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current work

Collaboration with UCD Humanities Institute

I am pleased to collaborate with UCD Humanities Institute on their international study, 'Post-Extractivist Legacies and Landscapes' as the main project artist.

This new series of paintings, Capitalocene: From A Time Of Ambition, imagines what happens when human commercial activity has reached its zenith and may now be 'on the turn'.

This is the third stage of my research into the environment under stress.

You can find out more about the project at the web addresses below:

Women And Work

Women and Work is an audio-visual exploration of the work undertaken by women inside and outside the home over the last century. I am creating collages and mixed media works based on source materials recently uncovered in my father’s old family home in south inner city Dublin. Female members of the family worked in local factories and offices, and my grandmother had a small dressmaking business. This project examines the role source materials play in helping us to understand the past.

Here are images from The Wire Factory and from Seamstress


This project concerns Ireland’s move away from fossil fuels to an eco-friendlier source of heating, power and energy. Turf from the bogs of Ireland has served us well in industry and in the domestic setting over the past 80 years or more. Saving turf for household heating and cooking has been a tradition in many rural families for centuries.

We now understand, however, that fossil fuels damage the environment and are detrimental to our health. Many houses have open fireplaces that burn wood, coal and peat products. Smoky coal has been banned in cities of more than 10,000 citizens. The effect of this action has been transformative. We no longer endure long smoggy winters. People with health problems such as respiratory illnesses feel the benefit most.

Now that the bogs have been given back over to nature, they have become havens for wildlife and fauna and they are glorious places to walk and visit.  Lough Boora in Co. Offaly and Girley Bog in the Boyne Valley in Co. Meath are examples.

The Old Place

Certain rooms remind us of people, places, and events. In this series of mixed media works inspired by my father’s old family home in south inner-city Dublin, I wonder about the lives that once animated the character-filled old house.

Imagining Interiors

Certain rooms remind us of people, places, and events. In this series of paintings, I reimagine
rooms that trigger memories, personal or literary associations, or that delight my senses
through their light, colour, and décor.
The Interior Space is the private space traditionally allotted to women. Enclosure has been
vital to our survival as a species. Of course, there is the knock-on effect of containment.
Nowadays the home is increasingly a gender-neutral space with the blurring of male/female
roles and with larger numbers of people working from home.

The private house or home hosts myriad human emotions. Many important events, large and
small, take place there. My paintings range from the quiet and contemplative to the busy and
patterned. They point to the diversity of our experience within the home. I agree with the
French Philosopher Alan de Botton’s idea that ‘we are inconveniently vulnerable to the
colour of our wallpaper’. Colour and pattern promote an atmosphere in a room to which we
are susceptible even if we are unaware of it.

Below is the link to a video produced by Dr. Maebh O’Regan during my fellowship at the
Ballinglen Arts Foundation, where I talk about the home as interior.

Personal Effects: A Family Story

(Preparatory Sketches)

Personal Effects: A Family Story is inspired by recently uncovered photographs and artefacts relating to my family background. We found these objects and photographs in my father’s old family home in south inner city Dublin.

I am using these source materials along with personal memories to reimagine the day-to-day lives of my father and his family. This project examines the role source materials play in helping us to understand the past. On a broader scale, based on further research involving reading newspapers, books and social documents of the period, I hope to show the impact of the institutions of home, church, work, leisure, and war on the lives of working class people in the early part of the 20th century.

We can never really know the past, memory is suspect, and my interpretation of the source materials is subjective. Acknowledging the ‘unknowableness’ of ‘back then’ is my starting point for this project.

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