The Pattern that Connects

What an unusual opportunity to be able to show work at this time. ‘The Pattern that Connects ‘ is a duo exhibition with woodcut artist Ma Liangfen from Cangzhou academy of Painting , Hebei. The exhibition opened (26/9/2020) at Dong Yue Art Musuem in Chaoyangmenwai . 



Thank you to Therese Healy , acting head of Mission at the Embassy of Ireland who spoke at the opening . Also to Wang YueZhou from Cangzhou Federation of Literary and Art Circles. Media figure Ms Chen Bing gracefully presented as Master of Ceremony . Thank you also to academic curator  Zeng Luhong  for his exhibition essay and media coverage and special gratitude to fellow artist Ma Liangfen whom I really enjoyed getting to know and learn from over the past two weeks. A big thank you to Yuan QiuLai director of Dong Yue Art Musuem with whom we had numerous cross cultural exhibitions over the past six years. The exhibition focusses on Nature , explores the human relationship with Nature and also examines  aspects of the ecological emergency . 

In January 2020 I began collecting written submissions on any aspect of trees for my blog “The Memory Palace of Trees” gathering stories from poets, childrens writers, dendrologists and other people across the globe. This socio-eco practice highlights the interdependence between trees and people and explores the place it might take us. 

Here are some artworks from earlier stories in the year. 

Forrester Anna Finke’s interesting passion for climbing trees



Environmental educator Carrissa Welton’s story “Roots of Recovery” linked to the Ginkgo Sucrose work

Barrow Trance 

The story for ‘Trees can Communicate’ was linked to artwork on Barrow river reflections.

Joshua’s tree the Hawthorne with the painting Piyos view

WU Yiqiangs 吴以强 story of artists replanting the Swan Goose Forest

Mayfield 4am 凌晨4点 80 x 60cm Niamh Cunningham 倪芙瑞莲2014

‘The tree in your Backyard Yard’ story is matched with Mayfield 4am.

When taking some visitors yesterday on a tour of the exhibition we were talking about shared DNA , how we share 25% of our DNA with trees, Shared DNA of all lifeforms on earth are also part of the pattern that connects. 

北京公共汽车站Beijing-Bus-Stop-132x-90-cm-oil-on-canvas Niamh-Cunningham倪芙瑞莲 2014


The funny poem by Pat Ingoldsby thinking about a wooden telegraph pole next to a bus stop match with painting Beijing Bus Stop


New developments on the sucrose series have extended to selected  UV prints on aluminium  . I have also shown some original sucroses which are not immediately  easy  to identify with the earlier process stages.  This work visualizes the transformations that occur during crystalisation as a metaphor for the ever present ecological metamorphosis. 

Sucroses in the original form

Tree Song Jinan, sucrose series, UV print on Aluminium 200x 100cm Niamh Cunningham 2020


There are also some figures from my  2019  Portrait series most of these have never been exhibited before. 


There are also some figures from my  2019  Portrait series. 

Here is a link to view more details on the portrait project . 

Ma Liangfen 马良分


Ma Liangfen’s expansive collection of woodcut boards cover journeys of the natural world across China. There are a number of prints on paper including some reverse colour prints where only one board was used . I asked her about her affinity to cats and she told me had no cat at home but loved observing the independence of the wild cats exploring at leisure. Other works explore unexpected thoughts and fantasies creating new worlds within the realm of reality . 




Here are more in depth links to her work 

Ma Liangfen link 1 

Ma Liangfen link 2 


Exhibition Media Doc link