(spirit voices heard in the distance at sea on calm nights)
This exhibition is a selection of works all inspired by my frequent trips around the craggy shoreline of the Seven Heads Peninsula, both by walking and kayak.
The places I go to are pretty inaccessible which is why I like going there. I never meet anyone else while I am there, only birds, seals and occasionally dolphins. The changing tides mean each time one visits, it reveals another element. There are more than 25 caves, some of which can only be accessed at low tide, some a mid tide, some at high tide – all looking different also in various water conditions. I have visited there when the water is like a mirror and also when the swell is up to 3metres, crashing over the scrag.
Squalls fascinate me – these small short-lived sea storms with a heart of black clouds hovering ominously out to sea. I think of all those mariners who encountered them, thinking of getting back safely to shore. The ocean is this dangerous temptress, full of bounty and beauty, yet treacherous.
Eilbhe Donovan works from her garden studio in the picturesque South West of Ireland.
Having studied Illustration in West Wales School of the Arts, Eilbhe worked as a decorative painter for many years before returning to Fine Art.
Her subject is wildlife & nature art, but in a contemporary minimalist style. “I endeavour to capture the essence and soul of the animal or place I am portraying, shaking off superfluous detail to expose but a faint imprint – a shadow that encapsulates
it’s pith in as few lines, shades, and tones as possible. I like to leave some of the image for the eye and brain to configure, sometimes creating an unintended abstraction” In painting, all works are done in ink using traditional Chinese brushes.
In print, works are done with intaglio ink then run through a press, followed by further manipulation using mixed media.
This monoprint effect is something orphic, almost reticent. Marks made through the process are capricious because of the many variables – the final picture becoming a dreamlike transgression from the source image.
Imaginings and stories develop through this process.
Eilbhe intends to create such stories, often telling tales of the lives of her studies, a
fleeting bird in the distance, or on the foreshore, a suggestion, a calling from the sea…..