current work

Capitalocene: From A Time of Ambition

Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition is about Capitalism’s all-pervasive mauling exploitation of the earth.  Human commercial activity has reached its zenith and is now ‘on the turn’. Giant corporations, monuments to human folly, mimic and twist the appearance and nature of monoliths - age-old geological structures. They create the illusion of being benign and age-old. They become crystallised and just as Shelly’s Ozymandias is overtaken by the desert, they are marooned by the chaotic climatic conditions they have created.

 

These corporations no longer serve their purpose. The environment – destroyed in their wake, is inhospitable even to the few multi-billionaires they have created. The human good is not served. Nature, upon which the human good depends, is disregarded; our sacred trees, fields, oceans, and habitats are damaged.  

 

Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition opines that Capitalism in its present form is unsustainable. Its true cost is becoming clear – the Earth. The capitalist ethic of more profit year on year no matter what cost has been found wanting. All of humanity is connected. Industrial pollution in one part of the ocean will eventually have repercussions elsewhere and for us. Deforestation in remote areas will soon affect the air we breathe where we are now.

 

These paintings, Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition, echo the monstrous, loud, brash organism that Capitalism has become in its mimicry of Monoliths – a natural phenomenon. It has destroyed the roots from which it grew and the base on which it stands.

1 Capitalocene #1_Oil on canvas_50 x 40
1 Capitalocene #1_Oil on canvas_50 x 40

Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition

2 Capitalocene #2_Oil on canvas_50 x 40
2 Capitalocene #2_Oil on canvas_50 x 40

Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition

10 Capitalocene #10 Oil on canvas_ 100 x
10 Capitalocene #10 Oil on canvas_ 100 x

Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition

1 Capitalocene #1_Oil on canvas_50 x 40
1 Capitalocene #1_Oil on canvas_50 x 40

Capitalocene: From a Time of Ambition

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Turfed

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.

The peat briquette is being phased out. This is a much-loved form of fuel. It is very popular among both urban and rural householders. People who live in old draughty houses will miss the peat briquette. Their houses are poorly insulated and difficult to heat. Real incentives are needed in the form of the affordable retrofitting of houses to facilitate this change, and to help householders take action to decrease carbon emissions.

This project witnesses the important new departure that is now taking place in our domestic economic and social history. It focuses on a behavioural change that is required by law on the part of householders and that many of whom are reluctant to adhere to.

 

This change, however, marks an advance in maturity and responsibility on behalf of the Irish people towards our health and our environment, and demonstrates our concern for the earth. The transition to a healthier behaviour around energy will not be without discomfort but will help deliver essential changes needed to save our planet.

 

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.

19 Turfed_Collage on Paper_28 cm in diam
19 Turfed_Collage on Paper_28 cm in diam

Turfed: Works on Paper

18 Turfed_Collage on Paper_28 cm in diam
18 Turfed_Collage on Paper_28 cm in diam

Turfed: Works on Paper

2 Turfed_Collage and Pastel on Wallpaper
2 Turfed_Collage and Pastel on Wallpaper

Turfed: Works on Paper

19 Turfed_Collage on Paper_28 cm in diam
19 Turfed_Collage on Paper_28 cm in diam

Turfed: Works on Paper

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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.

https://drmaebhoregan.wistia.com/medias/vi2kc6jl1s

8 Lamplight_Oil on canvas_80 x 100 cm_20
8 Lamplight_Oil on canvas_80 x 100 cm_20

Imagining Interiors

5 Beckett's Chair_Oil on canvas_100 x 80
5 Beckett's Chair_Oil on canvas_100 x 80

Imagining Interiors

1 Kitchen Gold and Blue_Oil on canvas_10
1 Kitchen Gold and Blue_Oil on canvas_10

Imagining Interiors

8 Lamplight_Oil on canvas_80 x 100 cm_20
8 Lamplight_Oil on canvas_80 x 100 cm_20

Imagining Interiors

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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.

28 A Family Story_Aunt Kitty_Oil on canv
28 A Family Story_Aunt Kitty_Oil on canv

A Family Story

27 A Family Story_Oil Sketch_2020
27 A Family Story_Oil Sketch_2020

A Family Story

1_A Family Story_Oil Sketch_2019
1_A Family Story_Oil Sketch_2019

A Family Story

28 A Family Story_Aunt Kitty_Oil on canv
28 A Family Story_Aunt Kitty_Oil on canv

A Family Story

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