“I grew up in the wild and magical landscape of the west coast of Ireland. The qualities of that landscape with its ever-shifting texture of sea and sky, small rocky fields and hawthorn bushes bent by winter gales, live within me as inner landscape. The continually changing weather—dark moody skies with rolling clouds, which can at any moment give way to a sudden burst of sunlight—bring everything into a heightened state of color and aliveness.
In my oils and pastels, I explore the metamorphic effects of weather upon the landscape. I am intrigued by the way color changes –how it manifests itself and dissipates as elements meet and cross. Working with thin veils of oil, or a fine dust of pastel, which can be rubbed in and lifted off, allows me to explore such an ephemeral subject.
The landscape of eastern Long Island, where I currently live and work, is of a very different quality. Its texture is much more light-reflective – large expanses of sandy shore and flat farmland. The juxtaposition of these two environments creates a tension and a balancing of forces, which provide a very rich soil from which to create new form and expression.” — RB
Roisin Bateman began her life and her art in the west of Ireland. After receiving her BFA from Belfast College of Art in Northern Ireland, she moved to the USA. For the past twenty-five years she has lived on the South Fork of Long Island.
Her paintings, prints, and pastel works have been shown throughout the US and Ireland: at the Peter Marcelle Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY; folioeast, East Hampton, NY; the Watermill Center and Sara Nightingale Gallery, Watermill; the Nabi Gallery, Manhattan; at the Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY; and the Linenhall Gallery in Castlebar, Ireland.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold work
ROISIN BATEMAN speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ YOU WORK IN BOTH OIL AND PASTEL? WHY BOTH?
RB/ I like oil paint, for it richness of color. I like to build up layers using thin veils of color, and oil is an excellent medium for that. Pastel, which is really like colored dust, and so easily blended and worked into, is an ideal medium to explore the play of elements, and the sudden transformations that can happen in nature.
CM/ How do you begin a painting?
RB/ I empty my mind of thoughts and listen. Through a process of listening and responding, a painting grows organically out of that conversation. I just keep following some kind of invisible thread and it's always a surprise where it leads.
CM/ YOU WERE BORN AND RAISED IN IRELAND. HOW DOES THIS AREA RELATE TO YOUR HOMELAND?
RB/ I've always lived by the shore, and can't imagine life without my daily pilgrimage to look at the changing light on the water. It inspires me endlessly. Even though my work is abstract, much of my inspiration comes from landscape, and weather as a shapeshifter in that landscape.
CM/ YOU WORK IN A STUDIO MOSTLY, YES?
RB/ I have a studio on my property in Sag Harbor village where I do most of my work. Occasionally I set up a temporary studio when I travel to Ireland or other places that inspire me.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE SPOTS ON THE EAST END?
RB/ Barcelona Neck is a favorite walking spot, because it has a rocky shore and is full of texture, which remind me of the coastline of the west of Ireland were I grew up. The ocean inspires me in a different way—a vast expanse of open sea and sand, it speaks to me and spaciousness the vastness—it's full of possibility.