Two-day art exhibition at Mullingar Park Hotel
Artist Padraig McCaul who recently moved to Mullingar, after ten years living in Achill, is holding a two-day exhibition of his work at The Mullingar Park Hotel.
Padraig and his art featured last Wednesday on RTE’s Nationwide (still available on the RTE Player).
While the move to Mullingar represents a change for Dublin-born Padraig, for his wife, Anne, it is a move “home”, for she is originally from Mullingar and is daughter of the late well-known Mullingar solicitor Tom Shaw and his wife Yvonne.
“We moved over to Achill about 10 years ago. We moved with our three very young children and put them through primary school there, but we just decided it was time to come back a bit closer to relations and family and friends this side of the country, because we have no family connections at all over in Achill.”
They loved the scenic island – and in fact, it had inspired Padraig’s work even before they made the move over and settled in Dugort.
“We just fell in love with the scenery and the people over there as well,” he says.
“There's something about Achill: when it gets its claws into you, you just can't let go.”
Padraig admits he does not know if the geographic shift will affect or influence his work.
“I wait for things to hit me and what I keep saying to people is that probably will be answered maybe this time next year - or maybe a bit earlier. I'm sure something will creep into what I do. But before we moved to Achill, I was in Dublin, painting Achill and painting the west coast and that's what really excites me: even the colours I use - even if I'm not working on landscape paintings as such - I still use those colours that I connect with Achill.
“We will just have to wait and see what happens but something will come through, I'm sure!”
Padraig has exhibited internationally in London, New York and Australia and holds regular exhibitions in Ireland with galleries in Dublin and along the west coast. His work can viewed at www.padraigmccaul.com
His newest paintings include work created during the past 18 months and as such is a reflection of the varying moods, light and dark, drawn from the experiences of a challenging year. Using familiar themes of West of Ireland cottages and old farmhouses, and his signature figurative work, each painting is filled with an abundance of colour and life. Outward looking, bright, open landscapes are contrasted with more personal, inward looking figurative pieces.
The exhibition at The Mullingar Park Hotel is Padraig’s first in Mullingar. It runs daily from 11am to 6pm on Saturday December 4 and Sunday December 5.
“It's an opportunity to introduce myself as such to Mullingar,” he says.
“I’m calling it a ‘studio exhibition’ because I will be bringing pretty much everything to it.
“Obviously I will be bringing my original oil paintings but I also do different types of limited edition prints and hand-developed prints; I do art cards as well. And something that is quite unique is a hurricane lamp with my images moulded onto the lantern.
“It's an opportunity to put everything that I have in the studio out for the public to see.”
He has booked a large room to facilitate social distancing, and admits he was partly influenced in his choice by the fact he has ways felt there's a lovely connection collection of art in the hotel: “It’s a nice place to bring people into and show them and to introduce them to what I do,” he says.
• Padraig’s exhibition runs at The Mullingar Park Hotel on December 4 and 5 from 11am to 6pm each day, and all are welcome along.
• Also see Padraig’s work at www.padraigmccaul.com