Sunday, September 24, 2023

Local artist's exhibition calls for appreciation of nature

An exhibition of paintings and original prints by Rosetown-based artist Mary McGrath will focus on vulnerable biodiversity in Ireland, writes Brian Byrne. The exhibition, titled 'Endangered', will be officially opened in the Kilcock Art Gallery on Saturday next 30 September by Éanna Ní Lamhna, at 3pm. It will run until 21 October.
An internationally respected art conservator, Mary has repaired and refurbished the unique 120 years-old painting at the back of the altar in Kilcullen Parish Church on two occasions — in 2007  and 2019
For many years she lectured to Art History students in Trinity College Dublin on the history of Materials and Techniques of Painting, and she has worked on major art conservation projects in many parts of the world. A member of the Leinster Print Studio and a founding member of the SULT Artists collective in 2020, her own paintings reflect her deep interest in the richness of Ireland's native animals and birds which have survived despite intensive farming, habitat destruction and the demands of industry. 
"I love the countryside and I paint what I see and know," she says. "Spending time on my smallholding during Covid reminded me of what has disappeared. No hares or skylarks. No bees or ladybirds. The curlew has long since gone. But still there is always hope. My work invites you to be aware of your surroundings. To give Nature a chance to recover. To appreciate the survivors in our ecosystem and to realise that we can all make a difference."

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