ABOUT THE ARTIST

About The Artist

Comment

Liverpool in the '60s was a heady place to be. Merseyside had taken over the pop charts and Beatle Mania was in full swing! Across the road from Notre Dame College, was the building site of The Metropolitan Cathedral with its circular, ground breaking design.

Highlights from the '60s

  • Working as an au pair in Italy and realising that Art was going to be part of my future

  • Teaching and studying art in Manchester

  • Studied Art, English and Drama at Notre Dame College, Liverpool (‘64-’67)

  • Tutored in Sculpture by Fred Bush, OBE founder of, The Scottish Sculpture Society

  • Sharing a skyline from the top floor of the College with the building of the cathedral to its opening in 1967

  • Experiencing the kaleidoscope of coloured light that flooded the magnificent interior of the new cathedral.

  • Visiting back- stage, a number of West End Theatres

  • Working for the Summer of ‘66 at The Banff Spring's Hotel and travelling West on a greyhound train

  • Graduating in 1967 with a Distinction and having my final exhibition, 'Crucifixion' selected by the then, Cockfoster's Touring Exhibition in the UK

  • Back packing in Germany

  • Teaching in a comprehensive school in Oldham

Comment

I returned to Ireland, to teach in St. Mary's College, Arklow. I married Walter and in ’71, we returned to London. I was appointed Head of The Art Department at a Grammar and later a Comprehensive school.

Highlights of the '70s

  • Portrait painting under Ruskin Spear (tutored by Sir Walter Sickert) in Hammersmith Art College

  • Awarded an LGSM in Speech and Drama (The Guildhall School of Music)

  • BA degree in Art and Architecture (Classical, Renaissance and Modern) The University of London

  • Current paintings selected by the then, ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) for a Group Exhibition in Avignon

  • Offered a job as an Art Inspector in Ireland in 1975.

  • Birth of our first son in London

  • 1975 returning to teach in St. Mary's College, Arklow.

  • Painting and sketching, in all weathers from our house on the beach, what are now my, ‘Tara Hill Collection’

  • Exhibiting in a Group Exhibiting in Wexford Arts Centre (1977)

  • Birth of our daughter and youngest son

  • Retiring from teaching (1978)

Comment

In what was mostly a male- dominated, Dublin- based art scene when I returned home from England, I found it difficult to stay involved in art but I did and my paintings are widespread in Ireland North and South and in a number of countries.

Highlights from the 80’s and 90’s

  • Painting and designing sets for numerous plays and musicals and being awarded the Irish Life, All Ireland, AIMS cup in 1981 for set design and painting with the Avonmore society, Arklow.

  • Awards in Drama Productions and Poetry for students in The Arklow Music Festival

  • Acceptance into the Water Colour Society of Ireland

  • Exhibiting a watercolour in the Permanent Collection in, UL

  • Painting many commissions for private and public clients

  • Painting with a permit and alone, in Monet’s Garden in Giverny

  • Visiting Galleries in Paris, painting in Arles and Remy,

  • Painting at the foot of Mont Saint Victoire (celebrated by perhaps, my favourite artist, Cezanne).

  • Painting on several occasions the Burren landscapes and the beautiful landscapes of Wicklow and many other places in Ireland.

  • Returning to teaching full time (’93)

Highlights from the New Millennium to the present day

  • Exhibiting annually with the Watercolour Society of Ireland

  • Participating in group exhibitions around Ireland, too numerous to mention.

  • Travelling to La Rochelle, with other Arklow Artists, to exhibit in La Rochelle

  • Adam's auction rooms in Dawson St. accepting my paintings for a number of years.

  • Solo art exhibitions in Arklow, Wexford and Glastonbury

  • Participating in, The Lion’s Club Art Auctions in Mullingar and Letterkenny and again this year in Mullingar in October 2019

  • Solo exhibition, ‘The Heart of the Matter’, The Courthouse Art Centre in Tinahely in 2018

  • An upcoming Exhibition in the EPA during the Wexford Opera Festival 2019

General Comment

On a visit to The Holy Land in 2015 and witnessing first-hand the intolerance among the main axial religions and the political violence I felt compelled to explore aspects of our fractious world. The youngest of my seven grandchildren was born that year also and with climate havoc and world unrest threatening their very future, my motivation gave rise to ‘The Heart of the Matter’, a 15-panel, mixed media, narrative exhibition dedicated to the children of the world.

This exhibition was shown at, The Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely in 2018

I have visited, museums, art galleries, churches, cathedrals, tombs, temples, ancient burial places, and caves in many countries, over a period of fifty-six years on trips to London, Paris, Frankford, Rome, Tuscany, Malta, France, Germany, The Netherlands, New York, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Spain, Portugal and Mexico.

In Ireland in ‘65 I entered the New Grange burial chamber to research the light box and the triple spirals that decorate the great entrance stone as part of a trip to study ancient stonework in the south of Ireland. Later years in a campervan, Walter and I visited churches in France with traces of ancient murals, virtually unchanged from the earliest years of Christianity. In remote villages we saw farm buildings from Medieval times and visited great cathedrals of the Camino in France and Spain and frequently travelled at times on bits of the ancient roads and pathways to finally crossing the Pyrenees in a campervan to St. James’s church in Santiago in 2015. During these years we visited the site of Lascaux in the Dordogne with replicas of the Palaeolithic cave art, perhaps 17,000 years old which exists deep in the bowels of the earth where early humankind grappled with of the mysteries of their identity in the earliest recording of artwork in France.

I say this only to highlight the endeavours of peoples to worship, celebrate and bury their dead with such reverence and to say other ways of knowing and coming to terms with the human condition. 2019 a year later than, ‘The Heart of the Matter’ the alarming effects of climate change have become centre stage so in recognition of the need for a raising of awareness to a global level, accepting our responsibility and acknowledging the overall bigger picture in which, our climate world wide, the environment, plant, animal and sea- life are being destroyed and understanding that the changes are symptoms of a much greater historical malaise that has broken the connectedness of all things created, a connectedness that was lived by our ancestors and treated with sacred respect, with humility, awe and wonder.