Michael Canning

Irish (born 1971)

Michael Canning - Language and Information 2014 catalogue

Michael Canning was born in Limerick in 1971, he studied there at the School of Art & Design and then in Greece at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. In 1999, he received his Masters Degree in Fine Art from the National College of Art & Design in Dublin. In 2003, Michael was awarded the Royal Academy’s prestigious Hennessy Craig Prize. Michael’s work has been shown widely across the United Kingdom. Michael Canning’s paintings of hedgerow plants confront certain traditions of northern European painting. Neither landscapes, nor still life’s, Michael’s paintings convey an atmospheric quality laden with spiritual undertones. Heavy mists shroud the rolling hills of the Irish landscape which part only for the wild plants.The plants are rendered directly from observation. Each paintings is built up in layers, using oil paint and wax. They sometimes include the very substance which the painting depicts; ground earth and ash.Michael finds the plants on daily walks near his home in County Limerick. The names of the plants are not important to him, many are known simply by their local names. Some of which are known to be poisons or remedies. The idea that these plants may have healing or adverse properties interests Michael, but it is the not knowing which offers which, that lends the paintings their air of mystery and suspense. Despite having lived most of his life in the countryside, Michael comes across plant varieties entirely unknown to him. Not consciously searching for amazing revelations, Michael is content in happening upon these simple apparitions “I’m looking for that which I feel I should somehow have seen before, but never did.”

Michael Canning – CV

The light for the Lark's notes 10 March - 2 April 2010

The Stars in the daytime larking 29 October - 21 November 2008

At the Wall of the King of Sundays 18 April - 11 May 2007

Michael Canning - there are no bells, 2012