Barrie Cooke archive: A treasure trove of unseen writing by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney reveals a vital creative friendship

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amazing trinity of creative friendships between Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Barrie Cooke-A treasure trove of unseen/unpublished works and poems by all three.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

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Studio Viewing Room | online only exhibition: setting suns - close horizons

Launching 12th November 2020

Studio Viewing Room

First exhibition of small works from the studio
Full info and to view : setting suns - close horizons
online only exhibition until 31st January 2021

New dip pen and ink drawings from lockdown walks in Sligo


190th RHA Annual Exhibition : Royal Hibernian Academy | Invited artist


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.
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Artists’ Voices: Life in a Pandemic | National Gallery of Ireland

ESB CSIA Oral Histories

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:

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Harper's Magazine, July 2020

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)


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The Time of Our Lives | Oliver Sears Gallery | Online

The Time of Our Lives
Oliver Sears Gallery
Online exhibition 14 April  - 29 May 2020

View on:

Sea_3-1-20- Nick Miller- Watercolour on paper-2020

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.
Hugo Williams

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’’.

Nick Miller

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