Having graduated with a degree in Communications Studies, and worked in the print media for many years, I returned to college in 2010 to study for a HND in Fine Art. This would be the start of a long stint in education, as the world of art, with all its potential, was opened up. Initially interested in painting and drawing, I relished the chance to also study art history and work across mediums such as ceramics, photography and print, experimenting with materials and processes.
I went on to complete an MPhil Irish Art History and a PhD Art History, specialising in modern and contemporary art (contextualised by references to other times, places and disciplines). My current work as an art writer, researcher and educator, together with ongoing visual enquiry, are shaped by these experiences and the creative interests identified during the HND. It is concerned with dynamics and structures underlying reality as we experience it, and with relationships within and between things.
Recently, I initiated a research + art-making project titled 'Strange attractor', which will generate a series of blog posts and culminate in an exhibition. I also host art history sessions in the community and write exhibition reviews and articles for this site, as well as for visual arts titles (see 'Published writing').
PhD Art History, University of Dublin, Trinity College.
M.Phil Irish Art History, University of Dublin, Trinity College (Distinction; Crookshank-Glin Prize).
BTEC HND Fine Art, Bray Institute of Further Education (Distinction).
BA Communications Studies, Dublin City University (2.1).
Current: Visual arts writer, researcher, historian, artist.
2022-: Volunteer creative adviser, Creative Lives.
2017-2019: Guest lecturer, Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane.
2016-2019: Teaching Assistant, The University of Dublin, Trinity College.
2014-2022: Contributor to Visual Artists' News Sheet, Irish Arts Review.
2014-2017: Visual and Historical Panel, Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane.
Regular posts, including exhibition write-ups, dialogue with artists, art-craft, art-science and other intersections, plus ongoing research.
A selection of commissioned articles and exhibition reviews
Visual Artists' News Sheet
Patrick MacAllister, 'Peering Out', exhibition review:
https://visualartistsireland.com/critique-patrick-macallister-peering-out?utm_campaign=later-linkinbio-visualartistsireland&utm_content=later-29517078&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkin.bio Sep/Oct 2022
David Eager Maher, 'Pinked', exhibition review:
Marie Hanlon, 'Water - More or Less', exhibition review: https://www.westcorkartscentre.com/contentfiles/PDFs/Exhibition%20PDFS/VAN%20JF%202022_26.pdf Jan/Feb 2022
IMMA, 'The Maternal Gaze', exhibition review:
https://visualartistsireland.com/critique-the-maternal-gaze Sep/Oct 2021
Profile, 'The Art of Now': https://visualartistsireland.com/profile-the-art-of-now Jul/Aug 2021
Vera Ryklova, 'Aesthetic Distance', exhibition review: https://visualartistsireland.com/critique-aesthetic-distance May/Jun 2021
The Golden Fleece Award, 'A Golden Opportunity', profile: https://visualartistsireland.com/organisation-a-golden-opportunity Mar/Apr 2021
Irish Arts Review
Taffina Flood, 'Sensory Effects', studio visit, Winter 2019-20
Paul Doran, 'State of Flux', exhibition review, Summer 2019
David Quinn, 'Seamless', exhibition review, Spring 2018
Margaret Egan, 'From Glimpse to Panorama', exhibition review, Winter 2017
'All There in the Weave: Duality & Unity in the Art of Richard Tuttle'
This investigation into the art of American Postminimalist Richard Tuttle (1941- ) responds to his 2014-15 shows at the Tate Modern Turbine Hall and Whitechapel Gallery. These events spotlighted the prevalence of textiles and related materials in his work, suggesting that they hold important meanings for him. In identifying and addressing Tuttle's unstinting focus on polarity and unity, the thesis homes in on artworks from throughout his long career to probe their references to structural relations intrinsic to weaving.
Acknowledging the impact on Tuttle's art of his life-long autodidactic enquiry and self-declared mysticism, the project also explores his philosophical and spiritual beliefs. His work is theorised as a weave-constructing response to the ruptures he perceives in a polarised experience of reality. An in-depth analysis of the ancient, ubiquitous and cutting-edge domain of weaving and textiles uncovers mechanisms at play in his unity-seeking exercise, which is founded on a deeply held belief in the efficacy of art.
This project expanded a masters-level exploration of dualistic qualities visible in art, providing an opportunity to develop a more refined analytical framework. Its themes continue to inform my work, which also includes visual enquiry.
(Funded by a Postgraduate Studentship, University of Dublin, Trinity College, the Irish Research Council and a Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust award.)
'From the ‘Painterly’ to Multiplicity: Towards an ‘Aesthetic of Disorder’ as Evidenced in the Work of Mark Francis'
Focusing on the paintings and prints of Irish-born artist Mark Francis (1962-), this project explores their dialectical qualities, contextualised within broader stylistic shifts in art history. It draws on philosophy, science and cultural theory.