Visual artist Gavin Mc Crea  was born and grew up in Sion Mills, Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland. He moved to the west coast of Ireland at the age of eighteen to pursue his love of surfing and now lives in Rossnowlagh Co Donegal. He has just completed a BA Hons with a 1st in Fine Art from IT Sligo, and was awarded The Hyde Bridge Gallery Graduate Award Solo exhibition 2017. 


Drawing from skills and experience developed from over fifteen years working in surfing and Surfboard manufacture. Mc Crea’s work ultimately takes its inspiration from experiences of the sea. It is suggestive of and responsive to the human impact on water-masses in the planet. Utilising varying processes and materials he immerses the viewer within his Aquatic realm. Working on stretchers varying from large to intimate, making gestural marks, manipulating paint, making repeat patterns, screen print and additions of hard-edge graphic elements, the work is highly energetic, flowing and at times chaotic. It incorporates various transparent substrates such as acetate, films, tapes and polythene as an alternative to the more traditional materials. These transparent layering elements make reference to processes involved in the construction of surfboards and to the translucency of the sea itself.

With each overlay of paint, he is creating ‘paint things’, concentrated objects that populate the space, each working as individual compositional elements within the gallery. They add scale, presence and proportion, giving the work a dynamic and immersive quality. His work invites active engagement by placing the viewer into his world, which lies at the intersection of painting and installation, whilst also attempting to give a deeper insight into an ongoing fascination with painting, making, environment and ultimately, the sea.