Rocky Place

landscape paintings by Paddy Darigan

Rocky Place is an exhibition of landscape paintings by Paddy Darigan which can be seen at Art Upstairs, 89 North Main Street, Wexford from 6th to 16th December. The exhibition features an exciting new body of work by Darigan who is one of Wexford's leading artists. Rocky Place features a series of watercolours inspired by the Burren landscape of North West Clare and a group of oil paintings created on location in The Burren, the Iveragh Penninsula, Co. Kerry and near his home in Crossabeg. The exhibition is completed by three strong lithographs which are a new feature in Paddy's work. The exhibition is open each day from 11.00am to 5.30pm and is a must-see event for all!


“The Burren watercolours” are close-up studies of the unique features of the limestone landscape of the Burren. Paddy Darigan was drawn to create these works by the abstract patterns caused by erosion over the centuries. For many the experience of the Burren is of a grey barren landscape but In his paintings Darigan captures a world full of colour. He shows us how the grey limestone can reflect many colours and also reveals to us the colours added by the unique flora of the area. Paddy had chosen and kept a very distinctive hand-made French watercolour paper waiting for the right subject to come along. As soon as he did his first sketches on location in the Burren he knew he had found that subject.

Each of the fourteen watercolours in the exhibition shows us a very distinctive place and the artist’s reaction to it. Paddy Darigan has created a beautiful set of paintings that shows us the physical beauty of the Burren as well as his reaction and response to that landscape. This set of paintings is uniquely the Burren and distinctively Darigan!


The second large body of work in Rocky Place is a set of nine oil paintings on canvas. Paddy painted each of these paintings on location, responding to what he was seeing without time for hesitation. Although the light is ever changing and wind and rain are a constant threat; when the elements conspire with you the results are sublime! There are many strengths in these paintings - the delicate new growth in “Sow River in Spring”, the power of the water at Eden Vale; the swift moving clouds clinging to “The Reeks”. As ever in Darigan’s work there is a set of lone trees, full of character, shaped by their age or location or made strong and resilient in their lone battle against storms high over the gap of Dunloe. Completing the group of oil paintings are two major works, “Burren Coastline” and “Mullach Mór”, both of which portray more panoramic and dramatic views of the Burren.

Rocky Place by Paddy Darigan was formally opened by Tom O’Donoghue on Friday 7th December at 8.00pm and he gave a wonderful speech! Click here to read it.