Saturday 22 February 2020

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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Landscapes of romance and realism

Wednesday, 28th August, 2019 4:47pm

John Barry


The Backwater Artist Group is to showcase the work of a talented young Cork artist next month. Kingdom is an exciting new exhibition created by 23 year old Bandon artist Sarah Long. The exhibition will explore the idea of the Irish landscape as a place of cultural identity and memory.

Working in the mediums of painting and drawing, Sarah endeavours to visualise the layers of memory, as well as plants commonly found in Irish hedgerows. The landscape is simultaneously depicted as a natural phenomenon and a cultural creation. An accompanying text, ‘I Can Recall’, further reflects on Irish cultural memory.

Sarah’s art has always focused on the landscape. For her it has proven to be a captivating and malleable subject, inspiring both figuration and abstraction.

She sets out to create a world that is both familiar and fantastic, juxtaposing the romantic notion of the landscape with its physical reality. Hedgerows of wild plants are reimagined as a green network that both births and shapes the land. Time passes across this mesh of lines, corridors and enclosed spaces. Every physical boundary bears witness to the country’s history, consequently becoming a source of cultural memory. Across multiple art forms, the landscape is emblematic of human activity. In Ireland, the idea of national identity is rooted in the land.

Sarah graduated from CIT’s Crawford College of Art & Design (CCAD) in 2018 with a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art. Following See/Saw, the CIT CCAD Degree Show, she was shortlisted for the RDS Visual Arts Awards. Sarah was recipient of the Sternview Gallery exhibition prize, the Ciarán Langford Memorial Bursary from Backwater Artist Group. Sarah also featured on popular Sky Arts programme, ‘Landscape Artist of the Year’, in 2018.

Kingdom opens on Friday 13 September on the first floor of Studio 12, Backwater Artists Group at 6pm, and runs until Friday 11 October.

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