Interconnections Gallery

Curatorial Statement

Looking at the exhibition, it is difficult to identify obvious differences between the Irish and the Scottish work. Landscape is the loose theme that links the Interconnections artists, whether it is in closely observed local aspects or concerns of the wider world: global warming, migration, the romantic or the political. Looking very closely, the practiced eye might just be able to discern that some of the Scottish work is slightly more technically sophisticated. I think this is totally down to the fact that Scotland has a professional tapestry studio and the wealth of technical experience of professional Studio weavers to draw on. The Irish artists did not have anything like this resource available to them and have been tenacious in developing their skills alone. This gives each artist their own distinctive style. Angela Forte’s work appears at first glance to be purely abstract but is in fact as solidly grounded in observation of landscape as Elizabeth Radcliffe’s hyper-realistic seascapes. Terry Dunne’s pieces are about experiencing different types of landscape. As a gardener his concerns are about weather, seasons, soil and plants and rooted in a sense of place. In contrast, John Brennan’s landscapes are works of romantic fantasy, imagined formal gardens burgeoning with impossibly luscious fruit and flowers. Mary Cuthbert’s delicately rendered birds are vehicles to express aspects of Irish literature and musical heritage where Clare Coyle’s more abstract pieces talk of the archaeological landscapes of Scotland through the carved marks and small artifacts left behind by people from the distant past. Frances Crowe’s work rages passionately against injustice and disaster whether it be Covid 19 or the warming of the seas. For her the landscape is the arena against which the human dramas she portrays are acted out. In complete contrast Joan Baxter’s works use the timeless beauty of the Scottish Highland landscapes to achieve a stillness and meditative calm.

Angela Forte
Clare Coyle
Elizabeth Radcliffe
Frances Crowe
Joan Baxter
John Brennan
Mary Cuthbert
Terry Dunne