b.1969 BA Fine Art (painting) 1986-1991 NCAD, Dublin Lives and works in Co. Galway
Although I am primarily a painter in acrylic on wood or canvas, for some time now I’ve been using collage with my work. I often begin a piece with a template of experiences and influences. These include the Northern/Flemish Renaissance, influences of Christian and Pagan iconography, the animations of Terry Gilliam, biological illustrations, jewels, sci-fi, British & German Romantic painting, prints of flora & fauna, Poussin, botanical illustrations, Russian & Asian fabric and textiles, Persian & Mughal Miniature painting.
Using glued & hand-cut collage combined with my own painting, I found a freedom which my approach to painting couldn’t provide. The combination of sharp printed imagery opened a new range of possibilities and scope for dramatic theatricality and a sense of humour to enter into the work.
Do I plan all the positioning and layout in advance? No, but I have a structured approach which allows me to change direction as the piece develops.
If I start with an image or an idea in mind, I take it to a certain stage, then reassess slowly and I might take things apart and reassemble them. There is a lot of time needed, with breaks and pauses, and a lot of pieces don’t make it, but the ones that do seem to tell me when they’re finished. There’s no one key to decipher any artwork but several threads, which through putting in the work, I make images from.