Sean Scully, who is, perhaps unusually for an artist, highly articulate, has often talked about the importance of the architecture of walls, widows and doors as key inspirations to the forms and structures of his drawing and painting. He discusses this on a 'Big Think' interview with the title 'The personal Artistic Philosophy of Sean Scully'.
Sean Scully - Walls of Aran ISBN 9780500543399
Thames and Hudson. First published 2007
In a tiny land where music is sung and played in pubs and in the air daily, these walls are silent. And yet this sculpture is like the music of this place:austere and elemental. - Sean Scully:
A recent exhibition I would have liked to have seen but sadly couldn't ended in June 2013 at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington; Sean Scully: Passages/Impressions/Surfaces. It clearly highlights this connection between observation of built forms at specific sites in the actual world (in this case Harris and Lewis shacks in the Outer Hebrides photographed on the 1990s) and processing them into two dimensions through the medium of photography and the parallel development of a language of abstract painting.
The curators select this quote for the website which very clearly articulates his understanding of this relationship.
" I am not fighting for abstraction. Those battles have already been fought. I'm using those victories to make abstraction that is, in fact, more relaxed, more open, and more confident ...... I am trying to make something that is more expressive and that relates to the world in which we live. In that sense my abstraction i quite figurative. It is not very remote.
Sean Scully, Journal of Contemporary Art ( in conversation with Eric Davis) 1999