“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”

painting by Bernadette Kiely
Bernadette Kiely: “From a distance no.2”,  30 x 40 cm, oil on canvas

A light on in an upstairs’ window.  Someone at home. Alone?  What strange times we’re living in…

This painting entitled: “From a distance, no.2”  is from a series of poignant paintings in the current exhibition by Bernadette Kiely at the Taylor Galleries. The series was inspired by her nightly walks around Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny during the days and weeks of lockdown. Tender paintings that speak of neighbourly concern.

The title of the exhibition is: “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”, a phrase taken from Shakespeare’s play Troilus and Cressida. It is often used to refer to comradeship and fellow feeling in the face of crises.

I’d love to see these paintings close up, to see the fluid paintwork, the rivulets making their way down the canvas, the drips, so very apt for these sad times. For me, they seem to encapsulate the loneliness of those in isolation.

painting of flood in Thomastown by Bernadette Kiely
Bernadette Kiely: “House on a river (CYMS)”,  102 x 113 cm, oil on canvas

There’s also some paintings of floods, the large paintings that we’ve come to expect from Kiely.  I particularly liked her “House on a river” (above). A flooded road with reflections on the water.

The world’s turned upside down but, at the top left hand side, you can see the dotted line in the middle of the road which tells us that the water is not too deep. Perhaps the storm is abating?  I’m reminded of the old Irish saying – Tránn chuile thuile – which literally means: every flood abates or – this too will pass.

Finally, it started off as an online exhibition but now, you can visit the gallery in Kildare Street to see the actual work.  You can ring up and arrange a time to visit.  Other galleries are doing something similar, I know that’s what’s happening at the Olivier Cornet Gallery too.  So much better to see the works in reality!


Taylor Galleries, Dublin




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