Ballinglen Artist Hilary Elmes

One of the first artists I encountered at Ballinglen is Hilary Elmes, a painter from the Dublin area. Her paintings are a very rich painterly experience, inspired by the cliffs of the northern Atlantic coast. You can see the coast in the forms that dominate her paintings – conveying the essential forms and relationships you encounter here. She aggressively walked the cliffs finding some particularly interesting sites. These pieces began in watercolor and are then covered with encaustic wax. Her final step is to iron the work to lift much of the wax from the surface.

The more you understand how the land formed here the more Hilary’s process resonates. I am definitely speaking outside of my expertise when describing the land formation here, but I will refer to the Ce’ide Fields website [ here ] which might give the most accurate examples. The peat-bog, in a way, seals a previous layer of the earth. Earlier layers, and perhaps generations, are exposed as the peat is removed (it is burned for fuel). Many megalithic tombs have been uncovered as a result of harvesting the peat.

My photos don’t do justice to the richness of surface in the work.

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