Emergence , Watergate Theatre , Kilkenny. December2022- January 2023.
This current work draws its inspiration from the shapes and forms created by modern agriculture. From my home and studio, you can see the land transition from the rich lowland fields to the wild landscape of Mt. Leinster and the Blackstar's Mountain range. As a part-time sheep farmer my interests lie in hill farming, a very different aspect of farming when compared to that of tillage farming. I am fascinated by the architectural elements that tillage farming creates, almost imposes on the land. The land becomes a very rational, structured landscape, in opposition to the wild landscap'e of a hill farm. It is if man was dominating the land, putting his mark upon it, changing and creating the world around him. It is in contrast to the wild untamed land that you would encounter on a hill farm, where you have to work with what is there, as opposed to creating it. Agriculure has become more and more modernised and industrialised, Modern agriculutre has systemised and bent the land to its will. There are many environmental consequences to modern agriculutral methods. We must look at these reprecussions and the affect it has on our environment. Alluding to the Romantic art movement of the late 18th century, which came about in response to the industrial revolution, I would like to draw a comparison to the state of our natural world today . These works focus on the purely asthetic forms that modern methods create. While focusing on these structured, systemised elements, I have chosen to depict these landscapes in a way that reminds us of the untamed, irrational aspects of the natural world. It is a movement from the poetic to the rational or perhaps the opposite, a movement from the rational to the poetic.
The Mt. Leinster Series was inspired by my time in the summer and autumn of 2021 gathering the sheep and shepherding on Mt. Leinster. In this series, I was interested in the age old- tradition of keeping sheep on the hill and tending to them, the customs and traditions of hill farming and the stunning landscape of the Blackstairs Mount Range in County Carlow.