Kilkenny based artist Gypsy Ray commenced her four week residency at Kilkenny County Councils Arts Office, no. 72 John Street on Monday January  5th. Gypsy is a professional artist with 32 years of experience behind her. Her work has always been primarily based around photography and drawing and she has exhibited extensively in both groups and solo shows. Her exhibitions have taken place in a variety of galleries including Airfield House, Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Pajaro Arts Centre, Santa Cruz County, USA and Middle Tennessee University’s Baldwin Photographic Gallery, USA. In 2007 Gypsy produced a book of her own Holga Prints entitled “Poetry of Place” and she has featured in a number of publications over the years. Gypsy also has work held in a number of collections including the British Museum Wellcome Trust Collection, London, the Library of Congress, Permanent Collections, Washington, DC, the Special Collections, University of California at Santa Cruz, USA, the Special Collections, Goddard College, Vermont, USA and the Archive of Women Photographers, Arcata, Ca., USA

Gypsy’s studio will be the large ground floor area at No. 72, John Street. The studio is situated underneath Kilkenny County Councils Arts Office which is a public space; therefore the artist agrees to also engage with the public. The aim and focus of the Artists Residencies at No. 72 is to enable the successful applicants to research and develop their own practice. But also to give insights into how and why artists create their work and to build relationships. This has been a very successful aspect of the residencies as it creates tend to create an ongoing dialogue between the artists, the members of the public who visit them and the artists continual updates on the residency blog enable people to keep up to date with develoments as the weeks go by even if they are not in a position to visit in person on a regular basis. The residencies further promote the Arts by providing an awareness and further appreciation and by cultivating and developing new audiences. These residencies also enable the Arts Office to support Arts Practitioners by ‘assisting artists in realising their artistic ambitions’ (Arts Council of Ireland).


Gypsy recognises that this residency is a wonderful opportunity for her to work away from home and to work in a space which is ideal for creating more than one work at a time. The size of the space will also enable her to assess her images as they progress. She has started out working on an ongoing series of large scale drawings about swimming, but she is open to the unforeseen possibilities that residency opportunities offer. She is also more than aware of how the space within which one works can alter your practice be that by a change in your thought process, your subject matter, the size of work etc the possibilities are endless.


One thing that she is sure about however is the invitation she is giving to all who visit the space over her time here. Gypsy is inviting you to do a blind contour drawing with her. This style of drawing enables the most inexperienced and even those fearful of drawing an opportunity to create a drawing without any concern about the outcome. It’s a fun and very worthwhile drawing exercise and one where the end result doesn’t matter at all – what is important is observing….. Therefore she sees the engagement with you the public as having the potential to be very rewarding, enjoyable and gratifying for all.