Lunan Bay
By Oonagh de Voy

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Year
1997
Media
Oil Painting
Subject Matter
Sea and Boats
Reg. Number
P898
Size
122 x 122 cm

This large piece exploits its size and the use of empty space to create the sense of a vast beach running along the shoreline. The artist, Oonagh de Voy, created this work on behalf of Paintings in Hospitals. She credits the coast with providing the stimulus for much of her painting. She intended this piece to reflect "the majesty of the sea as it clashes with the coast" and to appreciate "the simple objects which this throughs [sic] up in the form of flotsam and jetsam". The focus is not on the coastline or the man-made elements, as one might expect from a seascape, but upon the sand of the bay itself, which uses very few shades of colour apart from the dark line snaking through it to suggest a path. This limited colour palette serves to tie the elements of the painting. The sky is empty, with the only the landscape providing a strip of colour and the earthy tones serve to emphasise the empty space by framing it.

The poles stand out amid the emptiness of the beach, intended by the artist to reflect man's interaction with the sea, both in the way man makes use of the sea and how the sea "is a provider and life giver". The pole in the foreground is the element showing the greatest degree of detail and the most precise paint strokes. The other poles become increasingly hazy and out of focus the further they get from the viewer - creating a sense of depth and distance. The brushstrokes used for the beach are very rough, reflecting the texture of sand. Craquelure (a fine pattern of dense "cracking" formed on the surface) has appeared in the paint, manifesting as a series of circular cracks forming whorls and spirals.

Oonagh de Voy's work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions in Arbroath, Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh and elsewhere. She has also contributed to several community arts initiatives.