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Art and the bog

The unique landscape of our bogs has inspired artists, writers and poets for centuries.

In 2023, the Abbeyleix Bog Project accepted art submissions from the public for its annual calendar and was was delighted with the response. It is through the generosity of all the artists who submitted, the businesses of Abbeyleix, Portlaoise and Ballyroan and the public who bought the calendars that this project was such a success.

Throughout 2024, contributing artists will be featured here.

Emily McCormack ABP.jpeg

'Dusk Settles Over the Bog' by Emily McCormack 



Emily McCormack is an Irish Artist who in 2018 established an oil painting school and art studio in Co. Meath. Prior to this, she worked in civil engineering. She has exhibited within Ireland and the UK and her artwork has also been featured on RTE One’s Nationwide Programme and publications such as Ireland’s Homes Interiors & Living Magazine, RSVP and the Meath Chronicle. You will find her most days in her studio painting landscapes including the bogs of Ireland, equine or seascape paintings. She also writes a monthly newsletter and oil painting blog for beginners which are published on her website


Her artwork can be viewed on her online store, every Sunday on Dublin’s Merrion Square Open Air Art Exhibition (weather permitting) and most days on her socials, including Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn (@emilymccormack-artist).

Mairéad Holohan ABP.jpeg

'Saplings on the Bog' by Mairéad Holohan 

MAIREAD HOLOHAN (@maireadhololohanartist)


Mairead Holohan is a native of Kilkenny who now lives in rural South Carlow, at the foot of the Blackstairs in a place romantically called Dranagh, ‘Doireánach’ in Irish, ‘place of the blackthorns’. She has an affinity with and is inspired by the stones, wild ancient areas, native plants, trees and bogs. She started with the local Drummin bog and from here went on to explore other bogs. When she visited Abbeyleix Bog with her daughter, it felt like they had met the mammy bog of Drummin! 

A graduate of NCAD with diplomas in Graphic design, Community Arts and Education and an MA in Education from WIT, Mairead has exhibited widely over the years and been accepted into numerous open selections both in Ireland and abroad. In 2017 Mairead was a finalist in the Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Art competition. Her work has been on display in the Bankside Gallery London.

A passionate educator, Mairead believes in the power of art to enable people to look closer at their world and  to empower them and their communities. Mairead works now mainly on paper, fabric and wood using sustainable natural materials, no acrylics or polymers. Her current plans are to work from her own studio and to offer eco-friendly workshops and mentoring for artists interested in moving to a more sustainable manner of working. See her website here.

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