Coming Out of Winter

Coming Out Of Winter

Exhibition at the Irish Embassy Berlin February -March 2023

The paintings for this exhibition were made between the autumn of 2020 and spring of 2022

I’ve been painting watercolours in Berlin parks for a while, but during the Covid pandemic this took a different meaning and form and the qualities of this medium carried over into my studio work.

I applied white oil paint to the edges of the canvas in January and February 2022, when we may have had snow in Berlin, in order to open up space in the composition. And then colour entered into my painting in an unforced way, in a gentle manner analagous to watercolours. Ribbons of pinks and greens started to come through.

At the same time, the calligraphy of the green paper paintings allowed me to produce the more spontaneous marks I made on the linen surfaces.

In a conversation with a curator in 2021, we talked about “gesture” and how the conditions of working throughout the pandemic prompted a certain repetition of mark making. I spoke about Giogio Agamben’s beautiful passage about gesture:

What characterises gesture is that in it nothing is being produced or acted, but rather something is being endured and supported. The “gesture ” in other words, opens the sphere of ethos of that which is human.” Giorgio Agamben (2000) Means Without End.

The Coming Out Of Winter paintings are a deliberate act of hope.