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“Through my work I try to create a sense of place without a specific location in mind. A process of layering invokes the elements of land, sea and sky. Derived from memory and emotions I am bringing them back together in my paintings, holding on to the chance accidents and spontaneous marks which are integral to my technique  without losing the overall compositional intention, I balance between habitual mark making and recognising happy accidents when they occur.

This process of layering is not only physical – there is a darker edge to my paintings, a deeper meaning that lurks in the shadows. They are not only abstract landscapes but “inscapes”, bringing the outside and inside world together, merging places with emotions and letting the viewer follow me on my emotional journey while experiencing their own that is what my art is about.” Ken Browne

In these highly evocative works, landscape becomes the vehicle through which the artist explores the realms of human emotion and the subconscious.

These meticulously crafted abstract paintings were inspired by the artists’ experience of different Irish landscapes.  These are not specific landscapes but a synthesis of natural scenes that the artist has beheld in the past and which have left an indelible mark on his imagination.  The upper zone of each painting is dominated by skilfully-rendered, turbulent skyscapes.  While these skies are impressively Turneresque in their grandeur, they are also unmistakeably Irish.  They vary as only an Irish sky can vary, grey and misty one moment, warm and burnished the next.

However, to uncover the true emotional and psychological depth of these works, a more prolonged viewing is necessary.  If the upper area of the work is defined by exuberant skies, then the lower area is defined by layers of dark and shadowy colour, suggesting that beneath these energetic skyscapes there lurks something foreboding.  As the painting descends there is a gradual abandonment of realistic description in favour of areas of darkness where something deeper, more powerful, and perhaps more sinister dwells.  With their blacks and browns, deep reds and golds, these lower zones are admirably reminiscent of some of the greatest practitioners of tenebrismo such as Caravaggio or Velazquez.   Here we are truly in the realm of the subconscious, the implication being that one’s experience of nature is inextricably linked to deep-rooted emotional and spiritual processes lying dormant inside us all.  These works go even further by suggesting that the human senses are inadequate when it comes to perceiving natural elements, that only when they operate in tandem with these intuitive emotional/spiritual processes does one begin to comprehend the natural world.

It is this interplay between bright skyscapes at the top and shadowy realms at the bottom that marks these out as truly original works.  Viewers are advised to take their time with these paintings, to let the eye gaze back-and-forth between these beautiful zones of light and dark until the work awakens an instinctive emotional response to the experience of the Irish landscape.Donal O’ Sullivan