In the news…

oil painting on cardboard by Eoin Mac Lochlainn

I was delighted to read last Sunday morning that Cristín Leach Hughes,  art critic with the Sunday Times,  had reviewed my exhibition in The Bourn Vincent Gallery in Limerick.  Cristín has a blog at  My other news is that the show will be featured on Imeall, the Irish language arts programme on TG4 this thursday at 9.30pm. 

Here’s what Cristín wrote –  ” This show opens with a small but striking painting of a discarded takeaway coffee cup.  In the centre of the room, a teetering installation made from several hundred real ones bears the sobering title Celtic Towers.  This heartfelt show about homelessness includes full-on portraits of weatherworn faces such as Jimmy, above with his empty stare, alongside compositions that combine cardboard, wood and painted panels to great effect.  Mac Lochlainn is dangerously literal in his choice of thematic materials but he mixes his mediums with just enough restraint to make it work.  Painting in oil on cardboard and wood in Hoodie, he incorporates texture into the composition.  Deliberately taking the role of removed observer, he sources images from newspapers, television and the internet.  He paints the urban night sky, light glowing in a doorway, an abandoned sleeping bag, bonfires on wasteland, and lonely figures with their heads bowed; poignantly pointing to the human cost of our throwaway, disposable culture.”



    • Thanks John, it’s always nice to get feedback. I just heard this morning, by the way, that the exhibition has been extended for another month – until the 25th of May.


  1. Hi Eoin, I watched Imeall on TG4 earlier and, not having seen the exhibition in Limerick, I thought it looked very impressive. I am no art critic, but the distressed or apprehensive faces painted in oils had a depressing ‘end of days’ quality to them, and I suppose many people do harbour fears for the future. I particularly liked the ink drawings on cardboard; they seemed much happier and more optimistic, perhaps a glimpse into possibly more upbeat themes to come. Ba chóir dom bheith á scríobh seo i nGaeilge ach cé léadh é? Beannachtaí, Cóilín Mac Lochlainn


    • Hello Cóilín,
      bhuel, tá s’agam go bhfuil Gaeilge mhaith ag roinnt de mo léitheoirí – so cén dochair an post a scríobh dóibh sin ?

      Anyway, to move on to your point – about the ‘end of days’ quality that you saw in my paintings. I suppose that we are in pretty disasterous times these days, the poverty, the homelessness etc and perhaps it seems even worse because we seemed to be doing so well just a few short years ago but actually, I was hoping that the viewer might see something other than despair in those characters that I was portraying. That is to say: I actually picked those images because I saw something in them that I wanted to examine and represent. That guy in “on the lookout” for instance, we don’t know if he’s just concentrating, or is he on the lookout for a job, or if he’s ‘keeping nicks’ while his friend is in robbing a bank or… but yes, he’s probably been through the mill but he’s not beaten yet! – that was my point. There’s the indominatable human spirit: ‘I can’t go on, I must go on, I will go on’. If you were sitting on the street with a cardboard sign asking for help, what would you be thinking? what would you do? Would you maybe take the marker and start drawing what you saw around you? I dunno, but I like to think that people have hidden or dormant qualities that could appear in times of adversity. Was that why the drawings appeared more optimistic, maybe ? Thanks for writing in, anyway, I always appreciate getting feedback, eoin


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