SUMMER 2016—working on research for an exhibition proposal linking my own father’s work as a bombsight technician, USAAF, World War II–in Horham Air Base near Norwich, England—with both my own work as an artist-maker, and the process of prayer. I have only recently discovered his photo albums of his war years. He never spoke of this during his life in the family, and he died in 1982. But now I have found that he worked with a very secretive, precious piece of equipment, the Norden Bombsight! His bombsight gave cross-hair images—these cross-in-circle-in-square formats are just the formats I have often used in my art practice in many cases over decades! I want to highlight the activity of making, the shaping and perfecting of an artwork toward a final image. I see connections to my own father’s adjustment and calibration of the bombsight mechanism toward each mission. I also see connections in the faith process of focusing, balancing, calibrating—toward a relationship with God. So, I want to make a series of ‘viewfinders’, as these cross-hair images. . .but translate each one as an image of prayer, and as a record of a made process relating to that prayer form. I am researching prayer forms and their attributes, materials, symbolism. I am researching the technical bombsight theory and minute and complex machinery. I am in touch with the very helpful Horham Museum committee. I hope to visit Horham and Norwich in 2017 toward a 2018 solo exhibition!
JULY 2016—-Invited speaker in Dublin for the Symposium of Art + Christianity Enquiry, UK. Met inspiring people including Peter Doll of Norwich Cathedral, who invited me to propose a show for the Hostry Space in Norwich!
MARCH 2016—-MAKE 2016 Symposium and Exhibition: exploring the role of objects in personal and political trauma, change, and identity. ANOTHER great success and a great lineup: Prof. Catherine Harper, Editor of TEXTILE: Journal of Cloth and Culture (UK); Egle Bogdaniene of Vilnius University, Lithuania; Irish artists Rita Duffy and Brian Hand; UCC academic Sarah Kelleher. Sarah also led a curating team to create an accompanying show for our CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery. This show: Affective Entities, featured many of our recent graduates of CIT Crawford College of Art and Design.
OCTOBER 2015 and onward. . .working on a fine hand-stitched work on linen based on Yeats’ image of Terrible Beauty. . .going to China! (update: featured in Birth of a Nation show, Beijing).
OCTOBER 2015—-In London for the opening of the Sailing to Byzantium exhibition at Leyden Gallery, opened by the Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall. I exhibited four small scale works in paper using stitching, acrylic pigment, and gold leaf.
JUNE 2015—-Sent off a small commission, FLOW, to a client up north yesterday, and today found that my review of the current Lewis Glucksman Gallery, UCC, shows (Stitch in Time and The Knitting Map) has been accepted for the UK magazine: TEXTILE: THE JOURNAL OF CLOTH AND CULTURE!
MARCH 2015—-Today I learned that my art work is spotlighted in the latest Glucksman Gallery brochure in reference to my BioSciences Institute commission for UCC! Just home from London and an EU partnership meeting with our 8 partners and Lesley Millar. MAKE Symposium 2015 in Cork I organised a big success. . . .speakers: Yosi Anaya of Mexico; Vita Geluniene of Lithuania; Logan McLain of Dublin; David Littler of York; Alison Lowry of Belfast; Mary Schoeser of London. . . . . full house and the events surrounding it including a major show of Yosi’s work; also a great exhibition by Logan; and a performance in sound by David Littler. . . .Just before this I sent work in paper to China for Irish Wave 2015.
NOVEMBER 2014—VERY BUSY! Working on a new commission for a north Dublin hospital. I am exploring pattern units in stitched and painted canvas with gold leaf. . .preparing drawings and samples. . . .also planning MAKE 2 Symposium in our Institute for March 2015. . .a great lineup with speakers confirmed. . . and off to Brussels on Saturday next for a meeting with Lesley Millar and other EU partners to plan a collaborative project. . .all exciting!!!
JULY/AUGUST—Working hard to make 3 new paper/stitch/acrylic works for a solo show opportunity in Kaunas Art Academy (invited by Vita Geluniene, Head of Textiles there). I am hoping to go over in early September to hang a small show and present my practice to the students there. Very exciting!
JULY—Just a day after getting home from Angers. . . a wonderful week in Cill Rialaig Project Artist’s Retreat in Co. Kerry. . . a small cottage to myself; long walks down ragged boreens, collecting fleece scraps, rusted wire fence bits, sticks,–made some initial small items from these. . . .a Cross bound like the fences; a bleached wood scrap perfect to hold a quote of St. Bernard w/a dark feather and the tines of a rusted fork. . . . .then spent the rest of my stay working out new ideas of stitching into paper with pigment stains. . . .based on my reading from Meister Eckhart. . . .
JULY 2014—ASIA-EUROPE II EXHIBITION, ANGERS, FRANCE
I was honoured to be present at the opening events in the Musee Jean Lurcat et de la Tapisserie Contemporaine. I showed my two large glass/wire works, LIGHT, AND LIGHT WITHIN. The Museum honoured all of us European and Japanese artists with a series of events (Press Day, Luncheon; Vernissage, special Dinner). . . .and our curator Erny Piret also hosted a lovely dinner for all of us artists including our partners. Angers holds the magnificent medieval Apocalypse Tapestry, along with the impressive 20th century tapestries of Jean Lurcat, pioneer in modern tapestry. To show my work in this important world centre for textile art was a great honour.
MARCH 2014–We had a very successful MAKE Symposium hosted by my Institute’s Contemporary Applied Arts Degree (Ceramics/Glass/Textiles) in our Cork School of Music Stack Theatre on Friday, 7 March. I initiated, planned, and managed this Symposium to highlight making and to extend the Textile Art focus in Cork on this March weekend hosted each year by Cork Textiles Network in their Sat/Sun Conference. For MAKE we gathered art-led and technology-led makers to discuss touch, haptic experience, making, transformation. . . . .I was lucky to get Lesley Millar, MBE—great international curator in art textiles to speak on touch, and Alice Kettle, internationally renowned embroidery artist who shared her practice and her ideas re making—both over from England; and Ingrid Murphy of Cardiff who showed us her practice mixing ceramics and high-technology interactions. . . .We then had Trevor Hogan of CIT’s Media Communications Dept. . .also talked about touch in technology; Kieran Nolan of Dundalk IT, fully technology innovator; and Fran Hegarty of St. James Hospital, Dublin. .. .Making in the Healthcare Space—excellent survey of his multidisciplinary projects crossing engineering and art and healing!
On 7 March too we opened (with Lesley’s help) our exhibition of student exchange project between CIT CCAD Textiles and Kaunas Faculty textiles of Vilnius Art Academy, Lithuania. THINGS/DAIKTAI was work based on everyday, mundane objects that provided conceptual starting points for research and culminated in a wide variety of textiles works. . . .
I was so gratified to see all the months of hard work and development culminate in such an uplifting, challenging, and altogether successful 7 March!!!!
January 2014—Have sent off my crate to Germany for Asia-Europe II—opening in February in Krefeld at DeutschesTextil Museum. . . on then to Angers in June. . . .then in 2015 to Lithuania! I am now working on a private commission for a small chapel here in Ireland. . . . .I enjoy this challenge of a particular space and client. . . .and this will be very challenging—to make an object for private contemplation and prayer focus. What can bridge a space between a wall containing a Crucifix, and a large glass view of nature? In a small niche my work will be top-lit. . . .I am thinking that our link between Christ and the world of nature is the sacramental reality of the Church. . . so I am sketching objects of sacramental form such as chalice and font. . . .vessel forms that can float in this space and hold the light streaming down and passing through them. . . . I am looking at a spiralling line around this vessel that is the journey of life. . . .
July 2013—Working hard on two large glass works for a European touring show of Europe/Asia Fibre Artists in 2014. . . .Meanwhile I have sent work to an Irish show based on Memory: Wexford hosts textiles work in two venues, the Arts Centre and at Blue Egg Gallery. I made two Legacy pieces using digital photography on canvas of images of the textiles artifacts handed down to me from my two grandmothers. I cut and pieced and painted into these to form collages that are like field systems of memory. I wished to pay tribute to this legacy that has had a role in inspiring my entire career. Seven pieces of my work are also currently on show in Beijing. Back to the studio!
November 2012—Very busy! Have just sent a small work to the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas, upon their request to help out a fundraiser. It is a small version of Belief–And I am preparing the Wound Series for exhibition in China in 2013 in IrishWave and then to the Shanghai Art Fair. Meanwhile I am working hard on an essay for a new IBook organised by Alice Kettle, textiles artist. We have met several times and always seem to find close connections in our attitudes toward making. She has asked me to write on making—and I have chosen to focus on making as a spiritual practice. The book will be published in 2013!
May 2012—YCC Gallery in Beijing have selected all three of my artworks currently in China for further exhibition and touring in China during 2012!
April 2012–My work is opening this month in Lithuania in a special exhibition of Small Size Works organised by Asia-Europe Fiber Art. They are active in building links between European and Asian artists. I have sent a new work in paper, Litany, that uses text in the form of all the chronological list of Irish saints spiralling into a vessel. Images of this new work can be seen under Current Work–New Directions. I hope to be selected as a member of this exhibiting group for future projects.
March 2012–I am travelling to Shanghai 15-22 March with my Institute to develop links with an Art College in Hangzhou. We will set up an exciting exchange through textiles. I am so excited on behalf of my excellent students! I will also be able to attend the opening of Telling Tales at the Irish Centre, Shanghai.
January 2012–My work has been selected for a range of shows in China as part of IrishWave 3! I will be in: Instruments of Pleasure at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing; Beijing; Hidden Meanings, at the Yan Chao Collection Gallery, Beijing, and Telling Tales at the Irish Centre Shanghai
July 2011–I am making plans for an upcoming visit to Kaunas, Lithuania, to take part in the European Textiles Network Conference and the Kaunas International Biennial of Textiles, held together in September this year. I am taking the work of 6 of my recent Year 3 students of the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork for a special exhibition sponsored by TEXERE (Textile Education and Research in Europe) of which I have been a member for many years. I will also exhibit one of my own artworks in Kaunas, and speak to the ETN Assembly as part of a special session on Networking and Exchange. I will highlight the textiles and exchange and outreach programmes at the Crawford. I can’t wait for this intensive immersion in textiles culture!!! I am so grateful to the Institute for sponsoring me through Erasmus funding!
May 2011: My work will be featured in a new book published this month, FIBER ART TODAY, by Carol Russell; Schiffer Publishing in the U.S., available soon through Amazon.
April 2011: I am exhibiting new work, Belief (See Current work/new directions page) in Perceptions of Craft in Contemporary Fine Art, curated by Nuala O’Donovan for the Lavit Gallery, Cork, until 30 April. In this work I am staining through stitching with acrylic on paper. . . .in this show I am also exhibiting Halo and Grace, works in glass/wire and gold leaf construction (can be seen in International exhibitions section of this site).
RE the Venice Biennale: unfortunately Arte & Arte have funding difficulties and must postpone their involvement until the next Biennale. But having been accepted as a Collateral Event they now know much more about the complex application and funding requirements. . . .I am excited to have been selected, and I am keeping in close contact with this ambitious organisation regarding a possible educational project. . .
October 2010: Exciting news! I have been invited by the Arte & Arte Association of Como, Italy, to exhibit in their collateral exhibition within the next Venice Biennale! More news as this develops!
I am currently exhibiting a miniature piece in an exhibition entitled Genus Loci, organised by the Slovakian Artists Union, in Galeria X, Bratislava, to which I have been invited to submit. To talk about the spirit of Ireland I am using fragments of natural slate from my garden here in Kinsale, creating a circular island form within clear glass. Images of this work, Heart of Ireland, can be found under Work: International Exhibits.
I was recently honoured to have been invited by the Japanese textile artist Asako Ishizaki to exhibit with her in Tokyo in February/March 2010. This exhibition, Session, curated by Sugane Hara, paired 15 Japanese artists with selected international artists in sharing ideas, exploring creative methodology, in the development of our work for this show. Asako and I have therefore come through a period of correspondence and image exchange, particularly in reference to our respective spiritual ethos and how this is reflected in our art practice. We find that both of us struggle to embody the divine essence of nature, of matter, in our manipulation of glass, metal, paper, and fibre. You can see an image of my work, Grace, in Work: International Exhibits in this site. (March 2011: please pray for Sugane and her family and friends of Tokyo who are safe but bearing the worries of their nation in the aftermath of earthquake and tsunami!)