I am constantly intrigued by all the life that goes on all around us. How it all ties together and how all the parts hold each other up.
With that fascination in mind, I came to make botanical ink…well sort of. To be completely honest with you, I was being a bit stubborn! I was working on a body of illustration work for a Welsh folktale in watercolour and oil pastel. Couldn’t find a particular tone of blue (think a Prussian blue with a stained glass vibe in it. I know, of course I couldn’t find it). In that hunt, I came across a lady in Berlin making historical watercolour paints from her studio in small batches.
Two things happened next, my DIY punk ethos kicked in hard-core, and I suddenly remembered things from childhood and in the years just after graduating from art college. Childhood was full of botanical yarn dying with my Mum, and for a group exhibition in The Netherlands I had produced works around forming crystals on copper sculptures, basically a verdigris, although that wasn’t what I was after at the time.
A year later, and many 13 hour days later, The Wild Hedge Ink Co. was born. Illustration was set aside in favour of stepping back into a fine art practice. This has happened only once since I graduated with a BA in sculpture twenty years ago. This time round though, I am older and wiser, a late bloomer if you will!
Now, for the big secret! I have a sneaky plan behind all this, and here it is,
That through colour making, from our hedges, people will go out into them more, learn their rhythms and hear their songs.
That through making colour, people will love and mind the hedges again.
That through making colour, we can collectively enable these nature corridors and remnant wild places to thrive again, we can keep them, we can grow more which in time will become important ecosystems too.
I’m only telling you this secret, as I suspect that you know just what I’m talking about, and you might want the same thing too.
My works begins with the hunt for the colour or the representational soil, water, algae or plant. The process of making the colour ia as integral as the marks and conversations between colour compounds that continues on the paper.
My mark making is an attempt to have a conversation with familiar landscape in an attempt to taste it as an unfamiliar space.
It is an effort to explore the human/environment relationship.
2002 | BA Fine Art | Aki Academy of Art & Design, Netherlands.
2001 | Diploma in Fine Art | Crawford College of Art & Design, Ireland.
2021 | Solo exhibition, The Narrow Space, Co. Tipperary *upcoming this September site responsive work to the banks of the River Suir*
2021 | Lili Gallery, Co. Cork * upcoming autumn/winter show of brand new work*
2021 | Pigments Revealed Symposium, online.
2019 | Association of Illustrators Group Expo. Huxley Arches, London.
2018 | STAG 50th anniversary exhibition. (Illustration)
2016 | Installation of botanical foraged materials created onsite for Clonmel Junction Festival.
2010 | Black Sassy Arts Collective. Annual group exhibition. Hobart, Tasmania. (work on paper)
2010 | Waltz. Exhibition of my drawings and another artists 3D pieces. Glo, Tasmania.
2002 | Group sculpture exhibition in Art Gallery Hengelo, The Netherlands