David Quinn: Hungry Rock

15 May 2010

The “Hungry Rock” road from Coolaney to Skreen in Sligo is a winding route through the OX mountains and a locus terribilis in folk memory for condemning the unwary traveller to an eternal hunger, an apt title for a series of new paintings by David Quinn. His work to this point has been like methodically crafted soundings from some remote and isolated frontier, contemplative data samples gathered in exploration of the art historical problems posed by our defining our place in the landscape and the spiritual imperative of allowing the landscape’s place in us.


In attempting to articulate a separateness from symbol or metaphor (to “speak without speaking” about things in their “natural state”) the paintings document a kind of dissolution of painterly forms, like long wave signals gradually melting into the omnipresent background texture. In this context these tersely meditative paintings suggest that it is not simply that the form of the landscape speaks of an inner meaning and mystery, but that our appetite for the knowable incurs a limitation, and is itself a breaking of the silence. If you are not the “bridge”, or the “horse” or the “mountain” or “God” to me, how can you be known?