Acclaimed island-based artist steers clear of choppy waters with major exhibitions

Heir Island-based artist Ian Humphreys. Pictures: Emma Jervis

An acclaimed island-based artist who sold most of his collection in a bid to beat the recession is set to stage major exhibitions of new work.

Ian Humphreys, who auctioned his work in 2011 without reserve so he could continue to live and work on Heir Island off Cork, has begun shipping paintings to the mainland ahead of two special exhibitions at the Doswell Gallery in Rosscarbery and at Liss Ard Estate in Skibbereen, West Cork.

The auction attracted interest from art buyers all over the world, and similar interest is expected for his new exhibitions.

Mr Humphreys said he was delighted to be able to showcase his new work six years on.

“In 2011 I decided to auction off my collection which allowed me to remain on Heir Island as I believe it is truly one of the most spectacularly beautiful places in the world,” he said.

“I am excited to host these exhibitions. The art world has changed a lot over the past number of years, however. I have never been interested in following the current trends but I do hope my work can speak for itself in its own quiet way.

“So much of what I do comes from the beauty that surrounds me and although I walk the same route each morning for inspiration, each day presents new colours to capture which can be seen in my work.”

His exhibitions will coincide with the launch of a book chronicling his work over the last decade.

The limited-edition hardback book features images by celebrated photographer John Minihan and includes shots of Mr Humphreys at work in his studio, and comes with a signed limited-edition print.

Ian Humphreys is staging exhibitions at the Doswell Gallery in Rosscarbery and at Liss Ard Estate in Skibbereen, West Cork.
Ian Humphreys is staging exhibitions at the Doswell Gallery in Rosscarbery and at Liss Ard Estate in Skibbereen, West Cork.

With a price tag of between €65 and €75, it will be available for sale during private viewing evenings on July 28 and 29 in Liss Ard and the Dosswell Gallery.

Mr Humphreys was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1956 and studied at Berkshire College of Art and Exeter, where he graduated with honours in 1979.

He designed sets for Ply-mouth Opera House, and his paintings were chosen for the 1987 film, Hearts of Fire, which starred Bob Dylan and Ian Dury.

His work is held in many prestigious public and private collections throughout the world and several corporate collections hold examples of his work, including the Barbican Centre, London, Eton Art Gallery, and Beaux Arts, Bath.

Mr Humphreys is renowned for his stripped-back style of painting, and many of his works are named after famous classical pieces of music.

“I listen to a lot of classical music as I work and get huge inspiration from it,” he said.

“In my work I try to capture the essence and atmosphere of the island that surrounds me and I have found that those who follow and purchase my works feel connected to West Cork when they view them.”

His works will be available for viewing and purchase in Liss Ard for the summer and at the Doswell Gallery until August 10.


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