Eimhin Farrell is an artist from Castleblayney, County Monaghan specialising in printmaking, specifically etching. He graduated from NCAD in 2018 with a degree in Fine Art and Visual Culture and continues his practice as a member of Black Church Print Studios. His style and practice is greatly influenced by the technical style used for replicating traditional-style illustrations of buildings and architectural forms, particularly in traditional etchings and engravings, making heavy use of hatching and cross-hatching to add depth and tone. He attempts to revisit this traditional method while at the same time place a contemporary twist on the work as a whole, particularly in terms of presentation and contextualisation. For him, this idea of revisiting traditional styles and old usages of those styles and placing them in the scope of contemporary fine art printmaking also calls into question what subjects can be used to best return relevance to something which is either no longer used, or at least not used for its initial purpose.
As such, as of 2019, Eimhin has looked to his local shores of Lough Muckno, Castleblayney – the largest lake in County Monaghan – to see the Hope Castle and its gates, once used as the homestead for the Blayney and Hope families (after whom the town and Castle estate are named, respectively), as perfect examples of architectural splendour, remaining fundamental to the identity of the small town. These buildings are now either in a state of disrepair, as in the case of the Castle and much of the old gatehouse, or having a different purpose than when they were built, as in the case of some other parts of the gatehouse. Hence, with his etchings during 2018-2019, he has attempted to portray these buildings in a very traditional style of etching but within a contemporary context, and thus, hopefully, shine a new light on these local architectural gems of the not-so-distant past.