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Donalda O’Neill

    For me, painting the landscape is about connecting. I want to capture the energy and character of a place rather than try to depict a particular location. I am drawn towards the bleak and desolate landscape of the North Coast and Donegal in particular. Mountains, dense forests, ancient and silent bogland, purple heather fringed by a wild and unforgiving ocean. Landscapes that are both incredible and impossible at once.

    Returning to places that are imbued with memory creates nostalgia for half remembered places and the joy of discovering something new in the familiar. The sense of holding onto the intangible details of a place as I travel through, chasing something that is in constant flux, the transiency of the moment, becomes important. A landscape which is immediate and distant, continually changing, while somehow remaining strong, constant and eternal keeps me coming back again and again.

    My current paintings act as a rediscovery of the landscapes of Northern Ireland where I grew up. Revisiting and painting these beautiful places has become a way of re-calibrating my association of growing up in a troubled land as a place that now brings me so much peace.

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