Anne Kilroy


Sr. Anne Kilroy is a Loreto Sister, living and working in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is a painter, musician, teacher and dancer. Sr. Anne has also been deeply involved in working for refugees and participating in the work of peace and reconciliation in Norther Ireland. To see more about her life, read this 2010 article from the Belfast Telegraph.

Artist’s Statement

I am an amateur oil painter. I love to take a theme from nature which relates to my own experience and explore it from various angles.Time spent in Achill island in the last few Summers led me to a focus on bogland, especially last August when the heather was in full bloom. I have really enjoyed the freedom of colour, brush-stroke and interpretation this subject has given me. 

Mystery, history and beauty dwell beneath and on the spongy surface of our bogs.  The history and evolution of bogs, as well as the human history they hide and reveal, is very complex, especially in this small island of ours which has more than its share of bogland and rainfall. However, the overuse of bogland for energy and fuel has put this delicate balance in jeopardy. 

My walks in the Ormeau Park have provided much inspiration throughout the seasons. The various shapes and textures of the trunks and barks of trees have been a particular source of interest and reflection. The low Winter sun sets the trunk and bare branches alight and exposes their shapes in stark relief. Last year there were two trees in particular which became the object of my camera and brush: The ‘burnt yew tree’ and the ‘dancing oak’ I had photographed the yew before it was burned.  It’s limb-like shape was accentuated,  its charred  bark became a symbol of our abuse of nature. Yet, it became ever more attractive and beautiful to me even in its death throes. I pleaded for its preservation, but eventually it was cut down and not even a stump marks the spot now. It spoke to me of transience and suffering. But it also gave comfort in a time of personal loss. In contrast, the ‘dancing tree’ makes a statement of life and resurrection. This little oak has always attracted me because of its dance-like posture.

17 thoughts on “Anne Kilroy

    1. Anne what a gift!! I will treasure these wonderful scenes of nature. No wonder Pope Francis sees ‘nature as a magnificent book in which God speaks to us and grants us a glimpse of his infinite beauty and goodness’. Thanks for sharing that glimpse. Stephanie OBrien

    1. Heartfelt Congratulations Anne on such beautiful work. We are uplifted and inspired. Thank God for your giftedness. from all of us in Loreto Gorey Lucy,Josephine Roisin and Stephanie

  1. Congratulations, Anne, on your inspiring, thought-provoking art. I found your contributions very moving.

  2. Anne thank you for your beautiful paintings. You have such a gift for representing the bog and heather, also the dance like quality of the trees.

  3. Well Done, Anne. Interesting, inspiring…. full of meanings. I love the creative pieces your artistic eye and poetic imagination draw from the tree. Beautiful! Jennie

  4. Anne, your paintings are food for contemplation and prayer. How can we not see a Creator’s hand at work. Sincere thanks.
    Rionach Donlon.


  5. Anne many congratulations on your beautiful artwork which is so beautiful and uplifting. Very inspiring. Such giftedness.
    Maria Hyland

  6. Thank you Anne for sharing your wonderful paintings with us. Your pictures are so full of movement, light, energy and mystery
    Anne O’Dwyer.

  7. Congratulations Anne. Thank you for sharing your paintings and reflections which I found thought-provoking and convey a sense of mystery and beauty

  8. Hi Sister Anne. Your paintings are so beautiful. You kept that talent well hidden when teaching me music in Loreto, Omagh many moons ago. I am delighted you are doing well and think of you fondly and often. Keep up this amazing work. God bless x
    Sinéad McGuigan

  9. Sister Anne…I’ve thought of you often and hoped you were doing well. You have been a positive influence in my life and obviously so many others. Well done my friend ..I would love to have a chat and catch up some time soon..Helen..Balbriggan xx

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