Ciara Gormley’s paintings allow her to distil the elements of the landscape which arrest her attention. “These are often formal preoccupations: the way certain colours are layered, how line intercepts line, the light, the space. She is also taken with a landscape’s resonance: how the pockets of landscape she stumbles upon contain a kind of history.
Her process begins in the landscape. En plein air she draws the trees that populate her back garden or stand sentinel-like in the nearby woods. These initial marks are made quickly, to capture the movement and abstracted shapes of the oscillating foliage. Ciara, although preoccupied with creating abstracted landscapes, life-draws weekly to exercise her observational muscles. She finds that she exhibits the same attention to the drawing of trees to the drawing of figures: imbuing them with a similar presence to that of the human body.
Her paintings, whilst achieving an ataractic harmony of colour, have a presence and energy. The paintings come in a rush. The initial composition is demarcated with pencil and almost destroyed by the washes of colour she applies to the canvas. If the forms, movement, and line have been captured by her observational sketches, the colours are remembered from her experience in the landscape. The fast application of paint to canvas translates the movement and flux of the landscape; the preference for light washes of paint replicating the way the light filters through the densest thicket.” by Kate Reeve Edwards