Under the bluebells
July 24 - August 26 2009
Paul McKinley's current practice takes the historical and mythological aspects of St. Anne's Park and the surrounding areas as the basis for this new body of work. Experiences felt or witnessed are also embedded into the work to give the paintings and drawings a particular sense of place while referencing things outside the direct physicality of the park itself.
McKinley's previous practice tended to eschew narrative for a more open ended reading of his work. The Red Stables Residency has significantly changed his methodology from a standpoint of implied narrative to one where the narrative (whether experienced, historical or imagined) drives the work. Stories that relate to certain locations both personal and researched are now the starting points for this new work.
McKinley references the historical land agreements of the park's previous owners, and the stories of estranged family members that lived on the then, private estate, along with personal life affecting experiences that occurred during the residency and a fantastical imagining of what or who could inhabit these spaces.
The show’s title, Under the bluebells, refers to a Neil Jordan newspaper article, where he reminisces about walking through St. Anne’s Park. In this article, Jordan explores the idea that there is an ever-prevailing undercurrent of activity in the park, beyond what is immediately seen. The exhibition also features the loan of a watercolour by Rose Mary Barton of the Garden at St. Anne's Park from Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane.
Paul McKinley graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 1996 with a BA Hons in Fine Art Painting. Now based in Dublin, McKinley was awarded the Nissan Art Project in 2007 resulting in his first solo exhibition in the RHA, Dublin. He has exhibited regularly throughout Ireland including solo exhibitions in the Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast, 2006 and The Market Place Arts Centre, Armagh, 2003. Recent group exhibitions include 178 RHA Annual Exhibition (Invited Artist) Dublin, 2008, Winter Salon, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin 2008 and Public/Private, The Red Stables, Dublin 2008. Public collections include Nissan Ireland, AIB, OPW, Kildare county Council, private collections in Ireland, UK, & France.