Paintings 2009-2016


Humorous mixed media on canvas 28x32cm 2013


A Field in September Spain 2014. Mixed media on Board. 34x38cm.

From a landscape 8. 2012

Flowering Almond tree. Spain. 42x36cm. 2012

Untitled 2009. mixed media on canvas. 52x40cm.

The forest floor. Mixed media on board. 18x12xm.2013

A landscape of where you are. 60x50cm

A landscape of where you are. mixed media on canvas.60x50cm. 2013

Devotion. 26x28cm. Mixed media on canvas. 2010.

Devotion. 26x28cm. Mixed media on canvas. 2010.

Untitled 2012. mixed media on canvas 40 x35cm 2010.

Untitled 2012. mixed media on canvas 40 x 35cm 2010.

Rio Madre mixed media on paper 34x32cm

Rio Madre mixed media on paper 34x32cm

Looking in 2. 2014. Canvas 32x38cm

Looking in 2. mixed media on canvas 32x38cm.2014

order and chaos. 40x36cm. 2014

Order and Chaos 2. 40x36cm.2014

Undergrowth. 26x24cm. August 2014

Undergrowth. 26x24cm. August 2014

Untitled october 2014. 120 x70cm

Untitled october 2014. 120 x70cm

Event. July 2014 45x38cm

Event. July 2014. 45x38cm Spain

Blackened trees.2013. 26x36cm. mixed mediaon canvas.

Blackened Trees.2014

Campfire. 42x36cm 2013


Small stack. mixed media on canvas. 28x26cm. 2014

Small Stack.2014

from nature 2012

Nature Painting. 22x27cm. 2010

At one with the Birds. mixed media on canvas. 38x30cm

At one with the birds.2013

At one with the birds 2. Dec 2013

At one with the birds 2. 2013

The gardener at night, 2013. Canvas 45x60cm(2)

The Gardener at night. 2013

Flower head and pollen 2004

Flower head and Pollen 2004

Thunder clouds over cuarte. 2013

Woodpile. 2013

mixed media on canvas. 36x32cm

Fallen tree. 2009

From the mountains to the sea. 2010

The last cut. 2007

Untitled Spain 1. 2005

The night and fruit trees. 2009

From a Landscape. 2011

Sequia 2006.


from the edges 2

From the edges 2. mixed media on board. 2006


Two parts

Two parts. Mixed media on canvas. 90x90cm.2006


Particle. mixed media on board. 36x28cm.2006



Days grow less. 34x26cm. mixed media on board. 2006


Sequia 3. mixed media on canvas. 45x38cm.2006


sequia 4

Sequia 4 (blowing seed) mixed media on canvas. 45x38cm. 2006


ARCHETYPAL MESSENGER mixed media on canvas board

Archetypal messenger. mixed media on board. 27x22cm. 2006


SEQUIA#5 mixed media on canvas

Sequia 5. mixed media on canvas. 45x38cm.2006


sequia 8 2006

Sequia 8. mixed medai on canvas 45x38cm. 2006



Dead roots 100x90cm 2006

Dead Roots. mixed media on canvas. 100x90cm. 2006


From the edges 2. mixed media on canvas. 27x22cm. 2006


As with many of the great Spanish artists – Murillo, Zurbaran, Ribero, El Greco – the paintings of Goya are often fringed by a deep, enveloping darkness. From him we know that horrors may lurk there, horrors that are the stuff of nightmares. “The sleep of Reason produces monsters,” he inscribed on one of the etchings that make up Los Caprichos. The image is in a sense an allegory of creativity. He meant that imagination must be held in check by reason, and that the task of the artist is to engineer a balance between the two.

Most of Clifford Collie’s recent paintings are similarly articulated against a velvety darkness. They mediate between the unseen, the unknown, and the waking world of reasoned perception. With care and even tenderness, they evoke lustrous, ambiguous forms that both invite and confound interpretation. It is as if, caught between sleep and wakefulness, we catch a fleeting, fragmentary glimpse of something that may be real, may be part of a dream, may even be something imperfectly remembered. Yet access to this hesitant, indeterminate space can free our imaginations, allowing us meditative scope. It is a valuable space for reflection.

Over the last 14 years, Collie has split his time between Ireland and Spain, where he has been based variously in Girona, Bilbao and, now, close to the city of Zaragosa in Aragon, on the edge of Los Monegros, a region which incorporates the only desert in Western Europe. Hence the title he has given to this exhibition: Sequia, or Drought. The hard, brilliant light of the desert may seem remote from the accommodating darkness we find in the majority of the paintings, but then, bright light makes for deep shadows.

In many respects the influence of Spain on the evolution of his work was incidental, in that he did not go there because of a particular interest in Spanish painting. That sympathy has developed over time, out of his engagement with the qualities of the landscape and the culture. Dutch still life painting was perhaps even more important in shaping his vision. Still life emerged as a term in the Netherlands during the 17th century, when it came into its own as an artistic genre. Virtuoso paintings of flowers, fruit, vessels, foodstuffs and other household objects were laden with symbolism. In vanitas type compositions, representations of sources of pleasure and objects of beauty were reminders of the transience of life.

On the face of it, Collie is to some degree a still life painter. In the past, vessels and fruit have been subjects of intense scrutiny in his work. Comparably, gourds and roots – dried out organic forms as the title Sequia suggests – are current objects of fascination, ordinary things of great though generally unremarked beauty. On the evidence of the paintings, one could say that on more than one occasion he has moved outside into the landscape, but perhaps the point is that the terms outside and inside are not particularly relevant to his work. His pictures are not quite either still lifes or landscapes, though in a way he does take his cue from the Dutch artists. The objects around which the works are formed become something else, they become mysterious, emblematic, flaring presences. Embodied with quiet attentiveness, bearing intimations of transience and fragility, they stand for what is both simple and precious in life, what should be cherished; persuasive amalgamations of reason, imagination and feeling.

Aidan Dunne Art Critic Irish Times

April 2016