Gale, Martin | ‘Bus Stop’ | 1981 | Oil on Canvas | 96 x 143cm
Artists have been documenting and reimagining the landscape for many centuries. Contemporary artists are no different. Over on our Instagram account we’ve been sharing works from the Arts Council Collection featuring images of the great outdoors, reminding
us about the importance of enjoying nature in all its facets.
Here, Martin Gale whose work is showcased under ‘The Great Outdoors’ theme, tells us more about the featured artwork and what it means to have his artwork as part of the Arts Council collection. Explore this and more from the Arts Council collection at
The great outdoors have always been a big part of my life having been born and brought up in the countryside. So it follows that landscape would form a significant part of my painting.
We lived in West Wicklow throughout most of the 1970s and this is when Bus Stop was painted
While landscape forms the basis of most of my work, it is never the sole subject. I am interested in 'places' and the business of actually living in any given place. The day to day stuff, the way people live, use, change, adjust to where they live.
A balance between content and process is important. For me subject is vital — I want a painting to be about something so I tend to favour content over process
About this time an element of narrative was beginning to work it's way into the paintings — something that has stayed with me ever since
Bus Stop is an example. It was common practice in and around our local village that people would cycle to the bus stop on the main road, hide the bike behind the ditch and take the bus into the city. A simple everyday detail but it was enough to
build a painting around
Being a part of the Arts Council collection was, and still remains important to me. When a young artist at the start of their career has a piece purchased by the Council it is an affirmation and a boost to the confidence of both the artist and buyers/collectors.
It meant a huge amount to me when Bus Stop was bought by the council in 1981, shortly after it was painted.
— Martin Gale
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 1,100 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