I have always felt a primal need to express my understanding of the world around me through creativity. I studied Music, and Art History in UCD, graduating in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music. It was a year or so after this I returned from working abroad with an overwhelming urge to explore painting seriously, and I haven’t been able to stop since.
Inspired by the beauty of nature, and its life and death dichotomy, I make expressionist abstract paintings in response to my observations of this. I use paint to express my memory and emotion of these events I have seen first-hand such as the discovery of a bird’s remains in a field while out walking. Once an awe-inspiring symbol of freedom, free-will, independence, and delicate beauty, it is now a life-less corpse of feathers, entrails, bones, and beak. I use colour, texture, rhythms, and movement of paint to make something beautiful again from these physical leftovers as a sort of hommage to a life that once was.
As an artist, what are the key challenges that you face on a daily basis?
I guess the key challenges that I’ve faced over the years has been keeping my focus on the bigger picture. As an artist, my instinct is to wake up in the morning and automatically continue trudging through the endless thoughts, ideas, questions, possible answers, and even more questions relating to creating my work. However, experience is now teaching me that while that’s all well and good for my creative practice, it won’t be very helpful for me keeping my head above water. In this regard I am so very thankful to VAI for making an endless stream of resources available.
What inspires you most about Kildare?
Well, I think because I grew up here I’ve taken Kildare for granted for a long, long time. But you know, it’s an incredibly historical and beautiful part of the country. Here in Naas, we have what many perceive to be a crossroads of sorts between urban Ireland and rural Ireland. We’re a commuter belt town hanging around with Dublin all the time, with all the good and bad sides that come with that, but when we need a break we know we’re flush with all kinds of wonders in our own backyard including heritage and nature trails, canals, forests, studs, and wildlife reserves. We’ve everything else that goes with a growing county of course, but they are what really inspire me as an artist. All we’re missing is the seaside!
What is your top tip for fellow artists?
Value yourself and what you do and get on with it!
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