Michael Canning was born in Limerick in 1971 and studied there at the School of Art & Design and in Greece at Athen’s School of Fine Arts. In 1999, he received his Masters Degree in Fine Art from the National College of Art & Design in Dublin. In 2003, Canning was awarded the Royal Academy’s prestigious Hennessy Craig Prize. Canning’s work has been shown widely across the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe.
Michael Canning’s paintings of hedgerow plants confront certain traditions of northern European painting. Neither landscapes, nor still lifes, Canning’s work conveys an atmospheric quality laden with spiritual undertones. Heavy mists shroud the rolling hills of the Irish landscape which part only for the wild plants. The plants are rendered directly from observation. Michael finds the plants on daily walks near his home in County Limerick. He uses painting techniques influenced by 17th-century Dutch landscape artists. Michael Canning has won several awards for his works, including the Oriel Gallery Award from the RHA (2007) and the Arts Council of Ireland Award (1996).