre and for their ongoing support for the arts in the county.

    

 

I made the most of having a wonderful studio there and worked on a number of new paintings including this very special project. My new series of paintings have their origin in a piece I started in 1996 when living in London and completed in 1998 when back in Dublin. The original piece is called  'Three Colours - White', Oil, fabric & paper on iron, 47 x 28cm. At the time I said to myself that I would do a series of these pieces representing the Irish flag, for the centenary celebrations in 2016. I can't say I always call things so far in advance, but when I saw the dates emerging for my residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre it seemed like the ideal opportunity to immerse myself in creating something special to mark this historic time. 

Even though my work is not typically representational, it felt right to let it come through in this piece of work. I am very happy with the colours, the variety of shades, patterns, marks etc across the whole piece. For me it reflects the rich tapestry of life in Ireland, past, present and future. I have also incorporated a new feature in two of the three new pieces - a 22 carat gold leaf motif that runs across the width of each piece. I experienced a particular thrill when, after much soul searching, I zoomed in on the idea to capture the mirror like reflection of the hills and trees surrounding the awesomely beautiful Annaghmakerrig lake, and use this moment of Irish landscape as a backdrop to the flag. 

 

   

 

It was also particularly pleasing to finish these very special pieces on the morning of 24th April, 2016, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Irish Rebellion in 1916. Well I am well known for getting things done, just in time …!!

In keeping with the daily Twitter series I've been running over the last couple of months, through March and April, I have named the new flag series ‘Remember, Reflect and Reimagine, 2016’ as this captures how the tricolour embraces, talks to and weaves together life, experiences & feelings of generations past, present and the future.

 

   

 

I have created three new pieces or flags, two measuring 51 x 85cm and one at 27 x 30cm. Each one is presented on a deep edge canvas and will be framed in a very sleek acrylic glass case giving each a very contemporary look and finish. 

 

   

 

I am honoured to have the two 51x85cm ‘Remember, Reflect and Reimagine, 2016’ flags hanging in the Dublin city centre this week in the Sol Gallery, Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 

For enquires please contact Martin Davis, Camille or Jay at the Sol Gallery.

 

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