My paintings explore rugged landscapes, isolated areas, historic memories, vast bogs,
ancient belts, wild and windy places and infinite oceans.
I never cease to find new possibilities in the Irish landscape: vast areas of Ireland are secluded, silent places. I am interested in the unpredictable Irish weather and the constant light change that comes with it. As the light changes so does the mood and atmosphere. Landscapes alter before your eyes and surroundings tell stories and produce scenes that are vivid, lively and memorable.
I'm intrigued by abandoned farm buildings that are dotted around Co. Clare where I live, many have survived from famine times. Thick stone walls with solid simple structures. Isolated places where nature is untamed and untouched. I have been exploring the landscape in my painting for many years. Quite empty places, bog lands, rolling hills of east Clare and the rugged coastline of the west of Ireland. The wild Atlantic Ocean has so much beauty, power, movement and rhythm that I find it both energizing and therapeutic to capture it with paint. Often my work depicts vast stretches of sky, an ocean that spans for miles and land that's living and sleeping, with many deliberately nonspecific in location.
My approach to painting is one of connection. I paint to connect with my surroundings. In my landscapes and seascapes I visually investigate nature at a particular place, time and season. Starting a painting is both daunting and enjoyable. While the blank canvas needs defeating, the excitement of developing something new brings about energy and experimentation. Complex surface textures are built up by layering colour on top of colour resulting in surfaces that emerge both thick and smooth, coarse and soft. My inspiration for painting comes from my love of nature and my connection to the Irish landscape.
Rachel Murphy is a Limerick born artist who graduated from Limerick School of Art and
Design with a B.A. in Sculpture (1990) and a Higher Diploma in Art and Design Teacher Training (1991).
She has spent many years working in the Limerick art field in a variety of positions. She was
Press officer/ Education Officer for the Belltable Arts Centre, Curator of the Dolmen Gallery,
Photographer for Philip Kenny Designs, Commercial Artist with Arthaus Interiors and Artist in
Residence with Limerick County Council.
Rachel has taught art to a variety of groups (secondary schools, community groups, adults and children) and collaborated on a variety of projects over the last twenty years. Rachael has exhibited her work at solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and has completed a variety of commissions. She now lives in Co. Clare and works as a painter, photographer and art teacher.