Exhibition Opening: Sunday 16 September at 3:00 pm.
“The idea of ‘road trip’ is evocative. It has many connotations, from my student days to Kerouac and Burroughs traveling through the Mexican desert as outsiders from ‘the system’. And perhaps most famously is Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a drug fueled journey across America generating gonzo journalism about motor bike races and casino life.. what’s not to like…!
This summer I’ve been on the road for three months straight. I began in Italy where I hired a car in Florence and drove around Tuscany for a few weeks, and then down to Rome for four weeks. Everyday just getting in the car and searching for a motif to paint. From Italy I moved onto France and then to Cornwall in England. And finally I returned to Ireland where I did my last month of driving and painting…mostly alone but sometimes I was joined by other painters.
The result is this show of small portable paintings. And so what was I looking for on these road trips; it’s difficult to say. It’s really about an engagement with place as idea and art, and as a place in itself.
In Italy I travelled to Papigno and to Narni, because the French painter Corot had painted there in 1826. I travelled to the home of the painter Morandi and painted there. And in England i painted Bray hill and St Enedocs church where John Benjamin lived and worked and wrote about. And in Ireland yeats was constantly on my mind, as were the tower houses and all the cultural heritage from bygone times. Painting for me is about connecting to these people and worlds that are ever present in our reality, and make up so much of our mental landscape. And so these last months I have been seeking this richness in the living landscapes of Europe. I hope you enjoy the show.”
– Conrad Frankel, August 2018