Boats at Rossadillisk
Boats at Rossadillisk by Terence O'Connell
- 053 x 33 cm (21 x 13 inches): €135.00
- 071 x 56 cm (28 x 18 inches): €160.00
- Framed: No
- Location: Mullingar, County Westmeath
- Country: Ireland
Signed Limited Edition of 150 from an original watercolour painting.
Few pictures offer themselves as obviously as this and I was lucky to catch it. The summer of 2013 was unusually fine, the best for many years. I was in Connemara in Co. Galway during the most glorious weather in July and one day visited Rossadillisk, near Cleggan. The bay here is very shallow and as I was about to leave the incoming tide raised these boats off the sand, in a few moments it seemed, and presented me with this wonderful composition. There is a balance and a rhythm to the predominant forms that made it feel at once complete and gets to the heart of what makes a successful picture I believe. In addition, the mooring ropes and bits of weed, barely moving on the gentle flood, seemed almost to levitate above the limpid shallows. They do so much to evoke the stillness of the water. This is key to the picture and the feeling of oceanic calm which is my real subject, and which I hope might spread to the viewer. It is the sort of feeling you would like to last forever, but of course it doesn’t, perhaps shouldn’t; and indeed the benign atmosphere on that occasion belies a very tragic history. In October 1927 the fishermen of the little village here were caught in a sudden and terrible storm. Sixteen men from Rossadillisk were drowned within sight of their homes and twenty-eight more from communities further north. This was the so-called Cleggan Disaster. Not surprisingly, Rossadillisk never recovered from the calamity and no doubt emigration deepened the wound. Knowing this adds poignancy to the calm so that it feels, emphatically, like an interlude – a minute’s silence for the lost before the world starts turning again.