Barrie Cooke archive: A treasure trove of unseen writing by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney reveals a vital creative friendship
Feeling nostalgic and celebratory today- posting these 3 portraits of Barrie Cooke in his honour- On the day an extraordinary archive is published released by Cambridge University’s Mark Wormald - It Documents an amazing trinity of creative friendships between Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Barrie Cooke-A treasure trove of unseen/unpublished works and poems by all three. I was very lucky as a young painter to have wandered into their orbit and drank a bit of the heady wine.
Posting three portraits I did of Cooke 1997, 2009 and 2013 and some photos-
Barrie Cooke, 1997. Oil on Linen. 98 x 98 cm Niland Collection, The Model, Sligo
Together and alone, May 2020
Oil on linen | 102 x 92 cm
On show at the 190th RHA Annual Exhibition 20 October - 13 December 2020
currently only viewable online during Level 5 Covid 19 restrictions
Thanks to the wonderful Eithne Jordan RHA for the invitation to show a piece in this year’s exhibition.
This piece is the first new painting made during lockdown 1, once the nerves began to settle. The subjects include an intense escapee ‘coronal’ like Poppy from a hedgerow, a white clematis and assorted bits of found sea sponge with a starfish peaking out.Read More....
EPISODE 1 | Nick Miller in conversation from his studio in County Sligo
Born in London, Miller moved to Ireland in 1984 and now lives and works in Sligo. He is a painter who works in the genres of portraiture, still life and landscape. Focusing primarily on local subjects, including the rural landscape of north-west Ireland, he has developed a vigorous painting technique that merges representation and expressionism. He was the winner of the National Gallery of Ireland’s inaugural portrait prize in 2014.
In this episode, Miller discusses his work, including From Cogan’s Shed, and talks about aspects of his life during the COVID-19 emergency.
This conversation was recorded on 8 May 2020.
Listen on Soundcloud, below:
Harper's Magazine: July 2020
A letter from Ireland
Bogland By William Atkins
Climate change, and the peat industry’s dying days: (PDF)
See Online Version
Among the images reproduced for the essay by William Atkins is this painting made on the high bog on Carran Hill, painted from my mobile studio looking towards Sligo in 2001 & 2002. It is one of the early TRUCKSCAPES first shown in the RHA Dublin in Figure To Ground in 2003.
From Carran Hill to Sligo, 2001-2002. , Oil on linen, 214 x 186 cm. (Private collection, Ireland)
Courtesy of Oliver Sears GalleryRead More....
The Time of Our Lives
Oliver Sears Gallery
Online exhibition 14 April - 29 May 2020
View on: oliversearsgallery.com
The Sea 7-1-20 | Nick Miller | Watercolour on paper| 30 x 40 cm
The Time of Our Lives
The future can go and be
bloody terrifying on its own
for all I care. Me and my girl
are stepping out for the past.
We’re putting our best foot
backwards, heading for home.
What we'll do when we get there
we haven’t decided yet.
For the time being at least
we’re having the time of our lives
all over again.
All Over again
Most mornings for the last few years, the nearby sea calls me from the comfort of my bed to swim alone. In the water I am free of the “bloody terrifying” future and the persistent past. The sea’s indifference to my fate offers a strange freedom, a universal encounter and a salve to the self, particularly in this time of extreme existential anxiety. Putting “my best foot backwards”, I attempt paintings to extend and hold this brief daily meeting with nature in my life. And then, like waves, “all over again’’.