Auction Date:2012 May 21 @ 18:00 (UTC+1)
Location:Serpentine Hall, RDS, Anglesea Road entrance, Dublin, Dublin, ., Ireland
Patrick Collins-WATER ON A PLOUGHED FIELD, c.1976
oil on canvassigned lower left; inscribed with title on reverse
28.5 by 36in., 72.39 by 91.44cm.
Orientation of Image: L
Provenance: Tom Caldwell Galleries, Dublin
Exhibited: 'Patrick Collins', Tom Caldwell Galleries, Dublin, until 30 November 1976, catalogue no. 23
Notes: Although Patrick Collins sometimes paints other subjects, landscape dominates his art. He had an affinity with nature that began in his Sligo childhood and which eventually formed the foundation for his painting. Boyhood memories fed his art; he saw the bogs, earth, rocks and stones of the landscape as a physical link with his own youth as well as uniting the contemporary Celt with the ancients.
Collins always interpreted the landscape in an abstractly poetic way, but in the late 1960s excessive sentimentality and formlessness began to creep into the work. However, after working for nine months digging drainage ditches in Connemara he produced a remarkable series of austere bog pictures in 1970 which demonstrated a newly-found vigour. Although Water on a Ploughed Field was first exhibited in 1976, its style suggests that it may have been painted around the same time as the bog pictures rather than during his stay in France from 1971-76. This painting strips away inessentials with the exceptional boldness that characterised his work of 1970. It shows an elemental absorption with land, with moisture impregnating the entire picture and light bouncing off the surface water. The restrained composition sets a few strong lines against an animated void - Collins wanted to make empty spaces 'talk.' Water on Ploughed Field does talk to the viewer, poignantly expressing the loneliness and isolation Collins felt during this period. Frances Ruane HRHA
Jim O'Driscoll was a renowned barrister by profession but also a passionate patron of the arts with a keen eye for beauty. Director of the Fenton Gallery in Cork for ten years, he built lasting ties with the arts community buying regularly from galleries throughout Ireland as well as from artists directly. His strong connections with Cork in particular are reflected in both his subject choice and his support for its native artists, among them, Maurice Desmond and Pat Connor. He was an early supporter and friend of Tony O'Malley and the late William Crozier and their paintings within his collection are testament to his access to the very best from their respective oeuvres. All the masters in Irish art from the eighties and nineties are well represented here, although some, for example those by Patrick Collins and Gerard Dillon, come from an earlier generation. This outstanding collection represents the powerful imprint of a true collector who was guided not only by his trained eye for quality but by a passion for interesting and authentic artworks.