Eilbhe Donovan

“I was lucky enough to have had a childhood heavily influenced by the importance of conservation and wildlife. Every year without fail I would get a yearly membership to Birdwatch Ireland. The conservation and protection of our native wildlife is key to my work as is promoting the same. I hope that my work exemplifies the beauty and fragility of our fauna. I visit people-less places along the coastline nearby as well as wildlife reserves and record what I see; through sketches, photographs and writing. This enables me to better depict said environments and habitats as well as the movement of my subject(s). I work in ink on cotton etching paper, using Chinese calligraphy brushes and pencil. I also work in monoprint using intaglio etching ink. My work is minimal. I like to leave some of the image for the eye and brain to configure, sometimes creating an unintended abstraction.” Eilbhe Donovan, 2019.

Eilbhe Donovan works from her garden studio in the Seven Heads Peninsula in West Cork where her location overlooks a saltwater marsh. An avid sea kayaker and coasteerer, her ideas come from excursions involving ocean, rocks, climbing and general scrambling through people-less places. These range in location from West Cork to a recent trip to a marine reserve in Baja, Mexico. Donovan specializes in contemporary wildlife art, particularly marine birds. Rather than concentrating on minutiae, she tends to work in a minimal manner, in an attempt to encapsulate the feeling and energy of her subject. Her work has an empty space feeling.