Exhibition of Oil Paintings
by Paul Guilfoyle
Mar 14th - Apr 3rd 2003
The Galway Advertister
Art Exhibition Review: Lighting The Way west
It is not so unusual for an artist to become obsessed with a region, but in the case of Paul Guilfoyle it is a region that made him become a painter. Galway and May have been summer haunts for Paul since he was a child.
However it was a short art course in Clare that helped him on his way to ditch the career in accountancy to become a full-time artist. Although already an accomplished painter, the course gave him the confidence that painting was a much more fulfilling, if precarious, choice of profession.
If there is one theme running through Paul's landscapes, besides geography, it is light. "I have always been fascinated by the way light changes." he told me. "I remember when I was 10, we were on holidays in Mayo, and I watched the light playing over the landscape. I stood there until it disappeared." Sunlight, moonlight, sunrises and sunsets all feature in the collection, each giving a different quality to the landscape in terms of tones, shapes and atmospheres.
Paul is not afraid of hot colours. In the hands of someone less in tune with his subject the paintings might have been garish and twee, but Paul is subtle in his choices. He understands what light and shade can do to his palette. As well as the palette, he understands what shape can do to light, and how the two interact with each other; whether it is wavelets fracturing a moon's low beams or a mountain's crest and ridge cutting off the sun to cast the rest of the countryside in shade.
Opening the exhibition last Friday, Marion Coy, directory of the GMIT, talked about Paul's eloquence with the landscape, in much the same way as the poets Seamus Heaney and Norman McCaig do in their poetry. She urged people to come and see the exhibition over the next few weeks "to allow that eloquence be its own commentator".
West Arís - Mullaghanattin to Minaun continues in the Kenny Gallery.
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