“A lot of the time they go unnoticed: old sheds, old walls, a wet ditch after the summer rain.” – Artist Eugene Conway
“New Landscapes,” an exhibition of recent works from one of Ireland’s leading realist landscape painters Eugene Conway, goes on display at Gormleys Fine Art in Dublin from July 4 to 18.
Originally from Dublin, Eugene Conway moved to Kilkenny as a child in the 1960s. Growing up in the countryside, he developed a great love and appreciation for the beauty of nature and his paintings see the landscape of County Kilkenny brought centre stage.
Conway’s paintings suggest the unfolding of ordinary rural life, reflecting the layers of history left by habitation and farming.
His work mostly focuses on farm scenes — old barns nestled amongst the hedgerows beside moss-covered stone walls; while his use of colour relates directly to the weather, the seasons and the passage of time. His subjects – bridges, barns and byways – are the unsung heroes of the Irish countryside, the aspects of the landscape that you notice when you live there.
The painter’s work is meticulously observed – the pattern of leaves blown into the side of the road, the way that clouds are reflected in puddles, an old gate, propped beneath a bridge. One image sees the russet ridges of a corrugated barn highlighted against the green of fertilised fields in the moment before rain. In another a farm track, scored with tractor tyres, is almost impassable with mud.
Speaking about his subject matter, Conway observes, “A lot of the time they go unnoticed: old sheds, old walls, a wet ditch after the summer rain, or maybe the way that the light is hitting something, bringing out a lovely pattern in it.” He adds, “The light is at a certain point. If you come back an hour later, everything has changed.”
Eugene Conway studied at the National College of Art & Design, NCAD, Dublin. Since 1998 he has exhibited regularly at the RHA and was awarded the Fergus O’Ryan Memorial Award in 2001, the ESB Keating Award, the Silver Medal for an outstanding art work in 2008, and the Abdul and Katharine Bulbulia Art in Health Award in 2010.
The exhibition of Eugene Conway’s works will be available to view online at www.gormleys.ie, and in Gormleys Fine Art, 27 South Frederick St Dublin from July 4 to 18.
Feature Image: Eugene Conway, The Red Door, Oil on Linen