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"Between the sea and the sky" by Janet Mercer

‘My work is rooted in the west of Ireland landscape, inspired by the sculptural forms of the mountains, rocks and both natural and man-made structures, which reveal the contours of the land.

I am more interested in the abstract, sculptural qualities in the landscape than in representing a picturesque view.

I am inspired by the robust solidity of the rocky landscape of Connemara and the Burren, and how the ever-changing light highlights solid forms, contours and texture, while at other times, light and mist dissolves the forms, rendering them ephemeral.

Whatever the conditions, the mountains and rocks are a permanent presence, as old as the world itself, witness to our lives and activities, whether these have a significant or negligible impact on the landscape around us. 

My work in both drawing and sculpture combines the building up and removal of layers of material to refine and reveal the forms within the piece. I work with layering charcoal or graphite, building and erasing layers, arriving at the final forms within the landscape. Mixed media drawings explore the physicality of the landscape through texture, collage and relief.



The use of a textured ground allows for an element of chance in the work, through exploring the lines and forms I see in the textures. Recent collage pieces explore a more abstract interpretation of landscape forms and structures, often recycling offcuts and materials which would otherwise be discarded.’


Janet Mercer

Janet Mercer lives and works in Northwest Connemara, amongst the mountains, sea and bogland.

She studied art and art history in Ireland and England, subsequently working in the post-16 art education sector and as an education inspector, before returning to live in Ireland in 2017.

Since then, she has exhibited regularly in various venues across the West and the North of Ireland, and recently completed an artist’s residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Co. Monaghan.

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