My name is Niamh McConaghy and I am an Irish artist currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I am a Fine Art student at the University of Ulster, Belfast.
My art focuses greatly upon the abundance of incredible Irish landscape that surrounds my day-to-day life. I create work that is not to be looked at, but to be looked into and which reassures the presence of the existence of a natural world in today’s characteristically man made surroundings. My intention is to echo the sensation of the Irish landscape rather than to present a literal interpretation of sky, horizon and land. By means of immersing myself into harsh weather conditions, I am able to witness and experience as closely as possible, the beauty that irritates and itches to escape within the landscape.
Colour is concentrated upon greatly throughout my work, as I believe the truth of Ireland’s landscape is possessed within such a trait. The forms within my work generally originate from dominant shapes that are in my view at the time of painting –maybe a square of a field or circle of a bird’s head. I believe that nature can be fragmented into the most basic shapes and forms. I allow my work to develop organically, rarely residing with the original sketch or painting.
My work compels play through the appreciation of energetic brushstrokes, which therefore allows for spirited, large and gestural movements. The energy in which I use to create my work is imperative, often moving my body to the rhythm of each individual piece. I have experimented greatly with various methods of application in production including brushes, palette knives, my fingers and my hands.
I rely greatly upon spontaneity and instinct and believe that my emotion for the landscape at the time of painting usually emerges this way. Surface quality plays a significant role within my work and is usually achieved through the process of scraping, pulling and pushing of paint around the surface until it justly fits. I strive to maintain a visible history of the work by allowing various stages of the layering of paint to be seen at the final stage. This supports me to push my self-discipline and willpower to know when to stop at certain points of painting. This is a fundamental trait through which I have identified as the key characteristic in the creation of my work.