HOUSE SPARROW, acrylic, 68 x 91 cm (27" x 36")
© Fergus A Ryan, 2002 Private collection
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When I saw this abandoned thatched cottage in County Mayo I knew straight away I had to paint it. Through the broken windows the dishes still stood on the old dresser as they had been left ten years previously. I was fascinated by the textures of the decaying thatch and wood, the peeling paint and plasterwork, and the chicken wire. Just then a chirruping male house sparrow alighted on the thatch wire, soon flitting away after his companion. The silence returned. Recently a man at one of my exhibitions recognised this house as belonging to his grandmother. What were the chances of that? It was an emotional moment, and he bought the painting.