‘For many years, in addition to sketching and painting landscapes, Adrienne Symes has been recording the monuments and follies of Ireland, those enigmatic obelisks, towers and temples that dot the countryside, embodying yearnings for the glories of ancient Greece and Rome, or the hermetic retreats of monastic Ireland. Although traditional in approach, her work has a freshness and spirit that results from a long held prefrence for sketching out of doors.
Travelling widely, she seeks out monuments, houses, gardens and follies, bringing to her subject-matter a sensitive and aeshetic appreciation of the patina of age and the effects of time. her etching and paintings are meditations on the effects of time, and the transience on human vanities.
The quirkiness of follies in particular appeals to her, their function in many cases unknown. While some are just interesting structures that act as a focal point in the landscape of a country house; others serve as a summer house or a watch house; and others are monuments to people long gone. Several of the paintings and etchings in the exhibition feature much larger buildings which were destroyed in the Great House burnings of the civil war 1922-23 (some of which were subsequently rebuilt).
Symes has enjoyed discovering and depicting these artefacts and will continue to seek out more, countrywide. The pandemic curtailed some of the artist’s work due to lockdowns but she says there is much more to be done in the future.
While Symes is skilled as a printmaker, her appreciation of Irish landscapes and buildings is equally evident in an impressive series of canvases, large and small, that she has completed in recent years.’
We also stock some of Adrienne Symes etchings and prints in Anthology.