Mynydd at Norman Gallery




Hanneke Van Ryswyk does not present landscapes au vif: she does, like Friedrich, rearrange the source.

Her current exhibition at the appropriately  idyllic Norman Gallery, Rathnure, is both a visceral and visual revisiting of places she holds sacred: both the Welsh and Irish landscape.

Her school years were spent in a country far removed from the theme of this exhibition, Mynydd, (Welsh for mountain), namely Holland.

The linear Dutch landscape, much of it reclaimed from the sea and densely populated, left her with a yearning for the uninhabited remoteness and unruliness of  hills.

It isn’t easy entrusting yourself to nature if you are an artist with the antennae of Van Ryswyk.

Leaving aside the baggage of tranquillity, eternity and infinity associated with traditional landscape painting, Van Ryswyk’s engagement demands uninterrupted reflection.

And this can take years. For the artist, not the viewer. Not the physical execution of the work, but the imaginative tremors prior to the eruption.

So Mynydd is but the latest step in a long gestation, and the outcome in this acrylic on wood panel series is mesmeric.

Hiroshige’s woodcut landscapes have the gift of not being dominated by specific forms, but what is concealing them. Mist. Diffused light.

Van Ryswyk’s mountains similarly are of this world and beyond it, and evoke something of the undiscovered.

She is not a slave to the pulse of time, and thus her landscapes are not anchored in the safe terrain of photographic or forensic recognition.

It is easy and understandable to be seduced by the initial engagement with a work of art as focused as these small panels, because the colour amounts to juxtaposed harmony.

But there is more.

With patience, a distillation of the multiple provenances within each is triggered because each is revelatory in its own unique way.

And the use of colour, because it resonates with the artist’s imaginative realities – abstract textured suggestions – opens several doors at once. (The gallery is open by appointment: Tel 053-9254515)