Maria Simonds Gooding

Maria Simonds-Gooding has been identified as one of Ireland’s foremost painters and printmakers to have emerged since the Sixties.

Her work, which has been exhibited internationally, is represented in many public and private collections, including those of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Born in India in 1939, Maria Simonds-Gooding studied at the National College of Art, Dublin, Le Centre de Peinture, Bruxelles, Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, UK from 1962 – 1968 and has lived and worked in Kerry since 1947. She was elected a member of Aosdána in 1981 and was elected full membership of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2012.

“Simonds-Gooding’s work is in the best Modernist sense, reductivist. She deliberately absences the unnecessary and foregrounds only line and space to create essential worlds that are recognisable but not locatable.

And yet it is all about locale, though those locations can be in the Sinai Desert, New Mexico or Kerry – all expose the ancient negotiation between man and land and subsistence. If the cave drawings of Lascaux are about the hunter homo sapiens then Simonds-Gooding’s works are about subsistence farmers and the effect their toil has upon the land.

Simonds-Gooding’s fields, bound by walls or ditches, do not to signify proprietorial ownership but a place won back from the wild and untamed land that surrounds it. They are statements of defiance and endurance, places where a struggle against the elementals to eek a survivalist living has left its evidence.

It is also about transcendence, her images touching something deep inside our collective unconsciousness. Her schema, elegant and beautiful, suggest an algebra of traces, specifically, mankind’s agrarian efforts in places remote and severe.”

–  Patrick T. Murphy, RHA Director.