"Landscapes, dreamscapes and other things"
Aidan Flanagan - Artist Statement
I am an artist/printmaker originally from Laois, but now based in Ratoath, Co. Meath.
During my 34 years in the Irish Air Corps, I painted, mainly in watercolours. In the late 1990s I stumbled across screenprinting, and became fascinated with the possibilities that it presented. I bought books on the subject, and learned how to create landscapes through screenprint. In 2008, I retired from the IAC, and concentrated on printmaking. In 2012, I expanded my knowledge of printmaking by undertaking workshops in the Graphic Studio, Dublin. There, I learned about the Carborundum, Photopolymer Intaglio and Monotype printmaking techniques.
I am grateful to Meath Arts Office for giving me the opportunity to present my prints in this solo exhibition here at the Toradh Gallery. These works, created over the last five years are a mixture of landscapes, real and imagined, dreamscapes, and other things.
The landscapes are mostly of places that are familiar to me through holidaying in Ireland. I love the effect of light and shade on the landscape, and this is what I attempt to convey in my work. Some of my more recent landscapes have evolved through exploratory sketches of imagined landscapes.
During 2012, I did a series of more abstract prints, that I grouped under the heading of Dreamscapes. These prints evolved from a close examination of brushstrokes and mark-making. I picked out curious shapes and developed them into what I hope are interesting images.
In a further development of this process, I created other prints, but gave them titles that give the viewer some clues. These prints come under the “other things” part of the title of my exhibition.
Also under the “other things” is a “labour of love” which I have titled “Air Corps Memories” Having spent 34 great years in the Irish Air Corps, I couldn’t resist the temptation to include images of aircraft. Originally, my intention was to create prints of the aircraft that I had flown during my service. I expanded the project to include all aircraft that were in service during my 34 years. Later I decided to include all aircraft types since the start of the Irish Air Corps in 1922. These prints are presented in a book format, and also as a framed version of the twelve pages of the book. The exhibition also includes four screenprints with layers of complex images related to the Air Corps.
I thank you for taking the time to read through this brief explanation of my exhibition, and I hope that you enjoy viewing the works.