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The Doorway Gallery is delighted to host an exclusive show by Gary Devon RUA entitled ‘Continuum’ . The show will officially be opened by Aodh Ó Domhnaill,( Dramatist and a poet and a song-writer) which will take place Thursday November 10th from 6-7.30pm, at No. 24 South Frederick St, and is scheduled to run until December 1st .
"Deserted farmsteads have been the focus of my most recent work. Their prominence in the paintings prompts the question why such emphasis. Perhaps there is something in my bones - my father was an architect and I've always been drawn to buildings as subject matter. Edward Hopper became an abiding influence at Goldsmiths College in London when I concentrated on the urban scene. Long since back in Ireland I'm just as excited by the cottage, farmstead or lone house. I'm also now giving up more of the canvas space to the surrounding landscape. I'm hugely excited by light and the sun's effect on colour, dependant on its temperature or position in the sky. Besides throwing the scene into relief it will dress a mountain in its evening attire of orange and magenta, the olive green of first light or the pale cobalt of a shimmering haze. It will turn the weathered red barn a dazzling bright cadmium orange.
Beyond that natural affinity with architecture and the stimulus of colour and light I'm not sure what my paintings are "about", if indeed they are or have to be about anything. I'm loath to pin any definitive meaning onto them as I'd prefer the viewer to decide, but, if pressed, I'd suggest they are about the passage of time and the transience of life. The farm building, upon the death of its occupant, becomes something of a monument to the life of that "unknown" farmer and his forebears. I make no apology for the paintings' measure of nostalgia for they are a celebratory nod to past generations, the common man and woman, their life of subsistence and even survival. Occasionally I get little snippets of information about them through conversations with those who'd have known them, even if it's only a nick name or an indication of their trade, the likes of "Murphy The Bog" or John T. O'Shea, cabinet and cart maker, a useful man to know in life and equally useful at the end of it, as he doubled as a coffin-maker. Noted by their absence in the paintings they live on in spirit. In some paintings cattle or sheep take sanctuary in or congregate around the doorless shell - it's as if the house has not yet given up its ghost.
The paintings are unapologetically Irish and a touch nostalgic and sentimental. That's me, but I try to steer clear of the John Hinde postcard view of old Ireland. If I could be permitted to ally myself in sprit with author John McGovern I'm hoping there is more of his type of sentiment in my paintings. Making another literary comparison I once stumbled across a radio reading by Cavan writer Michael Harding of one of his own particularly evocative pieces of prose describing his memories of the life and passing of a local farmer whom he barely knew, but obviously admired very much, noting his daily devotion to his animals and fields. It immediately struck a chord with me and seemed to put into words what I was trying to say in paint. He describes the farmer as "a quiet man who walked deeply on the earth". About his passing he wrote, " His death was the closure of a simple life. When a farmer dies in the countryside there is a strange emptiness in the fields. But there will be no one to tend his garden now, and his fields are empty, his cattle are taken elsewhere. His tractor will never come again up the hill on a summer's evening. And the house where there was always a light in the window at Christmas will be dark this year. Those who live in the hills above Lough Allen have lost another solitary man. But all across the West of Ireland it is the same - one by one, the lights go out ". Gary Devon RUA
Date: Thursday 10th November
Special Guest: Aodh Ó Domhnaill, Dramatist and a poet and a song-writer
Time: 6 – 7.30pm
Gallery opening Hours:
Monday – Saturday 10.30-6pm
For more information :