Bernadette Kiely - Quay - work from the river

Riverbank-fog-oil-on-canvasFebruary 18 - March 19, 2011

The quayside in Carrick on Suir where Bernadette Kiely grew up informed her deep connection and fascination with ‘the river‘, her life being regulated by the constant presence and flux of the river Suir. From a young age she often witnessed heavy flooding on the quay and the powerful natural force of the river imprinted itself strongly on her mind.
Since then Kiely has moved from the banks of the Suir to the quayside of the Nore, a fast moving volatile river, also subject to regular flooding. While she makes work based on the elements of air, fire and earth including growth and decay in nature it is to the element of water in the form of the river she consistently returns, making drawings, paintings, photographs and more recently video.

‘QUAY | work from the river’ features a series of large paintings and accompanying charcoal, chalk and pencil drawings chronicling the seasonal life of the river Nore.
Moving between the objective and the abstract, Kiely uses both methods in her painting. Colour is one of her prime motivators, the expressive application of pigment being intrinsic to her oeuvre, at times pushing her work close to colour-field. Exact visual replicas are not created, rather it is the very essence of what it feels like to stand beside the river, the damp, the floods, the cool air, fog, early morning mist, the rushing movement and the cloud filtered light reflected in the water.

"While big, noisy forces (such as war, economics and the scandals of curruption) compete to grab our attention and the headlines, Aosdana member Kiely’s beautiful paintings remind us that the slow and relentless growth of lichens and the inevitable movements of the tide will outlast them all."

Gemma Tipton, The Irish Times, July 2009

Bernadette Kiely’s work has been exhibited internationally and is held in public and private collections in Ireland, UK, Europe and the USA. She has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships and in 1997 made drawings and watercolours for the poet Derek Mahon’s limited edition book ’Somewhere the Wave’, published by Gallery Press, Co. Meath.

She’s represented by Taylor Galleries, Dublin and Catherine Hammond Gallery, West Cork and is a member of Aosdana.

Funded by

The Arts Council


Dunamaise Arts Centre

Church Street Portlaoise, Co. Laois, Ireland.

Contact The Dunamaise Arts Centre

Box Office Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 5.30pm
Saturday: 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 5pm.
One hour prior to curtain on the evening of a performance.
Box office 00353 57 866 3355.

General Enquiries:

Our Sponsors

The Arts Council Laois County Council

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. By continuing to use the site you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Read our updated privacy policy for more about what we do with your data, as well as your rights and choices - including how to manage cookies.