Skibbereen town is currently running its yearly Arts Festival and the town is buzzing with people, whole families, and lots of children – what a nice atmosphere I found today down town. I went to see William Crozier’s exhibition ‘Edge of Landscape’ in our Uillinn Art Centre, which by the way puts on lots of interesting exhibitions and other activities very regularly. There was a guided tour and I thought it would be nice to know a bit more about Crozier’s work, though I know his paintings for a long time as he was living locally. The tour took us through some earlier works and also showed us some of the most recent before his death. I was impressed with his lines and colours, with his painting of West Cork as he saw it – though he painted from memory. He painted the landscape as it relates to people, as it was created by the people, so you have what one might recognise as hay stacks and fields with borders, always borders. In a lot of his work, of a certain period, he painted high horizons, again this creating a border around his fields.
Painting on the right is ‘The Ripe Field’ 1990
Painting above is ‘Wolf’s Castle, Toe Head, 1998
Above are some of his earlier works, on the right is a painting called ‘Winged Figure’ which he painted in the early seventies. He stopped using figures in his paintings though he had used them a lot in much of his earlier work before he came to West Cork. Personally I find his work which include figures much harder to look at and make sense of.
The painting above and below are much later work before he died, I love the simplicity of these and I agree with what one of the visitors said, that they reminded her a little of Matisse. We were told that Crozier was indeed influenced by Matisse, a thought that I liked.
I’ve always loved visiting art exhibitions. I discovered the value of this in my late teens when I used to go look at paintings in galleries both in Antwerp and in Dublin and was impressed with the energy that would affect me coming from the works, such a difference from looking at a reproduction or print. I was going to Art college at night in those days and I guess that urge to go see paintings never left me since. Luckily Skibbereen town has a thriving Art Centre and other galleries besides. West Cork is a real haven for artists and people who love art. I feel so lucky.