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Here is the painting I was working on today. It took me a while to get into the painting . First of all I had to get some paints even though I had more than enough. So off I went to the Art supply shop and came back with one tube of yellow paint and some masking tape. Then I started and really enjoyed the process.
Today I was very busy creating new work and with people who were invited to make a teabowl.
I spent some time yesterday talking with Mary Butler, the Arts officer in no.72 John Street. Together we wrote and sent out an invitation to all the staff in the Council to come into the gallery and make a tea bowl. I spoke to Mary about creating an installation piece on the floor of the gallery. Next week we will be taking a trip out of the Arts Office to pick daffodils which will form part of a sereis of pieces based on the theme of sacred spaces.
Mary sent out the invitation yesterday and today five ladies came to make a tea bowl. Most had never used clay before. Overall the reaction was positive and there was lots of discussion about tea.
I started to use the floor space today. The gallery felt empty. I went across to the garden centre and sand, stones and peat were trolley delivered right to the door of the Arts Office.
I started straight away and worked on the installation of peat, sand and stone. I really enjoyed the process especially emptying peat all over the floor, breaking it up with my fingers and shaping it. This type of instalation work would never have been realised in my own studio at home as there is just no room. The great thing about the space is that you can step back and really see the work. I also worked on a painting based on the same theme.
Artist’s residencies are extremely important as they tend to have a lasting impact on the artists ranging from substantial shifts in their work and or in the direction of their practice. They often enable artists to develop new networks and meet others from different backgrounds. Overall they also offer artists that much needed period of contemplation and reassessment. Residencies allow the Arts Office to support Arts Practitioners ‘assisting artists in realising their artistic ambitions’ (Arts Council of Ireland).
Marie Connole will commence her six week residency at Kilkenny County Councils Arts Office, no. 72 John Street on Monday February 4th 2008. Marie’s work weaves together oddities, fears and beliefs formed from observations of growths and the human body. These elements shape our individual psyche and, freed from reason, they attach and re combine with each other creating new stories and associations. The imagination is the ultimate means of exploration and escape; a place to confront and understand our experiences… just as encounters with the strange and bizarre are not always terrifying, neither is that which is small and beautiful always harmless. These are the contradictions we live by.
For further details on this or any other Arts Office activities please contact the Arts Office, No. 72, John Street, Kilkenny on 056 7794138.
My experimentation in the world of 3d was interrupted slightly by an offer of a show during the project and this meant I had to get five paintings completed before I could loose myself again. As you can see from the images, my stay at No 72 was very productive both during and in the weeks months that following. It has given me new directions in which to investigate and enriched by career. I have partaken in several long term residencies but have learnt more on the short stay in Kilkenny that any other. I was forced to attack and resolve some of my artistic demons over the short but intense stay.
The residency as a whole was a great opportunity to develop my practice in an empowering environment. I saw the opportunity as a chance to explore new directions in which I could use to vary my artist vocabulary, and that was exactly what happened. The work produced was shown shortly after in temple bar (with the Stone Gallery). The images above show the sculpture pieces and a variety of paintings the majority created in Kilkenny. One of my aims was to be able to work with space, as opposed to just hanging paintings on walls and to create assemblages as a painting in three dimensions. This is just the beginning of what I hope to be a long line of investigation. The residency gave me the support to experiment and make mistakes, in order to explore new techniques and create new challenging work.
I have completed five 1m x 1m paintings and a series of six 20cm x 20 cm paintings, each one pushing my work into a new direction. For example, I began one using charcoal or by making a gesture marks on the canvas, these new elements would be incorporated into the world of painting I already knew. By starting a piece with something unknown created a lot of problems and often brought the works in the wrong direction. I found this very rewarding and it gave me time to reflect on what direction I was going in.