These bogland paintings offer an insect-like view of an otherworldly habitat

I believe that cinema and wildlife photography are essential to the appreciation and conservation of habitats and species. Capturing perfect, realistic images of the natural world allows us to share its beauty and document behavior, and truly allows people to connect with nature even if it exists on the other side of the planet or deep in the ocean. ocean.

But we shouldn’t underestimate the power of art, and especially paintings and drawings, to help us connect with the natural world in a truly unique way. An artist’s interpretation of a species or landscape can truly touch us in ways that a still photograph cannot. A painting can also evoke subtle emotions and arouse in us a thirst to know more about the subject or the place.

For me, Kildare-based artist Kathrine Geoghegan manages to do just that with her paintings – drawing you into a habitat and inspiring you to get out and explore on your own.

Kathrine’s new exhibition ‘BOGLAND’ celebrates the plant life of Irish bogs and marshes and is well worth a visit. The exhibition will run from 5 to 17 September at the City Assembly House, South William Street, Dublin.

Bogland Aliens 40 X 40cm (2) by Kathrine Geoghegan

Kathrine’s paintings have an ethereal quality to them and this new exhibition is the culmination of over two years of work, inspired by the exploration of bogs and marshes between confinements. Some of our most mysterious plants are found in bogs. Traveling through these wild places, Geoghegan marveled at the myriad colors of sphagnum, the building blocks of any bog. The artist was also intrigued by carnivorous native plants and beautiful exotic species, which found ingenious ways to survive in this harsh, acidic terrain. Often mosses, sundews and other bog plants are very small in stature, but Kathrine has managed to create a unique perspective in her paintings, providing an insect-like view of this otherworldly habitat.

Winter marsh (1) by Kathrine Geoghegan
Winter marsh (1) by Kathrine Geoghegan

Kathrine’s art focuses on the natural world, habitats and the preservation of wild places. His latest exhibition explored the different biosphere habitats of North Bull Island, before turning to peatlands.

“I was attracted to peatlands for different reasons. First of all, my father was a Bord na Móna engineer – he designed peat harvesting and processing machinery. He would take us to the bog in the summer and we would ride on the little locomotives. He believed at the time that cutting the grass was unsustainable and came up with the idea of ​​windmills on the bog – this was in the 1970s “long before wind power was a hot topic !

“He was telling his kids about it, and I guess the seeds of conservation were planted back then.”

“Another reason is an annual summer pilgrimage to Tarmonbarry, County Roscommon, to stay with friends. There is a raised bog we walk on near their home. The amazing Canadian pitcher plants that grow there have really piqued my curiosity. Unfortunately over the past few years they have become widespread and seem somewhat invasive, but are they a sight to behold. Then of course my interest in painting different habitats also drew me to peatlands – they are so important as a habitat for wildlife and for carbon sequestration in the fight against climate change.For the past few summers, with raging heat, drought and unseasonal flooding, our planet has been suffering. As custodians of much of Europe’s peatlands, we in Ireland need to preserve and rehabilitate this important resource.I hope my work will help to take realize their importance.

Tarmonbarry Bog Cotton Mixed Media (3)by Kathrine Geoghegan
Tarmonbarry Bog Cotton Mixed Media (3)by Kathrine Geoghegan

The exhibition is housed in the City Assembly House, a beautiful Georgian building on Dublin’s South William Street, home to the Irish Georgian Society. It was built in 1771 as the first public gallery in Ireland and Britain for artists to exhibit their works. Kathrine’s paintings will be exhibited in the octagonal room of the Chevalier de Glin.

If you happen to visit, leave your perceptions of a bog at the door and step into the magical world of Kathrine.

  • Juanita Browne has written a number of wildlife books, including My First Irish Animal Book and The Big Book of Irish Wildlife.