Ghost Lights on the Bog

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Ghost Lights on the Bog



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104cm x 104cm squared (inc frame)

We are all in a rather trance-like state in the gallery, since the arrival of Murphy’s latest metre x metre artwork. Large and strikingly beautiful, one finds themselves stood in front of this for a long time, absorbing the beauty, the perfect colour palette and the sheer magical nature of this piece.  Using a method that involves more ‘taking off’ than ‘painting on’, it took the artist over 6 weeks to complete this piece, in order to achieve the desired look. 
But understanding the title of this painting makes it infinitely more entrancing.

The title ‘Ghost Lights on the Bog’ is actually based on science rather than any kind of paranormal activity. It is based on the illusive retreating magical lights that are seen in bogs and wetland areas late in the evenings during certain times of year.  Irish folklore refers to this phenomenon as Will-o-the-wisp, a fairytale creature that leads people astray, but the scientific reality is that these magical lights are caused by burning gases—called “swamp gas” or “marsh gas”—that develops from the breakdown of organic matter in persistently wet areas.  The lights were often seen hovering over swamps at night and look similar to flickering lanterns, with the light often being blue in color but sometimes red.

Another superb contemporary piece from an artist with rapidly growing interest both internationally and here at home in Ireland.


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