Irene Gardiner

MA Fine Art

This body of work was put together during, and after recovering from Covid.

‘St David’s full moon’, was painted during the last few months of my eldest’s pregnancy and was finished just before little Athena’s birth, on St David’s day.

The smaller pieces attempt to reflect, metabolize with and evolve from the larger painting, and from each other. They chart a struggle for life and a sense of unity, light, and community, at a very dark time. The innovative techniques used, reflect the organic manner in which I work, and my avoidance of urban life and its rigidity. My experience in Bricolage-style sculpture, costumery and puppet making, has made innovation and experimentation in technique almost second nature. Salvaging materials and experimenting with old technologies and techniques brings us the new and the unique.

A lifetime’s addiction to ‘doodling’ late at night, when the children slept, has enabled a spontaneous and unrestricted expression of direct consciousness and this presents itself in the application of imagery and texture. This is combined with the conscious use of colour inspired by the procession of the seasons and the stunning impact of weather, on the life and the minerals found in this part of Wales.

Layers of print and paint interact, suggesting rebirth, a veneration for ancient places, the presence of mythological creatures and the ever-present afterlife, obscured by layer upon layer of geological time and its formations.

I have quietly observed the metabolism and transformation and all of life’s energies, from my woodland habitat. Changes have taken place at different paces and at different scales from within and from without. These paintings are my response to the last eighteen months.