For his rugged, atmospheric landscape paintings, Padraig McCaul draws inspiration from the west coast of Ireland, especially Achill Island. The first time he went there, he says, was on his return from a stint in San Francisco. “What I saw in Achill dwarfed anything I’d seen on the west coast of the US.”
The strength of the landscape, the cliffs, the mountains, the boggy swathes, the swirling sea, and most of all the earthy colours, stay fresh in his mind while he evokes them on canvas, under the shelter of the Sugar Loaf.
Years of gathering treasures from Connemara beaches inspires ceramic artist Grainne Watts to create elements inspired by the sea; intricate, beautifully decorative porcelain sea urchins and “walking fish” in a nod to Darwin. And in sharing a Delgany studio, the two artists discovered a shared fascination.
Now they have joined creative forces for an exhibition, entitled simply Coast, which will run at Dalkey Heritage Centre, Co Dublin, from next Tuesday, April 13th, to Sunday, April 18th, and will be opened by the new Minister for Culture, Mary Hanafin. For further information, call 086-8801733, or see padraigmccaul.com.