Carmel Madigan: A Talented Artist from County Clare

Carmel Madigan, artist and author hailing from County Clare, has a unique artistic journey that is deeply rooted in her upbringing in the rugged beauty of the Loophead peninsula. Growing up surrounded by the untamed natural environment of Loophead, Carmel developed a profound connection with the flora and fauna of the region, observing their intricate behaviors and interactions on a detailed level that would later shape her artistic expression.

Artistic Process and Inspiration

One of the distinctive aspects of Carmel’s artistic approach is her organic method of creation. She eschews preconceived notions of the final artwork, allowing herself the freedom to explore without the constraints imposed by traditional references like photographs or still life subjects. This approach opens up a realm of boundless imagination, where experimentation with color, texture, process, and thought takes center stage in her creative process.

Unique Artistic Style

Carmel’s artwork is a captivating fusion of mixed media techniques, acrylic paints, and textiles. Through this innovative combination, she crafts visually stunning pieces that are both intricate and evocative. Her paintings are a testament to her ability to blend different elements seamlessly, resulting in truly unique and expressive works of art that resonate with viewers on a deep emotional level.
Carmel Madigan Clare Artist
 

Rhymns of the Wetlands Series

The ‘Wetlands’ Series were born during my artist retreat at the Cill Rialaig Arts Centre in July 2023. The retreat was awarded to the artist by the Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, for a two week duration to create work in the remote and peaceful setting of Bolus Head, South West Kerry. The works evolved following months long investigations into the Wetlands of the Midlands, Lough Boora Discovery park, Clara Bog Discovery Park and a deep study of the numerous publications by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council. The bogs provided a wonderful inspiration, being so unique in their flora and fauna, and their natural formations. Species like the ‘matchstick lichen’, the insect eating plant the ‘Sundew’ and the vast swathes of ‘spagnum moss’ provided much inspiration for the artist creations ‘The Rhythmns of the Wetlands i and ii’ In her artworks, the artist, develops a watery presence over layers of paint washes, which are each allowed to evaporate naturally, before the next layer. In this way, the artist took the artworks on a journey of numerous shades and tones, allowing for elements to show through the thinner layers applied. In addition the artist used very delicate materials like ‘vintage lace’ to symbolize the spagnum moss and its entangled free floating, fibres, old knits and gravels to develop textures for the other reeds and vegetation and created ‘spirit like’ grouping of swans and wading birds. ‘The Rhythms of the Wetlands i & ii’, were developed in tandem with each other over several weeks, and have a naturalistic evolution from start to finish.
 

Small Worlds

‘Small worlds’ are little microcosms of the natural environment experienced by the artist, sometimes with others, from her nature walks beside her studio near Barefield, Ennis. There are flora and tress and other vegetation, and the artist developed a monochromatic approach to allow the shapes of nature take precedent over the colours of nature.

 

Tangled Hedgerows’

Tangled Hedgerows’ are a continuation of a series of west Clare inspired hedgerow artworks that the artist has been creating since approximately 2010, when she studied the wild hedgerows of the Loophead peninsula and wrote a book on the topic. The textures evolve from the addition of some of last years ‘saved’ crop, which the artist collects directly from the hedgerows before encapsulating them for posterity in the process of saving. Other textures may include local gravel and fibres that resemble long leaves. The artist is very familiar with the shades, species and exactly where on the vertical column of the hedgerow each species can be found.

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