Steel Trees - the future? 'Steel Trees' exhibition Apr-Jun 2008

 Megan O'Beirne with Emma Nee Haslam (left, administrator of Birr Arts Centre)

Megan O'Beirne with Emma Nee Haslam (left) at Birr Arts Centre, Co. Offaly


Suas an Staighre

Tree remains in Banff

Tree remains

Tree remains in Banff

in Banff

Steel Trees - The Future?

This exhibition was prompted by witnessing the devastation of the lodge-pole pine trees in north -western Canada, specifically in British Columbia and Alberta, in 2007. The pest causing the depletion of the trees is a tiny insect, the pine-bark beetle. Formerly, this beetle was killed off by long severe winters. Now the winters in Canada are neither cold enough nor long enough to control the beetle due to the 4 degree rise in temperature there over the past century. The Canadian government is trying various strategies to cope with this scourge which is defacing their country by burning affected trees, developing detection technology and replanting affected areas. However, with the exponential increase in the number of pine-bark beetles, even the boreal forest which stretches across Canada to the east coast is under threat.

Along the River Bow in Banff National Park, Alberta, residues of affected dead trees make spectral viewing. Yet, in their brokenness they have assumed a new identity which seems to reproach, defy, strike attitudes which are moving, eloquent, and deeply affecting.

In the narrow Stephen’s Avenue in Calgary, Alberta, there’s an installation of tall steel ‘trees’ designed by architects to act as a wind-break. These stylised trees arch to a great height as if seeking the light amidst the high -rise buildings. They have grace and elegance and are the best that money could buy in terms of materials and design. In hindsight this installation was both prescient and ominous.

By juxtaposing these contrasting images which jog the imagination in different ways we may be prompted to evaluate the choices which global warming offers us.

Megan O’Beirne. 10th April 2008.


Stoney way

Stoney Way

Megan spent Aug.2007 at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada.

See Patrick's Flickr set of photographs of her work and travels.



Megan in Banff with Cascade Mountain in the background

Dark corridor

Dark Corridor

Old wood, phoenix

Old wood Phoenix 3

Old wood, drawing

Old wood drawing


Black and white photographs from the Badlands  All images copyright (c) Megan O'Beirne 2007
Drumheller badlands 7 Drumheller badlands 21  Drumheller badlands 36    

Megan Feb.2007 Residency was at SÍM ­ The Association of Icelandic Visual artists,  Hafnarstrćti 16, Reykjavik, Iceland.

SÍM ­ The Association of Icelandic Visual artists,


Cast Shadows

Cast Shadows, Wexford Arts Centre
Jan 13-Feb 4, 2007, with Rhodri Jones


 The Jan 2007 exhibition featured work based on the artist's recent travel in Ireland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and France. Spectacular buildings such as the famous Frank Gehry Museum of Modern Art in Bilbao or the humbler vernacular architecture of Treviso or Wexford are captured in high summer. Light and shade are crisply defined and provide an intriguing upside-down world of sharp angles and sweeping curves. There is an exciting sense in the photographs of trying to arrest time itself, to catch it as it will never reveal itself again.


The James Joyce photograph page shows a selection from my 2003 & 2004 B&W photo exhibitions in Dublin and Trieste.

Babelfish translator 


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Old Slade  Slade Harbour   Hook Lighthouse

Paintings, photographs, and prints at The Bite of Time exhibition at the Cockleshell Gallery, The Fort, Duncannon, Co. Wexford.  Oct 13-Nov 13 2006

Also see the Harbour Blues series 2006

Previous work shows the "Geomorph" series, the "Exits/Entrances" series which depicts  formally organised spaces, and images inspired by Flamenco

Villa Alba, 
Tara Hill,

Map of Ireland showing County Wexford

County Wexford, Ireland


Artist's  Biography 

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Photo of Megan O'Beirne

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Last updated April 17, 2008