Ballinlough walks onto canvas – art inspired by the countryside

Originally from Belfast but now living near the beautiful Ballinlough, Hugh Barr is an artist who appreciates his surroundings. Recently, his love of painting merged with long walks down country lanes to produce a collection titled ‘Head in the Hedgerow’.

  Hugh says a peaceful existence in the countryside was the catalyst for a return to painting: “Well, I moved to the West of Ireland ten years ago away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The peace and the countryside helped me to see life differently.

  “Walking my dogs every day along the country lane where I live, I started to look at my surroundings more closely. I began to see the plants and signs of animals. I was taking a closer look and this enabled me to understand the diversity of life that is sustained by the hedgerows which play an important role within the countryside.”

  Featuring bright colours and detailed hedgerow life, Hugh’s paintings have been on display along with a visual feature all summer. Having featured at the Boyle Arts Festival and Roscommon University Hospital, Hugh’s collection is now on display daily in The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Castlebar until November 7th.

  Hugh credits the Roscommon countryside for giving him the inspiration to start painting after a prolonged hiatus. He says it was nature which gave birth to ‘Head in the Hedgerow’.

  “I hadn’t actually painted in a number of years but my walks in the countryside inspired me to get back painting again.

  “My paintings are inspired by the nature surrounding me; these are the small things that make up the bigger picture. I hope the exhibition inspires people to take a closer look.”

  Take a closer look at ‘Head in the Hedgerow’ at The Café Arts Space at The Country Life Museum in Castlebar, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm and Sundays 12 pm to 5 pm until November 7th.