In this piece, MacColl creates the illusion of depth by using several layers of blue paint, each with a different tone. The difference in textures between layers creates the horizon that separates the sea from the sky. The most striking aspect of this piece is it's simplicity: with only a few elements, the composition serves to emphasise the vast expanse of sea, with the land at either side forming a valley. Close inspection reveals a number of small bubbles on the surface of the piece that have appeared as a product of the drying process, which adds to the feel of the sea and its sense of hidden energy.
This piece was composed in 2005, during MacColl's travelling scholarship from the Royal Scottish Academy. During this time, MacColl visited Shetland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland. As a Gaelic speaker, Eoghann was drawn to these places to explore issues of identity, landscape, geography and culture. This picture was painted at Tjornuvik Bay on the Faroese Island of Stremoy, a location noted for its remoteness: in 2002, only sixty four people lived in the village ofTjornuvik.
The Faroe Islands consist of a small archipelago in the North Atlantic ocean, about halfway between Norway and Iceland, and North of Scotland. They are characterised by an extreme landscape made of imposing cliffs, falling straight in the Atlantic ocean, and by the very green grass covering any possible part of the islands.
On the subject of his visit, MacColl says that "after time in Iceland and Faroe the palette changed forever, there was an awakening, it was here, like a distant cousin, but never acknowledged. After visiting those countries I could see in a different way, more European and assimilated, different yet familiar. Provincial yet worldly. I recommend leaving Scotland by travelling north, it is enlightening and you bring that home. In the subject matter of the work there are many points of departure and arrival, often there are places at the end of the road, or maybe the beginning?"
Eoghann MacColl was born 1970 in Inverness. He studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, and then completed his Masters in European Fine Art at Winchester School of Art in 1994. MacColl has paintings in both private and public collections such as Royal Scottish Academy Edinburgh, Art in Healthcare, The Ballinglen Arts Foundation Ballycastle County Mayo Republic of Ireland, Centre D'art i Natura Farrera de Pallers Catalonia, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design Dundee and East Ayrshire Council Kilmarnock.
Art in Healthcare's blog entry about Eoghann MacColl