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Beauty in the Ordinary

Roughty Bridge I


Seamus Berkeley’s mother, Frances, had returned to Ireland, making a home for herself in quaint Kenmare. According to local legend, Kenmare, or ‘Neidín’ in old Gaelic, was the ‘nest’ or lair of the loathsome giant Éin. A quiet haven on the Ring of Kerry circling the Iveragh Peninsula, the lush landscape features humbling coastal vistas dotted with seaside villages such as Kenmare.

Arriving in County Kerry in the fall on the heels of a trip to Asia, Seamus was mesmerized by the sheer vertical length of Eastern compositions, dating back to the masters of calligraphy. Back in Kenmare, he ventured out in search of inspiration in the pastoral hush of the Irish countryside, honing in on the old Roughty (raw-ti) Bridge. Employing this shape-shifting tactic to interpret the world in a more abstract way, Roughty Bridge is one of his first explorations of vertical paintings.

Seamus summons a rusty autumnal palette of greys and muted colors to paint the fractured light of the sun setting on the horizon. He strives to convey time, place, and the tilt of the earth with this personal abstraction of a venerable stone bridge.

Roughty Bridge I, original oil on canvas, 9″ x 5.5″, framed

Original paintings and prints by Seamus Berkeley.

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Original oil painting by Seamus Berkeley