Gerard Byrne appointed Artist-in-Residence at the Singapore Botanic Gardens

Picture of paintings courtesy of the Gerard Byrne Studio.

BYDavid Prendeville

In August, Gerard Byrne, one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists, whose studio is based in Ranelagh, became Artist-in-Residence at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

As part of the commemorative celebration of the Gardens’ 160 years in existence, he was invited by Patrick Bourne, Irish Ambassador to Singapore and Dr Nigel Taylor, Director of Singapore Botanic Gardens to reside at the Gardens for one month.

Gerard Byrne has a big following in Dublin 4, having spent many hours painting the coast of south Dublin; Sandymount, Sandycove and Dalkey, to name but a few locations. He also had a solo exhibition in Gallery Four in 2007.

Following from last year’s ‘Inside Outside & Beyond’, a successful exhibition celebrating thirty years of painting the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, Gerard Byrne continues to explore and develop his passion for painting exotic plants and nature by creating a new collection while in Singapore.

Byrne’s residency has culminated in an exhibition of his botanical paintings from Ireland and Kew Gardens in London, alongside his new Singaporean collection. The exhibition ‘Botanical Fusion’ is currently being displayed at People’s Gallery, Singapore Botanic Gardens, having started on the 6th of September and running until November 10th..

In July, Felix Loh, CEO of the iconic Gardens by the Bay made a visit to Gerard’s gallery/studio with Patrick Bourne, Irish Ambassador to Singapore. This meeting resulted in the official invitation for Gerard to paint plein-air during his trip within the Gardens by the Bay, the world famous nature park in Singapore spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land with its spectacular ‘Supertrees’ and the largest glass greenhouse in the world.

Gardens by the Bay is part of the nation’s plans to transform its ‘Garden City’ to a ‘City in a Garden’, with the aim of raising the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city.

The versatility of Gerard’s work has led him to many commissions, both in private and corporate sectors, his most recent being of Sarah Eberle’s Main Avenue Garden, ‘The Resilience Garden’, sponsored by The Forestry Commission at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show in London.

Gerard’s work has also been featured in the publication of Patricia Butler’s ‘Irish Botanical Illustrations & Flower Painters’ (2000) and was selected out of 1,000 artists to participate in the Landscape Artist of the Year, SKY Arts programme in 2017.

Gerard paints both from reality and imagination, creating exuberant images which hover on the verge of abstract. His unique blend, near kaleidoscope, of style and subject explain his emergence as an established force in Irish art and increasing internationally. 

If readers wish to follow Gerard’s journey and to get an insight of his residency in Singapore Botanic Gardens, they can follow Gerard on instagram @gerard_byrne_artist or visit www.gerardbyrneartist.com