Painting pictures of sadness and loss
May 14, 2003
Felim Egan, Cavanacor Gallery, Lifford, Co Donegal
“….Felim Egan's exhibition at the Cavanacor Gallery brings
him close to home: he was born just across the River Foyle in Strabane.
The Cavanacor show marshals a significant body of recent paintings.
Although he can certainly be described as an abstract artist, Egan has
increasingly accommodated landscape references in his spare, elegant
Here his Soundings 3 series, together with Woodnote 3 and other pieces,
points us towards sea and land.
He characteristically creates an overall textural ground, built up with
powdered stone, and usually in a muted colour or shade of grey, although
on occasion he will use a very intense colour. The unity of this ground
is interrupted or offset by the intrusion of other elements, most commonly
small grid ladders or wedges of different colour. It is quite a simple,
limited formal vocabulary and one that Egan has used, with some variations,
for a long time.
There is ample evidence, however, that limited means are no hindrance
to the creation of interesting paintings, and Egan's ingenuity lies
in the way he dextrously manipulates a few pictorial elements to produce
consistently engaging, challenging compositions. By pushing his pictures
towards the atmospherics of water and light - more, perhaps, than landscape
per se - he generates a productive tension between image and object.
He undercuts the authority of the single, homogeneous image with the
geometric wedges. Previously, he has implied musical associations in
his painting, and these small coloured elements can be viewed as suggesting
the intrusion of sound into space.
Although there is a reflective calmness to the work, it is altogether
more even and upbeat than Hooghiemstra's melancholy deliberations…”
Copyright 2003 The