‘Your paintings make me happy, they remind me of how beautiful and miraculous the world is’.
B.A. (Hons) Degree in Painting and Printmaking (Sheffield) 1982
Diploma in the History of European Painting, Trinity College, Dublin, 1983
Wilkinson Scholarship 1979
National Portrait Award Exhibition, Dublin, 1985 (Prize winner)
Invitee d'Honneur XIXeme Salon des Arts Plastiques de la Rochelle, 2005
Trinity College, University of Dublin
Crumlin Children’s Hospital
St James’s Hospital Foundation
Office of Public Works (OPW)
I have been living, painting and exhibiting in Ireland for almost forty years since graduating from art college in 1982. I have an extensive body of work that is in many private and public collections. Several of my paintings have been bought by the Office of Public Works, as part of Ireland’s permanent state art collection.
Looking back over the span of my work, my subject matter doesn’t seem to change much. The same themes still preoccupy me now, as they did back in 1980, and the same artists that inspired me as a student still resonate with me today. For example, the Impressionist artist Mary Cassatt, and her lithograph The Letter – the way she artfully balances the wonderful cerulean-blue swirling wallpaper with the same blue of the writing desk; pure genius. The Great Japan exhibition, held at the National Gallery in London in 1981, was a pivotal moment for me, as was seeing Elizabeth Blackadder’s large paper still lifes. My painting heroes are probably the early Modernist painters working at the turn and into the twentieth century, in particular Bonnard and Matisse.
All these early influences have contributed and helped me develop and refine my own very unique and personal painting language and style. My work explores the decorative frontal plane and plays with the perspective of objects within that condensed spatial format. Colour has always been my primary preoccupation and I started out wanting to use strong and emotionally stimulating colours in a rich and tactile way, however it took me many years to achieve this aim. My self-directed apprenticeship was long and hard, but so essential for me, as now I can truly say that my style and the way I use oil paint really reflects what I want to convey as a painter: that is, richly textured, well-constructed, timeless paintings, that have lots of complex observed and imagined component parts to them in, paying particular homage to the beauty and impact of colour.