Inspired by her return to rural Ireland after living in the city of Glasgow, Hannah Mooney found refuge in the rugged landscape and began to blend her surroundings with her creative practice, suffusing her new compositions of landscapes and seascapes with mood and mystery.
The award-winning Irish artist’s latest exhibition of paintings draws from the sounds, smells and all-powerful wind of West of Ireland. Her new oil paintings displayed as part of ‘Into the Landscape’ at The Scottish Gallery evoke light, darkness, depth, transience and drama.
With a focus on the landscape around her home in Mayo, Ireland, Mooney uses her deep knowledge of the landscape to observe how it changes and how landscape contains a human history in its patterns. The dark fens and bogs lend the tonality to Mooney’s palette and the works show her constant observation of light and weather as she meditates on her surroundings.
‘Into the Landscape’ is divided into the locations where Mooney has a deep connection, places that provide her with an ever-changing limitless subject. Mooney is a natural, instinctive painter who finds beauty and truth in experience.
As a landscape painter she is at a remove from much of contemporary practice, but there is a connection within her work to other Irish painters, past and contemporary, who have been immersed in the same landscape: to Yeats, to Paul Henry and even Sean Scully in a shared tonality, palette and sheer enjoyment in the application of oil paint.
Christina Jansen, director of The Scottish Gallery commented, “‘Into the Landscape’ is Hannah Mooney’s second major presentation with The Gallery. Her first exhibition, ‘Notes from the West’, saw the launch of a major talent, a graduate from the Glasgow School of Art and recipient of the prestigious Fleming-Wyfold Art Bursary.
“Two years on and Mooney’s work continues to develop: she still prefers a small scale, her epic subject translated through memory, distilled by the mind’s eye into short poems in paint. Yet she has gained confidence in her subject. Mooney’s particular gift is to combine a fragile delicacy and immutability in her work, the fleeting and the permanent. This makes her paintings relevant today when our relationship to the natural world is at a crossroads”.
Hannah Mooney commented, “Lough Swilly, Ballyglass, Scardaune, Lough Carra, Mulranny, Clew Bay, Mayo, Lough Ennell, Lough Mask; these are places I have visited throughout my life. I believe that these places have had a lifelong impact on me. The areas that I have painted are of particular importance perhaps because they have drawn me back to Ireland time and again.
“They encompass character, mood and mystery that I think will always intrigue me. I feel as though I can learn from these places and revisit them like old friends, acquiring new knowledge and insight with every meeting. They give so much to me and never ask for anything in return. As a young artist I am still discovering what subjects and surroundings fuel my creativity, ambition and progression as a painter.
“‘Into the Landscape’ represents an exploration of that”.
Hannah Mooney: Into the Landscape
Exhibition Dates – Thursday 2nd – Thursday 23rd December 2021
The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6HZ