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Ross Miley

Into the Mystic

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'Into the Mystic'

New Paintings by Ross Miley






Thursday—Saturday, 1pm—5pm, or by appointment

Closed Sunday





Sarah Longley

The Katie Lindsay Gallery is proud to present Above & Beyond, Lochalsh & Carrigskeewaun, Sarah Longley’s solo show; consisting of seven magnificent charcoal drawings.

Born and raised in Belfast, Sarah Longley studied Drawing & Painting at Edinburgh College of Art. She lived and worked in Edinburgh for some years before moving to the West Highlands with her family.

She has exhibited in the R.S.A, the R.H.A and the R.U.A. and is an Associate member of the Royal Ulster Academy. Her work is in several public collections including the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.



These marvellous new works by the gifted artist Sarah Longley are strong and vibrant. What springs to mind is Hokusai’s comment about himself, that he was “mad about drawing”, a comment with which Degas concurred, applying it to his own obsession. Sarah Longley too is clearly “mad about drawing”, and her technique has evolved over the years to the point where she has made the practice entirely her own.The marks on the paper and the highly individual, expressive manner in which the subject is approached, sing together. The use of charcoal as a medium, with smudging (sfumato), scumbling and rubbing, along with the precise definition of the images, adds a wonderfully atmospheric touch.

It’s true that Sarah Longley has always been a fluent and energetic draughtsman, turning out many impressive studies, typically featuring a nude figure seated or lying down. But her most recent charcoal drawings seem to move her creative impulse on to another dimension. They encompass the entire world of the artist Sarah Longley with its cultures and landscapes, all her surroundings, her family, her incomparable sense of place. In fact, there are two worlds contained in the drawings on display here, the world of Lochalsh in the North West of Scotland where she lives with her partner and daughters, and Carrigskeewaun in County Mayo, the “home from home” of her parents and siblings, and a place which she has known all her life.

The drawing entitled “The Waterfall”, located in Scotland, has a mysterious, almost sinister intensity, like something out of a Grimm fairy tale, but tempered by the lovely image of the little girl on a swing; while the beautiful and compelling “Snow on Angel Hill”, with its exquisite detail, somehow encapsulates the entire northern ambience of Sarah Longley and her family, even showing the road along which the two girls walk to school.

But Mayo still remains as a beloved hinterland. Though she was born and grew up in Belfast, Carrigskeewaun – that small corner of the west of Ireland – has always been for Sarah Longley a tremendous source of inspiration. Many of her Mayo drawings (along with others) convey the close working bond between Sarah and her father, the poet Michael Longley.

The drawing “Boreen”, for instance, a visual accompaniment to the Longley poem of the same title, gathers up every vivid aspect of the area, the plants, meadowsweet, loosestrife, the grass-smothered boulders, all the bird and animal life, a lake that holds a particular meaning for all the family, and most enticing of all, “In the far field a jackass and his jennet/Safeguard[ing] the mare and her dozing foal”. “The Magic Beach”, too, all frothing waves and brooding mountain ridge, is another of the Longley places where the ordinary and the numinous meet. And “Towards the Fairy Fort”, with its flowers and grasses, its crouching hare, rocks breaking through the surface of the land, a distant prospect of hills - this even includes the spot where the artist’s parents would like their ashes to be scattered: in no way a morbid note, but rather an intense expression of a relationship to a shared sacred world.

They have drawn and written this world together.



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