“‘The 5km Drawings’ are a series of images which I made within the five kilometre travel restriction of home during lock down. During this time I regularly reflected on the matter of freedom: how I had previously taken for granted the freedom to go wherever I chose; my new-found freedom to explore and truly appreciate the natural beauty of my immediate surroundings with the extra time I had on my hands; and the freedom which the creative process gave me as a relief from the relentless gloom during that period. I am invested in the metaphorical power of art so I wanted to represent the different phases of the pandemic through these landscape studies.
Image 1, ‘Dark Clouds Gathering’, is a brooding scene of an impending storm which I observed and drew on the road I walked almost every day throughout lock down. In this charcoal drawing with ink wash, I attempted to symbolise the ominous upheaval that was brewing as the virus gained momentum. Image 2, ‘Contagion’, was inspired by a huge flock of crows which I witnessed one twilight that bore a strong resemblance to the animated Covid graphic which appeared on TV news bulletins for the duration of the crisis. Although these two images came about as a result of my thoughts on the theme of freedom during lock down, they now seem tragically relevant and emblematic of the unfolding stages of the new international catastrophe befalling in Ukraine.
Image 3, ‘Out of the Darkness’, was created at daybreak after the vaccine had been announced which ushered in a new optimistic dawn. I yearn for a similar glimpse of light on the current grim horizon to signal an end to this present calamity and hope for a time when freedom will actually be taken for granted again by the unfortunate people caught up in this conflict.
Brendon Deacy’s paintings, prints, drawings and photographs are inspired by the human effects of culture, history and politics, and have been exhibited in nineteen solo shows. His work is held in notable public and private collections in Australia, Europe, the UK and the USA. He has received numerous awards and has published two critically acclaimed ‘artist’s books’: ‘The State We’re Out’ which recounts the story of his father’s emigration from Ireland in 1951; and ‘A
Life in Relief’ which tells the remarkable story of Michael Davitt, one of the foremost Irish figures of the Nineteenth Century. His commissions have dealt with art, commerce, education, TV and publishing in print, on screen and in the public realm.
His work can be viewed here: