It's been awhile since I've been back to the city of my birth and youth, but a trip to North America brought me to Greater Toronto Area for a few days. I stayed with friends in Aurora and was surprised when a gift jewellery box that I had made years ago was pulled out for my perusal. I had absolutely no recollection of painting this tin, just a few inches in diameter. There was no identifiable signature or date, but it was most definitely my work and, because of the dream imagery, I estimate that I made it sometime between 1987 and 1992. The paint job has held up pretty well on whatever surface this tin originally provided!
Wednesday, 3 August 2022
Friday, 22 July 2022
I previously blogged about the Introduction to Printing on Textiles course that I did a few weeks ago here. This is the second part of that account of my adventures at NCAD. I was thinking about French painter, Henri Rousseau, when I was figuring out imagery for my linen napkins. Here is one of his most famous paintings, The Dream.
Wednesday, 13 July 2022
A couple of weeks ago I attended the Introduction to Printing on Textiles week-long summer course at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) in Dublin. The experienced, patient, wonderful and lovely tutor was artist Mel Bradley. On the first day she introduced the small class to heat press printing on synthetic fabrics so that we could gain some understanding of the possibilities of this process. The day was one of experimentation and fun!
Wednesday, 6 July 2022
I was at Rathfarnham Castle a few weeks ago to see the ceramic exhbition, which was being held in the former old kitchens area of this historic house.
Wednesday, 29 June 2022
I gave a general overview of this year's RHA Annual Exhibition in my post here, but I also wanted to post a few pix of works that stood out for me among the plethora of excellent artworks.
Although the first gallery room seemed chock-a-block with work, the hanging seemed very thoughtful as works definitely were in some sort of conversation and subtle echoes of each other. One of my friends who was viewing the exhibition on a repeat basis noted that visitors spent more time in this first room, before they really realised how huge the exhibition actually was. I tried to hurry my pace. In one corner I noted a large drawing, a self-portrait, by Imogen Stewart, a grand dame of the Irish art world. She is a notable sculptor and, indeed, the drawing was very sculptural in form. One of her sculptures is in the foreground of this picture. Also in the corner was a drawing and some sculpture by Danny Osborne. I had some familiarity with his fascinating work in lava casting because he had been on an Umha Aois project with my husband a few years ago.
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
In 1991, while I still lived in Toronto, I began a series of works which later fell under the collective title My Tower of Strength. I took the title from part of the motto on my family's coat of arms (deliberately leaving out the reference to god). The series of works were based on both secular and ecclesiastical window ruins throughout Ireland and I exhibited the first group of paintings in the first "Me & 9 Others" exhibition in Cedar Ridge Creative Centre in Scarborough, Canada in 1992. When I re-emigrated to Ireland the following year, I had already expanded on the series and brought the paintings with me. I continued with this series and exhibited the paintings and works on paper throughout the country over the next 4-5 years.
When I dropped off a work recently bought by the Office of Public Works for the State Art Collection, I was asked by the person in the storage area if it was my first piece bought by the OPW. I was able to say "no" as I remember the day in 1996 when I was so excited to get a call from Jacquie Moore (the Art Advisor for the State) asking if a certain painting was still available for purchase. However, at this time I was unable to remember exactly which painting from this series was in the State Collection - no problem! The person in the storage area was able to reference my name and find the piece: The Holly and the Oak, acrylic on canvas, 122 cm x 91.5 cm, 1992. The window here is structurally (it's been a long time since I've used anything resembling BROWN paint!) based on a medieval church ruin on the side of Bray Head (Raheenacluig, ie, the Church of the Little Bell). At the time I remember reading a book about mythology and rebirth, The Oak King and The Holly King, which most certainly influenced my work.
Wednesday, 15 June 2022
It has been many years since I attended the annual exhibition at the RHA in Dublin, so it really took me by surprise just how much work there was to see!