A painting of Bellfield, Shinrone, Co. Offaly by Alison Rosse.

Birr artist featured at new Dublin exhibition of garden paintings

The work of Birr artist Alison Rosse is to come under the spotlight at a new exhibition hosted by the Irish Georgian Society in Dublin.

Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens is the title of the exhibition which opens this Thursday (September 23) and continues until November 26 in the City Assembly House at 58 South William Street, Dublin 2.

The painting of gardens is a new development and a new challenge for Alison Rosse, whose works at the exhibition include depictions of gardens at Bellfield, Shinrone, in Offaly and at Kilgobbin in county Limerick.

Alison had no formal training but has lived in many different countries, had many different tutors, and often painted with artists whom she admires. The late Derek Hill was an especial mentor.

She travelled extensively, especially in Iran where her husband was working, and increased her drawing skills by being employed as a draftsman on archaeological sites. She has always been attracted to ruins and the remains of the past.

The landscape of the Irish Midlands around her home in Birr, and the Slieve Bloom mountains, are continual sources of inspiration. She also travels regularly to the West of Ireland, and stays and paints on the islands off the coast.

Alison also paints interiors, including a series of Irish libraries: an exhibition of these paintings in the National Library opened by the President at the time, Mary Robinson.

A small catalogue of this work, Room for Books: Paintings of Irish Libraries, was published by the Irish Georgian Society in 2016. She has painted in many of Ireland’s Georgian houses, including of course her own home, Birr Castle.

The exhibition in Dublin features fifty specially-commissioned paintings of Irish Walled Gardens by Alison and three other leading artists: Lesley Fennell, Andrea Jameson and Maria Levinge.

It is on view between Tuesday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, and admission is free. More details are available on the Irish Georgian Society's website here.