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INTO THE SPOTLIGHT – Meet the artists

The Story

Eleven Waterford-based artists whose work has not been publicly viewed since pre-Covid will take part in a group exhibition at Theatre Royal Waterford’s 18th century vestibule next month.

‘Into the Spotlight – a celebration of new Waterford art’ will feature an eclectic mix of work produced in Waterford during the pandemic that includes printmaking, painting, photography, ceramics and multi-media visual art. The exhibition is taking place in partnership with GOMA, Gallery of Modern Art Waterford.

MEET THE ARTISTS

ANNE MCDONNELL

Limerick born artist  Anne Mc Donnell has been printmaking for over 20 years.  In 1997 she received her degree in Fine Art Printmaking from Limerick School of Art and Design. She currently has a studio at GOMA, in Waterford city’s Lombard Street.

Anne’s work for this show, “Let’s go Crazy”, celebrates the music of Prince, which was pure escapism to her sixteen year-old self. The piece, produced using spraypaint and pen on fabric, references some of Prince’s music, ‘Strange Relationship’, ‘Starfish and Coffee’, ‘Tick,Tick,Bang’ and ‘ Let’s go Crazy’.

ANOUSCHKA JOYCE

Tramore-based Anouschka Joyce is a painter and print maker who works in a range of mediums including acrylic, watercolour, pastel and lino print. Her work is very much centred on the nature around her, on the colours and textures. She aims to capture the spirit and essence of the landscape, its vibrancy.

CARMEL CLEARY

Carmel’s rockscape photography is inspired by her passion to capture natural landscapes by drawing with light. She has been photographing Bonmahon in Co. Waterford for over 25 years and her black and white print for this exhibition, ‘Constellation, Bonmahon’, captures the chance constellation of light in star-like reflection… small details creating new balance and composition of light & shade.

Since graduating in 1990, Carmel has exhibited throughout Ireland and in 1997 she was the first photographer to win the Alice Berger Hammerschlag Travel Award.  The culminating exhibition “Passage” was curated by the late John Hunt: “Carmel is an artist of extraordinary talent with a clear vision of what she wants to do, and in total command of her camera. She is also an artist with sufficient confidence and ambition to print her images to a massive scale… This is an extraordinary achievement by an extraordinary artist”.

CIARA PARTICIA LANGAN

Ciara’s work spans many artforms and her work is informed by deep ecological thinking and her interest in science, nature, aquatic environments and navigating shared living on our planet.

An active member of Arts Forum Waterford, The Irish Naturist Association and one of the founding members of Eisil Contemporary, Ciara often works site specifically, creating work that is generated and inspired by the location and for public display in alternative venues and spaces where traditional artist output may not be expected but warmly welcomed, such as the Coastal Bodies Tour, which involved group nude installations along the Waterford, Cork, Kerry and Clare coastlines in response to an awareness of a problem within Irish society on how we feel about our naked body.

CORA CUMMINS

Cora Cummins is a ceramic artist who uses clay as a canvas. Her work is formed using the slow process of slab and coil building. Using only her hands and very limited tools, she  is fully connected to the materials she uses and views her method of working as an active form of meditation. Using her forms as her canvas, Cora layers up washes of coloured slips and underglaze which are fired multiple times. This play with colour is an expression of how unwanted thoughts can take over the mind so it can feel challenging at times to achieve a balance.  Using a grogged white Earthstone clay, her work is unglazed to reveal the subtle raw texture of the surface.

DAVE CURRAN & RICHIE MURPHY

Dave Curran and Richie Murphy are modern/contemporary painters who live and work in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. They have been collaborating on paintings since 2014. It may seem unusual to some for the two artists to share a canvas but, for Dave and Richie, this is where the magic happens.  They work on each piece together, reacting to each other’s brush strokes and colour choices. They take their inspiration from colour, nature and the world around them.  All paintings are started with Acrylic and PVA and finished with Oils. Dave and Richie have exhibited at Waterford’s Imagine Arts Festival since 2016, ArtForm Waterford and The Coastguard Station Tramore.  They have been in each other’s Covid bubble and continued to paint through lockdown.

KATY FLYNN

Katy Flynn is a multi-disciplinary creative from Waterford. For over a decade, she has studied and operated in various facets of the design industry, in a career that has included roles in design, fashion, and photography studios, in Ireland, Australia, and Spain, and developing skills in product design, graphic design, photography, illustration, embroidery, branding, web design, and motion graphics. As the gravity of COVID-19 became more obvious in early 2020, she made the decision to return  home, having been working in a children’s fashion company in Seville, Spain. Taking advantage of this unexpected change of circumstances, she created ‘HABOO’ – her own cottage industry design practice, with a focus on producing sustainability-conscious homeware and display pieces that adopt the fun, kid-friendly patterns she had previously been working with in fashion studios. She chose to name her new design practice, ‘HABOO’ – inspired by the Waterford phrase ‘go haboo’ that is gently ushered to help babies drift off to slumber – and Katy created these pieces to bring peace and comfort to others. Her pieces are currently available online on www.haboo.ie, while HABOO pieces have also been stocked by fellow designers as part of special collaborations – and as the design practice expands, she aims to open up a shop & studio in Waterford in the coming years. All HABOO pieces are handmade in Katy Flynn’s kitchen-studio in her home in Waterford and her  main products are handmade, colourful terrazzo-style homeware pieces – including vases, dishes, candleholders, bowls, ornaments, and more. These are created using ‘Jesmonite’ – a design material that is non-toxic, water-based, and is an eco-friendly, environmentally-conscious alternative to traditional resin, or ceramic based products.

KAYLEIGH REGAN

Kayleigh’s artwork, which uses traditional art methods with a heavy focus on pen and pencil, is inspired by the stories of folklore and history of the area surrounding her Petticoat Art Studio, in the woods of the Comeragh Mountains, as well as the beautiful flora and fauna surrounding her studio.

Based in the Woods in the Comeragh Mountains by Waterford’s Copper Coast, Kayleigh Regan is the artist behind Petticoat Art Studio. Returning home after years of living in Cork City, Kayleigh spent her time exploring and immersing herself in the beautiful natural landscapes that surround her home.  Rediscovering the beauty of her home place with a greater appreciation for it, she finds inspiration in the flora and fauna surrounding her home in the Déise. Kayleigh’s work is also inspired by the stories of folklore and history of the local area which she grew up listening to as a child. A graduate of Crawford College of Art & Design with a degree in Fine Art and a background in multimedia & film production, Kayleigh also holds a second degree in Early Years Education.  Teaching in a preschool Kayleigh came to understand and see the world through the eyes of her students and in doing so became reacquainted with the childlike wonder most of us tend to lose as we grow up. As a result her career within early years has had a great influence over her recent artwork as she tries to portray the world from the lens of childhood in an effort to help people rediscover the magical moments hidden in daily events. Inspired by nature, folklore and her work with young children, Kayleigh draws on children’s abilities to make connections between themselves and their lives and that of their favourite fairytales and characters with their own imaginative twists.  Using traditional art methods with a heavy focus on pen and pencil Kayleigh creates drawings portraying regular happenstances in nature through an illustrative style inspired by childlike wonder. Kayleigh’s art captures the natural magic hidden in everyday life to bridge the divide between the ordinary and the extraordinary like so often seen in fairytales and lore.

NIALL MURPHY

Niall Murphy graduated from Crawford College of Art & Design in 2000 with honours in Fine Art Painting. Primarily focused on the figurative, he creates emotional paintings and haunting portraits using frenetic scrawls and mark making, conveying a sense of unease of the human condition under the influence of past masters such as Francis Bacon,Frank Auerbach and James Ensor.

SAOIRSE WALSH

Saoirse Walsh is a Waterford born artist living in Dublin. She received a BA in Fine Art specialising in Sculpture with Critical Cultures from the National College of Art and Design in 2019. Saoirse explores the connection between the mind and the body, somatic therapy and body politics. Captivated by the endless aesthetic and formal possibilities of the materiality of the human body, this is investigated through drawings, sculptural and video interventions.

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