Gerard Byrne

Of his time on the Island Gerard says “I arrived on the Great Blasket Island and began to climb the hill carrying my easel and canvasses. I took in the beauty of the place and wondered where to start, then I viewed the Tra Ban through the ruins. It seemed almost sacred. One could imagine days gone by when the community gathered here and men played hurling on the beach., I was filled with a sense of loss. This was dispelled by children playing outside their family house and inspired me to paint the scene to the celebrate the continuity of life. Later walking to the back of the Island, I was struck by the immensity of the cliffs and the Ocean and felt compelled to capture the scene. I departed with a longing to return. “


Gerard Byrne was Born in Dublin in 1958 and without the benefit of formal art training has established himself as one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists. 

His unique perspective plunges the viewer into canvases awash with colour and movement. His painting is distinctive for its vibrant palette, expressive brushwork and skilful contrasts of light and shade.

We may refer to Gerard as a Contemporary Impressionist and like many impressionists, with his out of door scenes, he paints en plein air working with or at times, against the elements. He uses oil paint for its “buttery finish” and the way it flows and mixes on the canvas. Colour is of the utmost importance to Gerry as it is always a challenge to imitate nature and capture light. Gerard explores the themes of impressionism in a contemporary manner; capturing the transience and atmosphere, but most of all the emotion. 

His work can be seen in art collections across the globe and over the past year he found inspiration in the outstandingly beautiful Dingle Peninsula & West Kerry Gaeltacht.  

Gerard participated in the Great Blasket Island Exhibition at the Greenlane Gallery in 2003 to commemoratively mark the 50th anniversary of the abandonment of the Island. He has continued to visit here and capture the wild beauty of the West Kerry Gaeltacht along the Wild Atlantic Way. This area, Europe’s most westerly point, inspires exceptionally strong responses. It has an ineffable light which is powerful and special.  

For Gerard painting is about revealing the beauty hidden in the everyday. His artwork elevates the ordinary to the extraordinary, finding harmony and elegance all around him. He uses light and colour to present the world through his own lens, he allows us to view his vision.

Gerard’s extensive and varied life experiences, his time spent travelling and exploring life, the spontaneity of his works, their boldness, scale and sharp perspectives reveal his true natural talent. His is an artist’s eye; something that is inherent, something that cannot be taught.

“Painting is what I do. I need an outlet for all of the energy stored up in me and canvas has become that outlet”.

The motivation and determination that built Gerard’s career as an artist and gallery owner continues as he works forward to further his career and challenge himself artistically.



Artworks by Gerard Byrne