MA Art in the Contemporary World, First Class Honours, National College of Art and Design, 2019
BA Paint and Visual Culture, First Class Honours and highly commended thesis, National College of Art and Design, 2017.
Studio member and public engagement manager at Abbey Artist Studios, Dublin 1.
My primary research interests include:
* Rethinking contemporary painting practice’s relationship to the production of ethical, collective knowledge
* Proposing and facilitating alternative ways for the viewer to occupy the art space as a participating partner-in-difference
* The proposal of new terms and vocabulary to articulate ways of being, thinking and theorising differently
My research frequently draws upon the work of writers, theorists and artists Irit Rogoff, Bracha Ettinger, Amy Sillman, Isabelle Graw, Griselda Pollock, Audre Lorde, and Gilles Deleuze.
I am concerned with the awkwardness, the vulnerability and the absurdity of making an abstract painting, and asking somebody to look at it.
My work is an attempt to stammer the language of painting from within, so as to unseat the set of expectations that comes with it and encourage the audience to look again at painting, to look differently.
As an artist committed to the making of abstract paintings I am bound in an ongoing negotiation between medium and concept, intention and intuition, artist and viewer, viewer and artwork. I work with and against these paradigms of painterly practice in a desperate attempt to produce something new, some new way of knowing within the incomprehensible pile up of knowledge that is contemporary painting. I use intuitive processes to tap into the bodily knowledge all painters already possess; about medium; colour, consistency, texture, line, composition, surface etc, and of meta-meaning; concept, symbolism, history. No painter can begin with a truly blank canvas, but must deal with the trace of every painting made before. I simultaneously acknowledge and ignore this inherited baggage of painting so as to unpick and reform its basic components – mark-making, paint, abstraction, figuration, canvas, tool.
The craftsmanship of linen canvas building, traditional glazing techniques, and detailed, labour-intensive drawing and painting are key parts of my material process. Stiff linen, sized with rabbit skin glue and primed with clear gesso, is a necessary support to maintain the surface quality through the drawing process.
I make simple abstract watercolours as intuitive responses to being. An instinctive process of trial and error arrives at simple and harmonious forms. There are flaws in the watercolours despite their precision. Small leaks, slips and tears, show that they are made by the artist’s imperfect thinking-body, not a machine.
I stop painting as some aesthetic point balanced between harmony and disruption. This moment, preserved in the drying paint, is a trace of the doubt and awkwardness of the process. I ask the unknown audience to participate in that vulnerability with me in the art space. How can something so absurd feel so right?