Wednesday 24 January 2018

Deirdre took up art during career break


'I'm originally from Dublin, now living in Kilrane. I worked in Dublin for over 30 years in the financial services sector in training and change management.

But I always felt that I wasn't using the creative side of my brain. In 2008 I took a career break and enrolled in the Art PLC course in Wexford Vocational College. I saw an advertisement for the course in the local newspaper as my husband and I had been thinking of moving at the time.

After the PLC, I applied to IADT in Dun Laoghaire, NCAD and the Wexford Campus and I eventually chose Wexford because I felt there was something about here that was stunning and I was impressed by the level of expertise that the tutors have as practising artists.

I completed the first year of the degree and returned to work and then left my job full-time to do second, third and fourth year.

My husband who was self-employed moved down as well and eventually retired. We took a drop in everything, sold everything we had and downsized. It wasn't a big sacrifice. It just evolved.

My work in the graduate exhibition is called 'Temporary Gathering of Strangers' for which I used everyday objects to mark map grids on throwaway tablecloths to explore transient human contact in cities.

I've also done a lot with macro-photography, zooming right in to make something abstract when it's not. I have some large digital prints in Caroline's Cafe in Kilrane.

What I want to do now is set up an art practice. I'm not the lonely artist in the garret. When you look at contemporary art now there are a lot of options for engaging with the community such as the Callan Workshouse project.

There is a role for artists not necessarily in making things but in community engagement and it would be great if Wexford would consider something like that for art graduates. A few of us are going to see if we can get some support from the Council. Is there something we can do as a group of artists working in an old location in the community.

I'm going to keep an open mind. I've come up with an idea for something but I don't want to say too much about it at the moment. I consider myself an artist now, definitely because I've realised that it's not something precious.'

Wexford People

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