Derval Freeman

Derval Freeman Artist works on commissions Contact This Artist View Artists' Website

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In 1996 I graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design and in the past year and a half, I’ve relocated from Co. Clare to my new studio in Co. Wicklow, where painting has become my full time profession.

Painting is an integral part of who I am, it is my primary form of expression which allows me to achieve a sense of belonging in the world. Painting is a way for me to investigate and resolve my place in areas of time and space in which I occupy. My work can be described as abstract landscape, as I draw from my surrounding environment out in the open landscape.

I am most drawn to nature and being surrounded by forestry and vast mountainous open landscapes, a strong sense of place is triggered. It evokes a wonder that drifts between the relevance of humanity and the purpose of existence. When isolated by the surroundings of nature a series of dialogue emerges through self-awareness where a bond between humanity and nature is significantly felt. Back in my studio this dialogue has a strong hold on what happens when I paint and I bring these conversations to the surface turning them into something tangible.

I multiply layers of paint in various consistencies of thickness and heaviness, thinness and transparently. At times I would apply bits that I find on my walks onto the canvas too. I push its boundaries as much as possible until a narrative starts to emerge. Often feelings that I am not alone in the solitary confinement of my studio result. As if an absurd affinity between the work and I have occurred which prompts thoughts and questions of the work reaching a place of relevance and the conversation finally emerges. Through lots of layering and working up the surface, scraping off and re-layering again, I rework it until I have reached a place of recognition.

Often on my walks through various woodlands and in the open landscape I would photograph things that would take my interest such as rocks with interesting colours, marks and textures, pine cones and needles, bits of twigs, bones of skeletal animal remains and anything else that would randomly catch my attention and interest. Sometimes I pick up bits of what I find which can either end up on the canvas or just used as reference for colour and texture or simply just as a reminder of a place.

My paintings are in many collections both with private collectors and with commercial businesses. I have participated in a number of group exhibitions throughout Ireland, as well as a number of solo shows and Art Auctions.