• The Precipice

    Oil on canvas 5ft x 5ft (152cm x 152cm) In slip frame, ready to hang. €8,250.00

    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

    - Anais Nin -

    When I visited Spike Island, I was struck by how stunningly beautiful it is, how wild and yet how much grows there. It feels otherworldly - a strange edgy energy is pervasive. I couldn't help thinking about all the pilgrims, monks and prisoners who have passed through. The island's small surface area and it's situation make it impossible to forget you are on an island. I wondered were those temporary residents taunted by the lapping tide from the far shore. Many must have contemplated making a swim for it! It would require courage to leave and maybe another courage to stay. I think all of us in this quiet time have contemplated change - our personal precipice. For me making these big paintings is a personal jumping off point. When painting, I jot down notes - often a series of words - random ramblings and gems. For this Precipice - I noted:

    Resilience - Connectedness - Home - Belonging

    I think all of us - pilgrims, prisoners and painters - maybe sing to the same tune.        
  • Fools Rush In

    Oil on canvas 112cm x 112cm In slip frame, ready to hang. €4,450.00 Spike Island was once a remote monastery, a fortress and the world’s largest prison! 'The Idea of an Island' collection attempts to present the contrast of what is potentially an idyll and a place of pain and suffering. The palette in these paintings is itself a contrast –  a mix from cheery pinks to a spectrum of blacks. ‘Fools Rush In’ was made during the Covid isolation and draws on the idyll of the sea – it’s spectacular beauty which can be so comforting – but also it’s inherent power and danger. One of the first things I did post-lockdown was to swim in the sea – it was freezing but full of freedom! ‘Fools Rush In’  I hope illustrates life’s contrasts – how nothing is ever completely lost or indeed perfect – but made up of a series of magnificent moments. The present happening over and over again.  
  • Tide Lines

    Oil on canvas 36cm x 47cm In slip frame, ready to hang. €745.00 It is said there are no lines in nature - and yet - the tide lines on the shoreline mark the sea's  inhalations and exhalations.  If ever I need to settle my mind, I take it down to the sea where the tides eases my freeflow and scattered thoughts - soon my breath keeps time with the tide and my thoughts harmonize - or dissipate. Perhaps it is more true to say there are no straight lines in nature - as in life.  
  • Dark Sky Island

    Oil on canvas 94cm x 69cm In slip frame, ready to hang. €2250.00 Inspired by the imagined longings of historical inhabitants of Spike Island. The tranquility and beauty of their setting, with the far shore still in site, must have been jarring to say the least.  A constant taunt for liberty denied and life going on at pace just beyond them. For all the beauty of our surroundings, having peace in our hearts and minds is the prize.  
  • Oil on canvas 124cm x 112cm In slip frame, ready to hang. SOLD You have to keep your wits about you in the sea. Sinking or swimming are ultimate options. As  a very recent - and occasional - sea swimmer, I love the immediacy of immersion. It's impossible to feel wishy washy about the sensations. 0.5 seconds after immersion you are fully alive - senses accelerated, at absoute optimum. Although I am in possession of a rambly mind - and prone to projecting forwards or harking backwards, I am a fan of being in in the moment. Sea swimming helps me be 'all in' and be fully alive one moment at a time.  
  • Oil on canvas 120cm x 120cm In slip frame, ready to hang. €4950.00 At a young(-er!) and (more!) impressionable age, I read May Sarton's A Journal of a Solitude. I remember being floored by the line 'Hope, but for what?'. The lack of hope or vision or joie de vivre struck me as utterly sad and terrifying too. I have known the feelings of being rudderless and at times been terribly lost. I think that is part of the human experience. Many of us anticipated the recent Covid quiet period with dread - it smacked of 'the end is nigh' and yet on the other side of it,  many of us feel renewed and are facing forwards with some hope. And we are certain what we are hoping for. On the other side of solitude, I think the things  we are hoping and hopeful for are not 'things' - there is a communion in that too. It reminds me of the words of another great writer, Mary Oliver:

    'Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

    The world offers itself to your imagination

    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -

    over and over announcing your place in the family of things.