• Artwork by Jole Bortoli

    Artwork by Jole Bortoli

  • Artwork by Barbara O'Meara

    Artwork by Barbara O'Meara

Ratljóst – Enough light to navigate by

Ratljóst is an exhibition of work by artists Barbara O’Meara and Jole Bortoli produced last November during a month-long residency in Laugarvatn, a village some 70km from Reykjavik, Iceland.

The show marks the collaboration between two artists who, over four weeks time, with just enough light to navigate by, produced a substantial body of small-scale work inspired by the Icelandic landscape and folklore.

The work on view is a selection of acrylic and oil paintings that reveals the importance and diverse use of colour for which the artists have a connected shared interest.

Barbara’s work is fluid and an immediate response to the surroundings, while Jole’s is more contained perhaps reflecting her previous experience as a graphic designer.

“Upon arrival I felt a sense of connection and belonging in this stunning and remote landscape. Dramatic sky and landscapes ever changing, before the next brush-stroke, the powerful physicality of glaciers, craters, lava, mountains volcanoes, melt-water, frozen lakes, the beauty of this land of Fire and Ice. The earth’s crust literally splitting apart as two tectonic plates continually collide. A foothold in two worlds, portals to strange and secret places beyond the realms of time and place.  And sighting the Aurora Borealis, a rare gift and enough light to navigate by.” – Barbara O’Meara

“Though I didn’t go to Iceland with the specific intention of painting the landscape, I found that the landscape was painting itself. When the bad weather kept me indoors my attention focused on the details – studies of bark, lava rocks and lichens, but when the weather turned beautiful and the sun illuminated the snow I was drawn outdoors into the vast landscape made of large uninhabited areas. In the stillness the only perceivable movements were the columns of white vapours that were rising everywhere above ground from the hot springs.” – Jole Bortoli

The exhibition opens on Saturday 14th October in The Russell Gallery in New Quay, Burrin, Co. Clare and will run until the end of the month.