Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile’s mystical drawings are informed by the natural world. His work allows the viewer to lament the past while considering the present by reflecting the temporality of all living things. The artist has said, “All my drawings come out of my journal practice; by combining text and imagery I strive to convey a sense of mystery.” This work is part of a series of drawings the artist developed from his observation of the Skellig Islands in Ireland, which are the site of a seventh-century Christian monastery. It depicts a recognizable yet fictional vision of the towers of the monastery engulfed by fire. Below, underground hideouts are rendered as spaces for escape and renewal. According to Ó Fraithile, one is meant to evoke a time in which ancient people went on pilgrimages to remote places to be closer to the Divine. For him, the essence of his practice is about offering a similar kind of space to the viewer.
Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017