Sunday, 17 March 2013


“Out of Ireland have we come, great hatred, little room, maimed us at the start. I carry from my mother’s womb a fanatic heart.” - William Butler Yeats

Saint Patrick’s Day is a predominantly Irish holiday honouring the missionary credited with converting the Irish to Christianity in the 5th century AD. He was born around 373 AD in either Scotland (near the town of Dumbarton) or in Roman Britain (the Romans left Britain in 410 AD). His real name is believed to be Maewyn Succat .  He was kidnapped at the age of 16 by pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland . During his 6-year captivity, while he worked as a shepherd, he began to have religious visions, and found strength in his faith. He finally escaped, going to France, where he became a priest, taking on the name of Patrick.  When he was about 60 years old, St. Patrick travelled to Ireland to spread the Christian word. Reputedly, Patrick had a winning personality, which helped him to convert the fun-loving Irish to Christianity. He used the shamrock, which resembles a three-leafed clover, as a metaphor to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity. Saint Patrick allegedly drove all snakes out of Ireland.  This may be an allegory, as the snake was one of the revered pagan symbols.

As it is an Irish day today, why not feature an Irish artist for Art Sunday? Bernadette Kiely is a contemporary Irish artist who was born in County Tipperary. She lives in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. She attended the National College of Art and Design, Waterford and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Her work is in numerous public and private collections, including those of the AIB, the George Moore Society, the Butler Gallery, the Garter Lane Art Centre, the University of Limerick, and the Ballinglen Arts Foundation.

She has been involved in a number of artists’ residencies (Cill Rialaig Artists Retreat in Co. Kerry and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Co. Monaghan). Her work has been included in major international group shows including Famine and has had a number of exhibitions in London. She teaches part time at Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.

Kiely’s paintings convey a sense of fascination with and passion for the ephemeral, transient phenomena in nature. Her narrow focussed view of the landscape provides a private view of the world and a quasi-abstracted narrowness of vision that forces the viewer to examine the detail of the scene, examine the light and be fascinated by the colour as interpreted in the instant the painter has chosen to capture.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for discovering this painter. Really marvelous.