I’m an Irish artist from Cavan and I work mainly in acrylic and water soluble pastel. I’m largely self taught but I’ve studied art in South West College, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, classical portraiture and figure painting and drawing in Studio Escalier, France and with some other artistic jaunts in France and Majorca along with many many years of hiding my work and creating my own style.
I am very interested in bringing stories, legends and folklore from the past to the forefront to be remembered by those who once knew them, introduced to new people and so they are passed on to future generations.
That which can’t be seen haunts and intrigues me. I try to make some sense of it through painting and researching but it only digs a bigger hole into the abyss of esotericism for me. The idea of control is also present in my work; who is controlling us, spiritually, politically, emotionally, with my regular conclusion being that the only person stifling us is ourselves. For me art is created by the viewer, their connection with the piece. The person who looks at a piece of art connects the dots themselves even if those dots might signify more mystery that they need to ponder on. I like the mystery of art. No two people look at it the same. Your personal experiences and memory will give you a totally different connection with a painting regardless if the style is realist or abstract. For example one person might look at a painting of a cottage in the country side and just think it’s a traditional twee type painting that doesn’t make them feel anything, for someone else that painting could bring up wonderful childhood memories of the freedom and happy memories of living in a little cottage in the country side, for someone else this little cottage could be their goal in life, for them to have it on their wall it’s like a vision board for the future. This is what I love about art. We can never fully know the full extent of how someone is connecting with a painting inside. And the same can be said about the artist, we can never fully know what the artist was thinking when they painted it and for me I feel like I have to just let the painting flow through me without questioning it too much. I have to follow where it takes me and that’s where I get most of the excitement, through the process. I start in a very abstract way and work the painting until it starts to unveil images to me. As well as brushes I like to use unconventional tools to create new effects.
When I look at a blank canvas I know that many beings hide within. They are locked behind a door that only paint can open. After I build up layers I feel like my work is to unearth these hidden images from the painting, to release them from the painted land they hide within and let them tell their story. I do not know who they are or where they come from but more often than not they have a message for me or for someone who connects with the piece. When a viewer tells me something about a piece that I had not thought about I understand that painting had a specific job and that I was merely the channel, as that painting was waiting to talk to someone.
Nov 1st – 30th, “The Mystery Art Sale” Instagram exhibition, an interactive art buying experience.
Oct 15th – 25th 2019, “Layers”, a solo exhibition at Arklow Visual Arts Centre, Co. Wicklow
Sept 20th – Oct 26th 2019, “A House Of Pomegranates”, a solo exhibition based on “The Fairy Stories Of Oscar Wilde”, Johnston Central Library, Cavan
Dec 7th – 23rd 2018 – Joint exhibition with Siobhan Harton, The Teacher’s Centre, Cavan
July 28th – 29th 2018 – Kilnaleck Arts Festival, Kilnaleck, Co.Cavan April 27th 2018, The Co Club, Oldcastle, Co.Meath
July 1st – 9th, Samhradh, Four Woman Exhibition, Kilnaleck, Co.Cavan
Nov 25th – 29th 2015, Group Art Exhibition, The Teachers Centre, Cavan
Nov 29th – Dec 7th 2014, ‘The Hollow’, The Teachers Centre, Cavan
Nov 15th – 22nd 2014, ‘The Hollow’, Ballyjamesduff Museum, Co.Cavan
Dec 2013 – Open Season Group Exhibition, The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co.Leitrim
May 24th – June 4th 2012, An Tostal Festival Group Exhibition, Drumshanbo, Co.Leitrim
May 11th – 21st 2012, Group Exhibition, Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
2019 – Recipient of an Arts Award from Johnston Central Library, Cavan, Creative Ireland and Cavan Arts office to create “A House Of Pomegranates”, a solo exhibition based on the works of Oscar Wilde
December 2018 – Received Support Award from Cavan Arts Office towards joint exhibition
2015 – Recipient of an Arts Development Award to research and visually respond to the ghost stories and folklore of my home town Cavan in an exhibition called ‘The Hollow’, awarded by Cavan County Council Arts Office
April 2012 – Recipient of The Tommy McLoughlin Arts Award, awarded by Cavan County Council Arts Office and The McLoughlin Family
‘Hunting For Home’ bought by Cavan County Council Collection in December 2018