For fifty years Clare Aylett (1925 – 2021) lived on the Kerry side of the Beara Peninsula and during that time, captured beautifully the light and landscapes that inspired her, using oil and watercolour. Her daughter, Holly, has curated a selection of these unique works to display. As a painter, Clare’s main interest was light, and the way light filters everything in landscape, constantly shifting, rapidly changing the tones and colours, reshaping the forms of the hills in each moment of the day, and the turn of each tide. She never worked from photographs – instead she would capture effects in watercolour and return to her studio to work up her studies in oil on canvas. Many of her oils were gifted to neighbours and friends who have kindly loaned the work for this exhibition.
Clare Aylett was brought up in Yorkshire and moved to London during the Second World War to study economic history at the London School of Economics where she graduated in 1946. She was never an easy city dweller but she married a consultant surgeon, Stanley Aylett, and brought up three children in north London. During these years she went to art classes in Kentish Town where she learnt her skills in oil painting focussing on landscape and still-life studies.
She had a heritage in Ireland on both sides of her family, and in the mid seventies, aged fifty, Clare moved permanently to Kilmacalogue on the Beara Peninsula and become part of the fabric of her adopted community. It was only in her last years, aged 91 that she abandoned her studio, but she continued to write her memoirs, short stories which she shared with the Hungry Hill Writers Group. She published two small volumes of stories from her life on the Beara Peninsular: My Affair with the Tailor, 2012, and Nothing to Declare, 2013.
This exhibition runs from 4th – 22nd July. FREE ADMISSION. Everyone welcome.