My home stands a mere 160 metres from the eastern side of Garryvoe Beach. Eight to ten foot high clay cliffs are constantly eroded by wave action; each year between a foot and a metre of ground are washed into the sea. About once or twice a year I get a recurring dream where the cliff has suddenly come up to the house just outside the fence. Like a lot of anxiety themed dreams, just before the house falls down, the dream ends. Skies are always dark in my bad dreams where landscapes feature. The painting looks real to match how vivid the dream feels but if you look at where the windows should be in the house, the background sky is visible instead of walls. Therefore the house is a façade and imagined. The painting is also a prophecy, it’s only a matter of time before the cliffs do come up to the house, depending on how bad global warming kicks in.
During my most recent exhibition at the Grainstore in Ballymaloe, it was suggested by the owner to do a picture of the house nearby. So after considering various angles, I settled on this view. There is a good sense of depth and the buildings look imposing as they ‘lean’ in with height. I did a very deep blue in the sky which I’ve never done before. I also used sap green and leaf green on the foliage on the wall and the front lawn. The Grainstore has been good to me during the two exhibitions I’ve had there and I was determined to a good job with portraying this well known building.