I remember, way back in 1997, I was gobsmacked by an exhibition of paintings in the RHA Gallagher Gallery. I was in art college at the time, wandering around looking for inspiration, and I realised in that instance what it was that fascinated me.
I say “fascinated” because in those days, all the art students had to “fascinated” with something, it didn’t really matter what. It could’ve been gender issues or kitsch or the male gaze (extra marks for that one) or transitions at the edge of town…
but I realised in that moment that, for me, it was the effects of Colour.
That exhibition was Post Cards Home by Eamon Colman, based on his travels around Eastern Europe when he was President of the European Council of Artists. Those large, colourful oil paintings made a huge impression on me back then but now, I’d like to recommend to you, his latest work which is currently on show at the Solomon Gallery in Balfe Street, Dublin.
Soft winged as an evening owl, the night came pink and magenta – that’s the title of the painting above. Poetry. Other titles include: In the imaginary garden, one can still hear the Angelus bell… Moorhen call from the smell of the pond, it seems to furrow the smooth surface of silence…
It is difficult for me to find the words to describe Colman’s paintings – they are beautiful, evocative, moving – but perhaps their own titles do them justice. The titles, like haiku poems, recall walks in the countryside, birdsong, memories of distant past and Geophilia.
Yes, I think the term Geophilia encapsulates the love of the earth that emanates from these wonderful paintings by Colman. They are all works on paper, each piece composed, inscribed, torn, worn and manipulated, and rewarding the viewer’s careful scrutiny with uncommon occasions for reverie.
The exhibition continues until the end of February.