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From the Water, From the Bog


‘Scott impressed me earlier  with the courage to “belong” to a long tradition of West European landscape paintings, namely its strong precedent in the Danube School of the late 15th C , and  to make it of his time and space.  There are no deep dark forests in Northern Ireland -nor in the Ireland as  whole, the bogs are ubiquitous.    He foregrounds  not the panorama of the land ,what he cannot soberly observe with sincere insistence that it is so, instead he paints an imagined  believable  single tree’

- from Slavka Sverekova’s review

In the shadow of Mt Errigal in Co. Donegal lies a small remote glen called Min a Lea. The surrounding land was once a place of transport and movement, home to the Caiseal na gCorr railway station. The area would lie still once more, derailed from the timeline of the modern world and devoid of today’s rash visual culture. The mellowed bogs and still lakes that I grew up surrounded by in the area would seep into the deepest roots of my imagination as a child. It is in these endless continuums of water and bog land that nostalgia can be felt and revisited so vividly. From the Water, From the Bog does not attempt to reinterpret the landscape in its whole but express it through a poetic consolidation of time and memory. Long roots of heather and weathered bog oak lie deep in the ground, witness to the long history of the land. One solitary branch of heather and a hand carved piece of bog oak faintly emerge through thin layers of paint. A vessel shaped structure in the center of the piece joins the two fluid panels of paint. Amongst this void rests a small glass bottle, filled with the water of the same lake it was found in years prior. Plucked from the same ground, these natural and manmade objects balance in harmony, forming something comparable to a shrine. This sentiment could reflect a sacralized treatment of the land, or an insistence to avert the habitual impulses of today’s rash visual culture. The demure imagery detains only those elements that can truly characterise the essence of memory. Still water and bog land both can offer a stillness of time, something more resilient than the elusive present.

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