"The churning sea and rapidly changing light, the mountains looming out of the rain in the distance, the gushing streams, the ancient vegetation – the whole primordial wildness, combined with the purity and elemental nature of the landscape...
is captured in Fionnuala Nolan's paintings."

The Very Edge

Oil on canvas, 150 x 100cm

The Sea's Eternal Rhythms

Mixed Media, 28 x 21cm

Sea's Edge

Mixed Media on paper, 46 x 39cm

Fionnuala Nolan's paintings seem to emerge from some mythical Ireland we all recognise but can't easily express. Our instinct is to cling to recognisable hints of mountains, cliffs, fields and oceans – elements of Irish landscape painting - that materialise out of a soft mist or disappear in a torrent of sudden 'weather'. But are we looking from above the clouds, or from below the waves? We begin to see and feel the whole landscape all at once, succumbing to the elements, allowing ourselves to drown in the terrible elemental beauty.
It is familiar, we are not afraid. We dive in.

New work

Fionnuala's latest works further embrace the sheer sensuousness of paint to find new pathways in Irish landscapes, real and imagined. New exhibition starts October 29,  Kenmare Butter Market.


Throughout her career Fionnuala has  communicated her sense of awe and enjoyment in the environment, the daunting wilderness, but also an intense engagement with it.


All Fionnuala's work starts in the landscape, with sketches, with fragments of land and sea, painted en plein air.
Photo: Cill Rialaig Residency 2022

The artist

'I paint because that is how I exist in the world, how I react to my environment. It is essential to me, how I deal with what life brings me. It is how I work things out, my natural response to the world.'

"The recurring theme of Fionnuala Nolan's work is space. It might start from a physical space, a landscape, but the earth and the sky are only the soft edges, the failing parameters of eternity. We are invited to enter this infinity, comforted by the familiarity of boggy green Irish lands, and temptingly summery skies, but once we succumb we are frighteningly free, released into ourselves and suddenly boundless. This is a landscape, familiar yet unknown; it is our internal selves."