It is always a joy to share a series of images which up to the time of an opening remains secret and dwells in an underworld of ideas, anxieties, momentary delights and deeper than deep frustrations.
When I worked on a thesis on the art of Tony O’Malley who has since left this world, he taught me much about ‘ownership’ of the art piece. For so long in its gestation it has to remain close to the heart and soul of its author. However as soon as it is shown to anyone outside, ownership shifts and the same work in its essence now belongs 50% to the viewer.
I am happy now to let you into my world that is peopled with images that have been formed out of direct experience for the most part. It could easily be called ‘Bears and Hares’ but then that would exclude all the other watchers who are always on the sidelines looking on. I found the Bear in the Arctic when I visited Churchill Manitoba. This solitary beast in the great white silence of the Tundra could not but suggest what I was searching for; my soul in its solitude and space in which to understand myself. On the other hand the hare has always been close to my consciousness as in stories of my childhood where this animal could shape-shift and run in and out of this world and the next, always trailing magic in its wake.
People and place have had a major part to play in this series of paintings. I wish to thank Andy Fisher, British Wildlife Photographer who in his kindness supplied me with copious images of hares when the same animals of Newgrange and the West of Ireland became camera shy and thin on the ground. The Irish College in Paris became a haven for me for the month of June this year and it was here that most of the pieces grew into realization in silence of my study but also in the museums and galleries of the city. Just recently I retreated to the blessed space of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annamakerrig, Co. Monaghan where the whole exhibition finally started to come together. Thanks to its director Robbie McDonagh and his more than caring staff. My framers Mulvany Bros, Kingswood have once again surpassed themselves with the framing of the show. Finally thank you to Meath Co Co Arts Office, Gerardette Bailey, Cathy Martin and Rachel Carey who have given me this opportunity to work with what I love and have encouraged me in the materialistaion of the show throughout this year.”