Growing up in Connemara I have always been intrigued by the many and varied abandoned houses in this part of Ireland. Many have survived since famine times due to their thick stone walls and simple but solid structures. They have been vacated along the way for many reasons; emigration, hardship family lines dying off etc.
To me they have a wonderful sense of history and mystery about them, and always seem full of character. They come from bygone eras, and in many instances stand side by side with modern day irish “bungalow bliss”. Many of them are now used as sheds or cow byres. They can be a myriad of colours; in many cases the owners have had to use only whatever paint is on hand to maintain them. To me they are full of beauty, but always with a sense of desolation about them.
Because these buildings have a unique character due to their age and history, I have tried recently to use paint in different and inventive ways to capture the atmosphere that surrounds them. As well as using the traditional brush methods of applying paint, I have experimented, with techniques involving spilling, mopping and scraping back the paint, to create the shapes and moods that I associate with these beautiful yet mysterious structures.
I feel that John Gray really captured what I strive to achieve in my work, when he said in a review of my recent exhibition, “‘Connemara light’ may be a well worn cliché both of tourist literature and the history of landscape painting in the area, but Ryan herself extols it, and succeeds in bringing a fresh vibrancy to it.
There is both a subtlety and an intensity to her palette. Every imaginable shade of blue, green, or yellow is brought into play as we follow the day from dawn to dusk and the seasons from spring through to autumn.”
“These colors are especially haunting with the reflected morning light shining in…thanks again for bring the Connemara light to the Caribbean Bridie Ryan!”
“My children gave me a Bridie Ryan painting for my 70th birthday last month. I love it! I’ve been admiring Bridie’s work for a number of years, so I was delighted to receive this special gift from them. The colors and composition are evocative of the beautiful Irish countryside, which I’ll unfortunately miss seeing this year due to the pandemic. I’ve hung the painting so that it’s the first thing I see in the morning when I get up and the last thing I see in the evening when I go to bed.”
“My mouth is open in amazement; my hands are clapping bravo; my heart is lifted up by the beauty of these works. Thank you, Bridie Ryan! You make the world seem more beautiful.”
“Watching your work unfold and change is pure joy, thanks for sharing!”
Tógadh mé Ingaeltacht Chonamara I gceantar Dhuice Sheoighe. Ag eirí suas, chuir áileacht agus stair na háit go mór ina lui orm. Bhí me in ann coiscéim mo shinsir a fheiscint san talún. Léirigh sé dom stair na haite, go mormhór rian na hiomairí ó am an Gorta Mór sna gortanna beaga.
Mar duine fásta theastaigh uaim é seo a chur in iúl do chách. Rógnaigh mé an tealaoin chun é seo a dheanamh. Bronnadh céim san ealaion orm ó GMIT sa mbliain 2004 agus bhí sé go híontach. Táim ag obair mar ealantóir ó shin i leith.
Táim an buíoch as Ealaín na Gaeltachta as a dtacaíocht ar fad i rith na mblianta..