Artist Maura McGlynn responds to ‘Other Worlds’ exhibition

Wednesday January 31, 2024

Aileen Mc Keogh’s A Break in the Clouds to me for its uniqueness and originality. It has a haunting presence and a strong message. The sculpture is created mainly in pieces of burnt paper depicting a burnt hillside.

It is all silent there now the insects that lived there on the earth are all dead, the birds have all flown away. Standing here in the RCC,  I imagine I can smell the burnt earth. 

The skeleton of the burned out trees remains and reminds the viewer what mankind is doing to the natural world. 

The blue, grey and black colours depicted on the paper represent the burnt earth, ochres, umbers, burnt reds and sienna’s colours all add to the atmosphere. The silence emanates from this powerful work. All is static.

I thought the work A Border of Flat Stones by Cáit and Éiméar McClay also merited a mention. 

This is also a powerful work, it is concerned with the Irish potato famine. The imagery is strangely beautiful, even though the subject matter is horrific. The landscape still holds its memories. ​These images have led me to reminisce on my own ancestors and how they survived the famine in Galway. 

These works will be preserved in the National collection and will be available for future generations to view and comment on. Irish artists through the generations have been inspired and have worked in the landscape.

In my own work I walk, draw and paint in the landscape. Irish artists in the past have all worked and been inspired by the Irish land. A few of my favourites are Tony O’Malley, Pauric Collins and Jack B Yeats.

I feel privileged here in Donegal to have the opportunity to view this exhibition of Irish artists in the RCC.

Thank you to Daniel Nelis, Curator of this exhibition.