The Graduates of Contemporary Art - BA Hons Degree Programme 2021.
An exploration of inter-disciplinary and specialist art making.
[My practice is currently growing and tough to concretise.] My practice tends to develop with space in mind whether that is physical, imagined, or a pursuit of my own sense of place. I work in
multimedia, and my process moves predominantly through text. I have more recently been exploringrelationships between art and audience; this exchange provides an intimate yet common or shared aspect to the evolving work. [Art is a universal language yet also a unique experience as our interpretations are affected by knowledge and environment.] I am interested in how we establish context collectively when engaging with art, so aim to move into a more socially-engaged and collaborative sphere.
[By subtly interrogating my surroundings through unexpected use of materials, I hope to evoke emotions and -] Currently my main objective is to start a conversation with those who encounter the work.
This current work addresses shame embedded amongst women in particular, through attitudes and actions in Ireland and beyond. We share experiences that are typically kept silent; their impact
comes to realisation as they are shared and voiced. I have found that poetry allows the space for energy to build and be expelled through an articulated riot-of-sorts. Aspects of this work observe
certain traits that women are socialised to avoid. Through constructing body parts from concrete, I look at the interruptions faced when delicately observing creation through a tough, durable material.
I see these interruptions as challenges, much like the ones we must overcome navigating modern society, and its histories.
Kate McSharry (b.1998, Dublin) is an emerging artist based in Galway City. Through her studies in Contemporary Art at the Centre for Creative Arts and Media at GMIT, Kate has been involved with
TULCA Festival of Visual Arts as an intern, and in2020 worked as an Education Assistant. Her work was recently included in a joint exhibition with Corban Walker at the Sarah Walker Gallery in
Castletownbere, Cork. Upcoming exhibitions include an outdoor installation through July/August 2021 at Artlink, Fort Dunree, Donegal.
Due to the unexpected exodus from the studio during lockdown, the shrinking of space to work in has impacted the work that I’ve been making in response- both practically and in content.
Influenced by the escapist nature of the fantasy genre, both the process of making and viewing aim to relieve mundanity and inspire imagination. The suspension of scale in the surreal miniature sets unfolds the possibilities for larger realities.
I build miniature sets and photograph them using multiple light colours and sources on a digital camera. I also work with digital simulacra and AI constructed landscapes, exploring the boundary between the ‘real’ and digital landscapes.
The installation, presentation, and formal/sculptural considerations of the photograph in space forms the final but integral part of work. I pose traditional and non-traditional hanging methods together, deconstructing the understanding of these methods and engaging with them as individual formal elements - which in turn, re-informs the process of set creation and photography.
Niamh Murphy is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist working in the field of expanded drawing and photography. Living and working in the West of Ireland, she is graduating 2021 with a BA in Contemporary Art.
Raised in Kinvara, Niamh attributes the freedom of thought in the work and her practice to her childhood years spent outside of the school system. She balances between the digital and analogue, pursuing a distinct aesthetic sensibility that is not limited to a single medium.
For my work I use my own photographs and the memories they evoke as a starting point. As a metaphor for the unreliability of memory, I manipulate the photographs digitally by using a digital pencil. I erase parts of the photograph and make my own digitally textured marks, or I disorganise the photographs & manipulate them further. I like to make use of the blank spaces and to create objects out of those spaces. I also enjoy showing the underlying labour of making the work.
Fiona Plunkett was born in the Bronx, New York and raised in West Cavan. She likes to use these two locations as an influence on her work. Her work is digital, taking her own photographs and manipulating them as a metaphor for the unreliability of memory.
Plunkett is finishing her studies in Contemporary Art at CCAM, GMIT and has taken part in numerous group exhibitions in the college over the years.
We live in a society that is becoming ever disconnected with nature. How can we use art as
Through a multitude of media such as drawing, performance and moving image, Emily Lohan’s work centres around the natural and the spiritual world. She believes that making art with natural materials can reconnect us with the earth and in turn the spiritual.
Her practice is ritualistic, with an element of endurance, which she uses to search for a higher meaning to life and death. It is her way of attempting to understand the unknown; Where did we come from? Where do we go when we die?
Born in Massachusetts, Emily Lohan graduated with a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Art at CCAM in Galway in 2021. Her most recent exhibition is her degree show in CCAM. In early 2021 she took part in the online performance art exhibition ‘RAW (Recorded Action Web-Exhibition)’ organised by Sandra Corrigan-Breathnach with Bbeyond, Belfast. During her time as a student she also exhibited with The Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon, The Courthouse in Kinvara and the 126 Gallery in Galway. She continues to take part in workshops led by Bbeyond and PSsquared, Belfast.
Laoise Ní Ghríofa
Through the medium of paint, Laoise Ní Ghríofa creates both ambiguous and recognisable works of art. Her work creates experiences using immersive memory for herself but also for the viewer. These works conjure scenes that could be about anything.
With the use of photographs as a reference, she can create something new that is then transferred onto canvas using bright colours and patterns. It is left to the viewer to decide for themselves what they think is happening, and therefore everyone has a different experience with the artwork.
Laoise Ní Ghríofa (b. 1999, Galway) is a visual artist based in Galway City, who has completed a degree in Contemporary Art in CCAM, GMIT. Her interest in colour is something that has remained throughout her studies and is reflected in her work. This interest as well as the enjoyment one can get from making or viewing art forms a key part of her practice.
My work combines primordial, ancient and contemporary references to the body and landscape. I am a multidisciplinary artist working in ceramics, sculpture, digital media and drawing. I generate disfigured forms in order to look at how the body can be perceived through time and varied lenses. Using clay, I make multiple body parts. These body parts come from the past and the present and combine realism and surrealism. Their limbs are like anatomical votives. These limbs become ancient forms in a contemporary world. They are made from clay, sheep wool, old earth and discarded garments. They come from the ground and find their ancient form in the landscape of today. They become part of my contemporary vision and are given life. Through drawing I imagine and visualise how the body could potentially become, and see how the body would look if the limbs continued in space, were multiplied or joined together. I amplify my vision through making. I stuff life into seemingly endless tubular forms which wrap around the body. They virtually obscure the original figure. They transform the body and move its place in time. These primordial, elegiac figures emerge from the landscape and water dragging masses of weight and time. These figures are brought to life and move in videos of the world around me. Living on the farm and using raw materials around the yard and at home, the figures I imagine come to life and their texture becomes concrete, fleshy and translucent. Before the twentieth century ceramics were functional and static, but my ceramics and tubular forms are incorporated with my digital work to create motion and time-based narratives. Everything I make is hand built using materials I find around my environment. The notion of the ancient hand-building that has been around for centuries and a narrative being told through video and photography, gives the sense of ancient and contemporary forms collaborating.
I am based between Galway City where I am currently studying in GMIT since 2017 and County Meath where I am from. My work was created between the two counties. I use the facilities in college for my ceramic work. The landscape and materials I use in my film and photography are from my family’s farm in Meath. I use raw materials to create an organic sense in my work. In my ceramic pieces I extrude and hand-build to sculpt the clay. I use terracotta clay and terra-sigillata to maintain the earthy tone of the material. The tubular forms created for the primordial creature figure are made from nylon and sheep wool. There is a diverse number of materials and space in the landscape at home which is influential on my work. The human body is a significant part of my practice. I fabricate surreal figures of the human body by creating limbs like anatomical votives. The collation between primordial and contemporary vision is seen through the juxtaposition of my ceramic and digital work.
My current practice is about the psychological effects of Social Media. I am exploring peoples' addiction and engagement with these online platforms mostly through digital media, along with other mediums such as painting, drawing and photography.
Modern technology has proven to be a huge phenomenon and an extremely helpful tool in the contemporary art world. It provides many benefits as well as potentially harmful results. There is a significant grey area to be found when approaching peoples' mental health and these handheld devices. Rather than take a subjective stance on this topic, I will be presenting it for what it is through visual imagery. It will be left up to the viewer to decide how they ultimately feel about it.
Mark Keaveney (b.1995) is an Irish artist based in Co. Roscommon. He has been studying Contemporary Art in GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts and Media. While he mostly works in a variety of mediums, he has gravitated towards digital art. Mark’s practice examines the psychological effect that social media has on people. He explores the full range of this new media art through digital illustrations and animated video works. Since studying in Galway, Mark has presented his work in two shows. In 2016 he took part in GTI’s end of year exhibition, and in 2019 he participated in the third year exhibition ‘Coast’, a detailed study of work from third year students of GMIT.
My work is influenced by the coastlines that surround me in north Mayo, where I find myself engulfed by beautiful and captivating colours, patterns, textures, and movement. My investigation of this landscape has drawn my attention to some of the large-scale buildings that are dotted around the coastline. These structures, like all manufactured objects, are created from materials that originate from nature, are then encapsulated by humans but are accepted and embraced back by nature. I initially photograph and sketch my different observations, followed by developing a suitable colour palette for the pieces. My paintings mostly consist of large scale works on canvas, using oil paint with various mediums.
Emma Donoghue is an emerging artist from Co Mayo. This artist initially graduated from GMIT Mayo with a BA in Contemporary Art Practices 2020. To further her studies this artist enrolled in GMIT, CCAM for a year to gain an honours degree in Contemporary Art in 2021. Emma plans to work in the artistic public sphere part-time and to continue painting part-time upon graduation from GMIT, CCAM.
My current practice is about the human body. I am looking at how it works and how it is impacted by different conditions and syndromes, both physically and psychologically, that has affected my own body. The idea for this work came from the COVID-19 lockdown, from being ill during the first semester of this year, and how it has caused behavioural changes to my life which affected my body both physically and mentally. As I suffer from epilepsyand migraines, a lot of my work is based around the feelings that are caused because of these. A large body of my work is created through Adobe Fresco and Adobe Animate, where I am exploring the idea of the inner working of the body and creating the feelings of discomfort and pain in a physical way.
Amanda Walsh is an Irish artist, living and working in the West of Ireland. She works primarily with Digital Art, through drawings and animations using Adobe Fresco, Adobe Animate and Adobe After Effects. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts(Hons) in Contemporary Art at the Centre for Creative Arts and Media (2017-2021). Her practice is mainly autobiographical, with her current practice based around the idea of her own medical conditions, both physical and psychological.
Climate and landscape are inescapable influences on my art practice. Not only are those things a source of inspiration, but they also provide materials for my work. Our collective connection to the land and sea is a running thread throughout my work. To take from the earth and create.
Using a variety of media and materials, I explore the natural cycles in everyday existence. Life and death, illness and health, anxiety and peace. Following a fascinating path through the everyday humdrum of the mundane. Exploring humour, sadness, solitude and peace.
We are the centre of our individual universes and tiny specks of stardust.
Everything we do, create, is important and insignificant.
Born and raised in Galway, Críona Scannell has a deep connection to the environment and seeks to understand the effect of the Anthropocene in nature around her. Using the processes of creation as a meditation, her work seeks to find a personal understanding of existence.
I started my practice by exploring the concept of anxiety; a talk with my inner demons. I started off by making a video animation of the heart with hands reaching out from it. I made this animation to show that reaching out is a way of relating to what we are all going through, things that people don’t know about. We don’t have to go through our inner battles alone, we can relate through similar experiences. I believe that communication is very important. I started making a piece where I taped cans and milk cartons together to make tentacle-like structures to represent how our anxieties and insecurities grow and grow. Our insecurities and inner demons can stop us from living, and we can be our own worst enemies. I believe that we can be the only ones to stop our inner demons controlling us, which is why I started this animation series where I have created characters to help me get a better understanding of my own demons. Iwanted to create a narrative that would show how there can be many voices in your head and how you can feel like you are all alone, but there is always a voice or maybe many voices fighting for you. I have made this arcade machine-like sculpture where the animation video will be placed in this machine. It will be placed in a dark room where these tentacle-like structures will linger around, behind, in and out of this machine. I made this work to reflect a video game simulation where the character Mr. Skelator travels through a portal of realities to help fight our inner demons that like to hold us back and control us.
Roisin Byron was born in Chicago and raised in Galway,Ireland. Roisin attended the Centre for Creative Arts and Media at GMIT from 2017 to 2021.Roisin studied Contemporary Art for four years. Roisin works in sculpture, ceramics and digital media. The themes she is currently working on are anxiety, fears, and our battle with our inner demons and biggest insecurities. She hopes that everyone could possibly relate to this work, and to their own inner battles with their demons, and maybe get a better understanding of their negative thoughts, and take back the control they have over us. Roisin uses art to get a better understanding of herself.
Using film, ceramics, sculpture and physical action, my practice explores how to disrupt the ideology of archetypes. Gender archetypes enforce limitations on all individuals. We are conditioned from childhood to conform with established social norms. The hammer is conventionally seen as a masculine object engendering the perception of men as the builders. It is an object that is capable of both design and destruction. During my process, I subvert the hammer and the nail to produce a new object, one that is delicate and fragile. By exploiting materials such as metal, wood and plaster, I create structures that comment on the complex notion of gender. My installations embody the physical challenges of cheerleading such as weight and mass, balance and tension, resilience and durability. Inspired by the deceptively feminine sport of cheerleading (traditionally an all-male activity), I explore the conventional, masculine characteristics of aggression and strength. The formal qualities of balance, weight, tension, mass and time are reflective of the conditions I must master in order to successfully complete the actions of my performance. It seeks to push beyond my body's limits to reveal its true potential of endurance. In doing so, I hope to evolve new perceptions of what defines gender, to manufacture a contemporary understanding of what gender could represent.
Stacey Mulligan (b. 1998, London) is an Irish Contemporary Visual Artist based in the West of Ireland, currently pursuing her final year in a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Contemporary Art at the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, GMIT. Her practice explores gender in its traditional and contemporary context, analysing the socio-political framework that surrounds it. She is determined to create a new sense of looking, one that is guided by the perspective of a contemporary female. Mulligan has participated in group exhibitions such as “Pro.jection”, 2020, a virtual exhibition available on Instagram. She has also exhibited in the Long Hall Gallery in CCAM, GMIT as well as the Dominican Hall, 2017, Galway.
Sharon Whitney Wynne
I have always been creative in the form of textiles and interior design. As a young child, I spent many happy hours with my grandmother knitting and sewing. My paintings are very much reflective of my love of colour, fashion and textiles. I love the colour schemes and décor from the seventies, and I am very much influenced by the designer Orla Kiely. I am also influenced by the artist Ruth Root. Since starting the art course at GMIT I have explored using paint a lot more. I love to use strong, bold colours in my paintings using acrylic paint on paper or canvas. This year in my studio I am working more with textiles. I am experimenting with various materials such as wool and remnants or scraps of material with a view to recycling and in the process making textile art.
Sharon Whitney Wynne was born in London in 1972 to Irish parents. She moved to Ireland as a child growing up in Roscommon and Leitrim. She realised her dream of practicing art when the opportunity arose to study it part-time. This was a BA in Contemporary Art Practices at GMIT, Castlebar in 2016. She completed her Level 8 studies at CCAM, GMIT in 2021. Since starting in Galway, she has experimented with various materials like wool and fabric remnants, with a view to recycling and in the process making textile art. She lives in county Leitrim with her husband James, daughter Rebecca, son Christian and niece Laura.
My current work looks at how mental health can be explored and expressed through a creative practice. Acrylic paint, ink and digital editing are used to create my work. The inspiration for these works has come from my own anxiety and OCD. My mentalhealth is expressed in my work through creating black and white landscapes with a variety of words which relate to my own personal experience with mental disorders. My OCD causes meto check and re-check things several times. I worked this into my creative process. Once the painting is done, I photograph the piece and edit it digitally on my laptop. When the image is printed, I rework it again with paint or ink, and re-edit it digitally. Many contemporary artists have influenced this work, such as Ian McKeever and David Stegmann, but the most influential was Marlene Dumas. I used to make drawings with ink in a very deliberate and controlled way. Then I saw how Dumas works. She soaks the page and allows the ink to pool and run over the paper, surrendering a huge amount of control over the outcome of the work. Adopting a similar technique has loosened my work while also challenging my anxiety as surrendering control is something I struggle with due to my mental health.
Kerry Barrett is an Irish artist, born in Co. Cavan, Ireland. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Contemporary Art at GMIT. She is in her fourth and final year. Kerry lives in Cavan where she is surrounded by a rural landscape which influences her work. Kerry was first introduced to (post-)impressionist styles in school and quickly became enamoured with their loose brushwork and vivid colours. Her most recent works explore how mental health can impact and be explored through a creative practice. This direction was brought about by Kerry being diagnosed with anxiety and OCD. Her aim is to use her creative practice as an effective outlet for her mental health, and to allow her anxiety and OCD to become a rich source for making art...