About me

A Sense of Movement

I am from a rural part of Meath in Ireland and my memories of playing outdoors in that landscape as a child – using freshly cut grass, dug up sods, mud, leaves, moss and other seasonal growth to play imaginative games – stir up feelings which never fail to inspire me. It is said that we relate to new things by comparing them to what we know and that, throughout our lives, we continue to set new places against our ‘primal’ landscape. This rural Meath landscape accompanies me and helps me identify with different things. Currently I am based between Barcelona and Meath.

In reflecting on the themes and motifs that recur in my work, I recognise how the process of moving between different places has helped to shape them. For example, I am interested in landscapes that are detached from something bigger: ones that appear suspended and pulled from many strands or floating in a fragile or exposed state. I am trying to connect with a core or universal place where I recall cycles, systems and flow; striving to create a delicate balance between chaos and order.

While living in Bangkok in 2005 and travelling to neighbouring countries, I enjoyed learning about Buddhism and I was inspired by the Zen idea of the oneness of all things. Later, in 2012, I did a residency in Japan and found the Shinto concept of spiritual essence in nature especially engaging. There is a simplicity and harmony in Japanese aesthetics that appeals to me and I find the use of negative space intriguing.

I also lived in Seville in the south of Spain and travelled several times in Morocco. Subsequently, I became particularly interested in climate and how it conditions the landscape. The heat and harsh sunlight challenged me and I noticed that the washed out colours and muted tones began to influence my paintings. Comparing dusty landscapes to the familiar fields and bogs at home helped me interpret my new environment. By working through a process of contrasting opposites, I started to become increasingly interested in the point in between the two.

Certainly, I connect grass with growth and movement in the landscape. I draw from a variety of grass types and the qualities I like most about the plant are that it connects the earth to the sky, that it’s rooted and that it sweeps up gracefully above the horizon. Furthermore, when I observe the wind blowing and spreading through a grassland, I am energised by the sense of movement.