Cecilia Danell | The Octopus Salt Lick | 2019 | Oil and acrylics on canvas | 120 x 120 cm
For Culture night 2021 the Arts Council will continue its proud tradition of showcasing a selection of works recently added to its extensive Visual Art Collection. The Arts Council Collection established in 1962 and comprising over 1,250 works of modern
and contemporary Irish art.
The works on show from the Collection showcase the Arts Councils ongoing commitment to purchasing excellent and ambitious works of art which reflect the excellent standard of contemporary Irish visual arts practice and which both engage with and represent
As this year it will not be possible to welcome audiences to share these works in person at the Arts Council’s buildings in Dublin as we usually would, we have invited a few artists whose artwork has recently been acquired for the Collection give some
insight into their works and practice.
For Culture Night 2021 we will celebrate the Arts Council Collection’s continuing history of purchasing ambitious work that engages with and reflects contemporary Irish society by highlighting works by artists Orla Barry, Cecilia Danell, Mandy O’Neill,
Rajinder Singh, which have been added to the Collection in the past year.
Here, Cecilia Danell tells us more about her featured artwork, her practice and what it means to have her work included as part of the Arts Council Collection
Explore this and more from the Arts Council Collection at instagram.com/artscouncilireland/
My starting point for new work is always a physical encounter with a place; in recent years my focus has been on the area surrounding my family farm in Sweden. I traverse and document the landscape through photographs and notes in my journal but once
in the studio, the act of making and the qualities of oil paint take precedence over the initial source material. I’m interested in how we frame and present things in order to create narrative and I draw inspiration from the language of theatre props
and cinematography. I came upon this particular location in summer 2019. What may look like a strange surveillance device or a sprawling creature is in fact a salt lick placed near a hunters’ hide. The tongues of deer and moose have worn away the
bark of the cut off tree trunk that it is placed on and their hoofs have exposed the earth around it to reveal the root system. Being inspired by Science Fiction and the push and pull between the natural and the man-made, I was immediately drawn to
paint this scene. The austere modernist qualities of the white cubic salt lick placed in a natural landscape is something that has intrigued me in the past and influenced previous works. It was important to me to get across the smoothness of the tree
trunk amid the loser rendering of the bog bilberry and Labrador tea plants. The process of translating something into paint helps me understand it in a new way, in this instance the framing and heightened colours played an important part in conveying
a scene that exists somewhere between truth and fiction.
— Cecilia Danell
Since 1962, the Arts Council has been buying art from working artists. The Collection that evolved tells the story of modern and contemporary Irish visual art in a unique and fascinating way. Today the Collection continues to grow and its more than 1,250
paintings, sculptures and other works are on display in public spaces all over Ireland for people to experience and enjoy first hand. You can find out more at: www.artscouncil.emuseum.com