Born in Dublin, Cóilín Murray was one of the last students of Prof Maurice MacGonigal, President of the RHA. Murray is a highly regarded painter and printmaker. He made his way to West Cork via the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, where he was Head of the Printmaking Department, arriving in Ballydehob in the 1983 and finding there a flourishing centre of creativity.
Writing on his West Cork experiences, he says ‘…the landscape has all the elements, mountains, cliffs, rock formations, bog, verdant fields and areas of fern that are red in winter, sally and willow that are sepia or purple and as we are surrounded by the Atlantic, the light is constantly changing and exposes new things all the time… The landscape is a constant entertainment…’
Murray lives in Ballydehob and continues to be inspired by the West Cork landscape. His current work is prolific and confident. He participated in the Irland ’85 exhibition in Zurich and was the initiator and mentor of the ‘Living Landscape’ exhibition series for the West Cork Arts Centre during the 1980s and 1990s.
Above: Island Songs, An Open Book by Cóilín Murray – oil and wax. From Palimpsets and Islands, 2018