‘AFTER PAUL HENRY’ is a collaborative project by archaeologist and photographer Brian MacDomhnaill and painters Gentian Lulanaj and Paul McKenna. Which culminate in a show At the Grainstore at Ballymalloe in2015
Th APH project was conceived out of a shared admiration for the work of the Paul Henry and a desire to seek inspiration within the spectacular landscapes of Achill Island and Connemara. Th aim of the project is to follow in the footsteps of Paul Henry and his wife Grace, to engage with people and the landscape taking stock of what has changed and what has remained the same.
I began to capture the contemporary landscape but then a reminder from nature of the human impact on the environment became the focus. The Plastic Debris taken from the beaches of Achill reformed by nature became a metaphor for the change.
Henry chose to ignore and paint out modern elements of the environment in order to portray a romantic illusion of Ireland. This work rejects this approach and challenges the notion of the ideal. The aims to connect with the authenticity of the modern landscape, refusing to omit the unconventionally beautiful. This proposes a contradiction in the artist’s work- facing both an abject reaction to the presence of these plastics, while simultaneously finding beauty in an acceptance of it.