Eugene Conway is one of Ireland’s leading realist landscape painters. Conway was born in 1965 in Dublin but moved to Co. Kilkenny as a child. Growing up in the countryside, he developed a great love and appreciation for the beauty of nature around him which informs his work.
In Conway’s paintings, the landscape of County Kilkenny is brought to the centre stage. These are quiet scenes; he does not dwell on the bucolic or the picturesque. The way that he uses colour relates directly to the weather, the seasons, and the passage of time. His subjects – bridges, barns and byways – are the unsung heroes of the Irish countryside. “A lot of the time they go unnoticed: old sheds, old walls, a wet ditch after the summer rain, or maybe the way that the light is hitting something, bringing out a lovely pattern in it. But the light is at a certain point. If you come back an hour later, everything has changed.” he says. His paintings do not suggest great drama, merely the unfolding of ordinary rural life. His paintings reflect the layers of history left by habitation and farming.
Conway studied at the National College of Art & Design, NCAD, Dublin. Since 1998 he has exhibited regularly at the RHA and was awarded the Fergus O’Ryan Memorial Award in 2001; the ESB Keating Award, the Silver Medal for an outstanding art work in 2008; and the Abdul and Katharine Bulbulia Art in Health Award in 2010. His work is in the collections of the Haverty Trust; the OPW; the ESB; and the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin.