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» Mountain-Turf has never been a traditional painting medium, so working with it has been a challenging, exciting, innovative journey — full of unexpected surprises «


The Dublin Mountains have remained the ‘genius loci’ for Gregory Sheehan. In the late 1990’s he gathered, perchance, a few handfuls of native mountain turf — as a memento more than anything else. Although this keepsake was collected more or less absent-mindedly, the actual act of collecting initiated an ongoing artistic exploration which is as much about ‘a profound sense of place’, as is about ‘a profound sense of dislocation’.


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The majority of these artworks are structured horizontally. Various materials such as charcoal, granite and turf, have been previously applied to the canvas and serve as a substructure upon which an animated interaction between colour, form and texture evolves. This interaction is for the most part a restrained process which is set in motion through the continual and repeated application of highly diluted pigments.

In accordance with the laws of gravity, complex and tightly woven rivulets of pigment cascade and intermingle over the substructure; elucidating the underlying form. The vitality of the flow evokes aspects of growth, depth, origin, time and transformation.

The term »Arboretum cogitatum« is used artistically and alludes to contemplation on forests, woodlands, imagination and the passage of time.



» Growing up in Rathfarnham meant that the Dublin Mountains were only a stone’s throw away. From an early age I became intimately acquainted with this extra-ordinary and unique mountain landscape «

» In absolute contrast to the city and suburbs, the Dublin Mountains are expansive, desolate, wild and wind swept places indeed. Within moments of leaving the road you enter a quieter, wilder world of granite, bog, heather, moss, turf-coloured tarns, busy streams, dense mountain fog, dancing sunlight, wind twisted trees, birdsong and above all, solitude «

Gregory Seán Sheehan 2012


Arboretum cogitatum LXXXIV
Mixed media on linen | 57 x 50 cm | 2018
Formations XIX
Mixed media on linen | 50 x 50 cm | 2018
Mythical birds
Mixed media on linen | 150 x 150 cm | 1989 - 2018
Born 1956 in Dublin, Ireland, Gregory Seán Sheehan trained as a graphic artist and subsequently spent thirty years in the communications-design sector in the position of graphic-designer, visualizer and art-director. In 2001 he decided to concentrate on the artistic side of his creative output, which has always been an area of intense personal interest and activity.

With the exception of the solo exhibition » Turf-Works « (Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, County Wicklow, 2003) Gregory Sheehan has exhibited to date mainly in Germany where he lives and works since 1981.

© Gregory Seán Sheehan 2015 - 2019
All Rights Reserved. Updated January 2019.

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