The Flying Saucer Poetry Review, Winter 2023 (issue #2)

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11 | Art by Ronan Cahill, Winner of the UCD Visual Arts Society Exhibition


Ronan Cahill

Ronan Cahill lives and paints in Scotland. Exile, erosion of Identity, imagined worlds, and particle physics are central themes. What is life? Universes of particles scattered all around. His work represents both landscape painting spaces, and abstract painting and digital spaces he can own, spaces in which he can ask great questions of himself, and hide. Lost worlds collide, are destroyed and created, in various stages between development and falling apart, mirroring the trials, and victories in life. Ronan is a self-taught artist and has worked as an engineer for 20 years. He’s both an engineer and an artist, in fact 3 different artists. A love of painting nature and landscapes to try and capture the beautiful force in front of our eyes. Another artist within him loves to show up at the page/canvas and paint from within via line, colour and form to create abstract works in watercolour and acrylic. The third artist within him likes to take all the artworks of the first two artists and remix and layer them into digital works. Photographs of his paintings are used to create new media art. His initial art is cannibalised and taken on a subconscious walk through digital technology at night when he’s too tired for rational thought. Paintings are cut, pasted, and manipulated, into new media, and eventually come out unrecognisable. Layer is added to layer until a finished piece appears. Gilcee prints are printed, only one of each on quality photo-rag or German Etching paper. Themes aren’t always understood by Ronan. He just shows up and the subconscious takes charge. As artists our only necessity is to show-up at the tablet, page or canvas. Some creative “force” then takes charge. Ronan has drawn and painted all his life. Without art he is nothing.

Ronan is a member of Visual Arts Scotland.

1997 First prize in the annual UCD Visual Arts Society exhibition.
2016 Solo Exhibition at the British Embassy in Luanda, Angola of his Luanda watercolours.
2018 Group Exhibition, Melrose Gallery.
2019 Group Exhibition, MacMillan Cancer, Edinburgh.
2020 Selection of Scottish landscape watercolour paintings appeared at the Tualach Restaurant, Blair Atholl Golf Club, Perthshire, Scotland.
2020 Online group exhibition, Hubcap Gallery, Edinburgh.
2021 Online group exhibition, Line Gallery, Linlithgow.
2022 Second place, cover art, The Flying Saucer Poetry Review, 24th Annual Critters Readers’ Poll.
2023 Fourth place, interior art, An Alien’s TechnologyThe Space Cadet Science Fiction Review, 25th Annual Critters Readers’ Poll.

Editor’s Note: When I put Ronan Cahill’s abstract science fiction art on the cover of the debut issue of The Flying Saucer Poetry Review, I did it for a couple of reasons. The first being that the artwork is brilliant. The second being that I could not recall having seen science fiction cover art and science fiction art in general, that was not realism or surrealism. I love abstract art. Where was the science fiction abstract art, I wondered? I had not seen it, which doesn’t mean that it’s not out there, of course, just that I had not seen it. I felt that it was an exciting decision to put Ronan’s work on the cover. The approach was successful as we placed second in a back and forth voting battle in that year’s Critters poll to the SFPA Star*Line magazine. Star*Line‘s cover art was classic and gorgeous SF art, but we did something different in using Ronan’s abstract SF art for the cover. This year, Ronan’s abstract SF art placed 4th in the poll. I applaud Ronan for his remarkable, abstract interpretation of the infinitely rich visual realm of science fiction.