The current body of work consists of landscapes, collages, paintings with figures and animals, including a series of heads, and abstract grid paintings.
The landscapes are painted in oil, in many layers, and are often worked on over many years. They are landscapes, but they are also abstract pictures; you can see them as you wish. My heads are as anonymous as any person going down any street in Ireland. My heads have landscapes and figures in them–whether it is a bird or a lady pushing a pram–it is the head that emerges. The grid paintings are very important to me. I’d like to make many more of the white ones, very quiet soothing paintings. That’s what we need in these times, something peaceful.
Drawing is an essential part of developing this work. Sometimes, it is automatic, but at a certain stage thought can be required. Things grow out of scribbles. One can take oneself by surprise. If you work, work, work, your normal consciousness disappears and it is almost like another person, I like to think a more creative person, who is working using intuition to a much greater degree.
In the process of working, sometimes you can get it wrong and another thing happens and that thing can be good too. I love to work with what they call chance, cutting down on conscious choice, letting things arrive at where they wish–keeping oneself out of it as much as possible by not making conscious choices. So all the way down the line there is choice, and no choice, and to get that right I do like to arrive at things energetically. When I’m painting, I forget myself, I get lost–it’s like meditation, and to forget oneself is wonderful.
Just to have an ocular anything is a miracle to start with. To see anything is a miracle. Just to be here is a miracle. I’d like to communicate that to people.