Grace Brennan, Buried at Derraghan
Grace Brennan's paintings deal with the vulnerable landscape of Irish boglands. Boglands are environmentally important in the context of climate change, manipulated and harvested over centuries, yet still regarded as an essential part of Irish identity. The contrast between solid and liquid, the constant seapage of water from one place to another, the 'land memory' that they contain - they are natural preservatives of everything from butter to tree stumps to human bodies - make them complex, natural, part human-shaped landscapes. As she says, "they appear desolate and barren, but are teeming with life."
In the context of Irish art, boglands are something of a staple in the works of artists such as Paul Henry, Markey Robinson, or Victorian paintings of 'turf gatherers'. Grace Brennan's work is a far cry from this. Extremely beautiful in terms of colour and line, they reflect the reality of the Irish bogland: both beautiful and unsettling.
Oil on canvas, 35 x 45cm. Unframed.
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