I have been an artist most of my life, and this creativity has taken many forms. On leaving school, I entered the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. It was an end, and also a beginning. I promptly gave up painting in favour of photography and video work.
On graduating in 1983, I established an international reputation as a photographer and performance artist. I exhibited in venues across the world, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the National Museum of Photography in Tokyo and New Langton Arts in San Francisco. Since my first solo show in Limerick in 1989, I’ve received numerous commissions and awards, including the Gracie Fields Live Art Bursary. My photographic work was acquired by the National Self-Portrait Collection.
In the mid-1990s, I took a short creative detour into journalism and broadcasting, and over a decade ago, I turned full circle and returned to painting.
Now primarily a landscape painter, in 2016 I found myself at a point of transition. Accustomed to the wind in my face and the rain on my palette, circumstances forced me to try to work more from my memory of places, rather than directly on site. Initially I was uncomfortable with these ‘remote’ methods and it took time to become more at ease with them as a means of painting.
As I began working indoors and from memory for the first time, my paintings became bigger and more abstract. This shift came from a desire not to just paint places or things, but rather to use the paint itself to express the essence of space and place, and my response to it. Now I am allowing the paint to lead me now as much as the landscape led me in the past.