Paul McKinley | The Great Outdoors

Visual Art Collection

McKinley, Paul | ‘Lido’ | 2017 | Oil on Canvas | 153 x 183cm



Artists have been documenting and reimagining the landscape for many centuries. Contemporary artists are no different. Over on our Instagram account we’ve been sharing works from the Arts Council Collection featuring images of the great outdoors, reminding us about the importance of enjoying nature in all its facets.

Here, Paul McKinley, whose work is showcased under ‘The Great Outdoors’ theme, tells us more about the featured artwork and what it means to have his artwork as part of the Arts Council collection. Explore this and more from the Arts Council collection at

The taxi was late and given that this day involved multiple modes of transport with interconnecting transfers, for one who usually cuts it fine, anxiety started to kick in. Though still dark and very warm, with the incessant cicada rhythm easing, the pale yellow headlights eventually lit up the driveway. She made up good time with speed and reckless abandon of someone who really knew these narrow roads to the half light of the seventies coach station. Getting brighter now, heat gaining momentum. The strong diesel fumes were replaced by the loud cool air of the bus with an appreciation only the Irish and English fully understand. It made its way up and over mountains that dissected the island via twists and turns pin pricked by near perfect, tall isosceles triangled cypress trees. Boarding the ferry was as ad-hoc as any travel in this part of Greece. Gliding by the unpopulated, unremarkable green and brown hills, I questioned, not for the first time, Is this it?

It is the other side of the Island, unreachable by commercial boats where the atmosphere fizzed with the presence I was searching for. The North Easterly tip emerged from being almost insensate to having a palpable haptic charge. For he was here and I swam with him.


— Paul McKinley


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18 November 2020