Peadar hails from Letterkenny in Co. Donegal and has been making artwork for over 30 years. He left school early and is self-taught which gave him the space to develop his own visual language. He is inspired by the everyday life that revolves around him, people, nature, the environment and the ever changing landscape of his home county of Donegal and elsewhere, throughout the province of Ulster.
He says the landscape has always influenced him in this way; as depicted in his drawings, paintings and photography.
His artistic practice began as graphic designer which led into ‘Celtic art’. Having a big heart and seeing a genuine gap in mental health provision, Peadar set about establishing the Create-a-link facility in Letterkenny. This is an amazing art programme that he manages, which provides spaces, art tuition and support for people recovering from mental health illnesses and is supported and funded by the HSE. In the early years of this project Peadar also managed to attend college in Limavady to study art for a number of years.
In 2017, Peadar undertook a 241k walk all around the county to highlight mental health provision in Donegal – and it seems a little miracle happened! Peadar had the time to really look ‘at’ the landscape – and this has had a profound impact on his work.
His art is fluid, confident and eloquent. Peadar does not strive for a realistic representation as his landscapes are about ‘essence’ – they are about encapsulations that search for the very core of a place. His practice therefore is based on observation, absorption and interpretation. These visual assimilations are then worked through on his surfaces as the artist journeys with the paint. It is no surprise then that Peadar McDaid was the recipient of The Derek Hill Award from The Glebe Gallery in 2017 and winner of the Strule art Centre competition the following year. Peadar has established himself as an artist both at home and abroad, with exhibitions through Ireland and in Boston, Italy and China.
A number of the work in this exhibition was produced in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre earlier this year.