The disappearing Island

oil painting by Veronica Bolay
Hail Shower, 70 x 80cm, oil on canvas, 2003

The painting above is by the artist Veronica Bolay. I had the privilege of visiting her home over Christmas. She lives in a secluded cottage behind Croagh Patrick, not far from Westport in Co. Mayo. I’ve been an admirer of her work for a long time now.

Originally from East Germany, she came to Ireland in 1971. I first met her at The Paul Kane Gallery in Dublin when we were both being represented by Paul. She is a member of Aosdána and also a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA).

Her work is primarily based on the wild and windy landscape of Mayo. She walks and walks down the little boreens of the West, making notes and tiny sketches and filling her memory with the images that will eventually be developed into her distinctive oil paintings and pastel drawings. “My life in a western county offers constantly fleeting moments of light and shadow”, she writes, “I am drawn towards the barely perceptible, the ephemera and unsubstantial components… ” For her, the Western landscape is reminiscent of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the land of her childhood. Not many places left these days so untouched by the modern world.

oil painting by Veronica Bolay
Disappearing Island, 60 x 70cm, oil on canvas, 2013

You can see more of her work at



  1. Eoin dhil , I feel myself drawn in by ‘Disappearing Island’ – glow of yellow hope, ominosity of dark and red, the balance half and half, the huge scape, the huge face, the ‘which of these fills my world?


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