The School Show is the result of an invitation from the Arts Council to twenty Irish artists
to contribute to an exhibition on the theme of school. In May 1986 the Council wrote to
the artists and outlined the reasons for commissioning this show. The letter explained
"the Arts Council has decided that the theme of the exhibition should be school itself.
This will allow you freedom to respond to the theme from your memories of your own
schooling, your attitudes to school or an aspect of school, or indeed you may wish to
respond from the perspective of young people (perhaps your own children, if you have
any) who are going to school today."
All of the artists were offered the opportunity of meeting with the Education and Visual
Arts Officers of the Arts Council to talk about the nature and purpose of The School
Show. Most artists took this opportunity but others preferred to work away on their own
because they had a very clear idea of what they wanted to say, and talking about it
might only have interfered with doing it!
In any event, what was very obvious from the beginning was the genuine sense of
excitement the invitation to contribute to The School Show caused among most of the
artists. The theme of school struck a chord (sometimes discordant) with most of those
artists whom the Arts Council had commissioned and the variety of their responses is
obvious from the exhibition.
One of our concerns in the Arts Council was to provide a context for people, and
particularly for students, to look at the work. While art is important and distinctive, it is
also continuous with the rest of everyday life. That is why we chose the theme of school,
and that is why we decided also that each piece should be accompanied by a
photograph of the artist and by a text in which the artist could offer a context for the
piece he or she had made. We wanted The School Show to communicate directly to its
audience, and to indicate that there are a lot of artists in Ireland anxious to make art for
an audience who too often do not have the opportunity to see their work.
The School Show is not intended as a comprehensive statement about school as viewed
by Irish artists. The exhibition is too varied for that and the different (and sometimes
incompatible) motivations of the artists should be obvious from the work. Nonetheless, if
the exhibition as a whole or any piece in particular makes you want to respond, you are
welcome to write to the Arts Council and we will forward your reaction to any of the
artists as appropriate.
The School Show is the first of what we hope will be a series of exhibitions designed
especially for touring to schools. Your views on this, whether you are a student, teacher,
parent or an interested member of the public will always be welcome.
The Arts Council.
Note The School Show consists of twenty pieces In certain venues space does not allow the entire show to be seen and
so the exhibition has been designed to 'split' into two smaller shows (pieces 1-10 and 11-20) Later in the tour such a
venue will host the half of the exhibition not shown earlier
1 Arja Kajermo
First Day at School and Then...
When I went to school in Sweden I had a very relaxing and pleasant time. As I didn't
speak the language I was put at the back of the class and left alone to draw and read at
my own pace. This worked out reasonably for me. (Only the school yard was HELL
because I was the 4 only Finn in a very big school; so it was me against 899 Swedish I
Now that my eldest child has started school in Ireland it saddens me that so much
"academic progress" is expected at such an early age by over-ambitious parents. All
parents want their children to do well. Some go about it the wrong way.
2 Triona Ford
Late for Class
Mrs. Kearns, a local woman, had the greatest influence on my life as a child. I went to
her art class every Saturday for five years. She talked to us about our pictures and told
us that art cannot be taught because it is the creative expression of each of us. She
gave great slide-shows of work (paintings and sculpture) that she had seen in Europe:
Renoir's and Monet's impressionist paintings, Gauguin, Michaelangelo, Goya, and Van
Gogh. I liked De Chinco's surrealist dream-picture of a lone child running across an
empty square rolling a hoop in front of her. It had unexplained shadows and strange
perspective. Children always remember pictures and certainly I have carried these
pictures in my mind's eye. A lot of my work as an artist is about space and about the
psychological memory of space. My response to the theme of The School Show was to
remember the place, its atmosphere and the panic of silent corridors with classes
I would describe my secondary school surroundings as tumbled-down, crumbling ruins
of an old house with an overgrown garden of wet bushes. (It has since been
demolished). I remember the smell of rusty brillo pads in the domestic science kitchen,
steaming damp green gabardines, ugly green knee-socks, the stress of exams (Galway
is a University town) and Geraldine Ford's six-inch silver platform boots (she was six foot
two inches in them). "Girls" stand up; "Girls" litany of quick prayers; "Girls" sit down - at
least seven times a day for five long years - progressing, assimilating more information
(very distant from my own experience) about Maths, Irish and the reproduction of the
There was no art in secondary school and by Inter Cert. school was something I just had
to get through. This was a great shame as education should be enlightenment against
violence, discrimination and
poverty. The schools did not cater for artistic people. I have since figured out that life is
an ongoing fantastic energy. All subjects are specific disciplines out of the one melting
pot of human endeavour and quest for knowledge.
At school the single acknowledgement of my future career came from the history teacher
when she pointed to a reproduction of "Starry, Starry Night" by Van Gogh in our Leaving
Cert. history book and asked me in a puzzled way; "that's what you're interested in, isn't
it Triona? -arty things:'
3 Michael Kane
In Memoriam (Bro. Francis
My woodcut represents a memory of my schooldays. It started off as a depiction of a
particularly vicious Brother of the De La Salle order, who was one of my teachers.
During the course of this realisation the image acquired a demonic character with a
suggestion of hellfire which is not inappropriate.
While my memory was resurrecting him in the appurtenances of his sadism, my
unconscious, during the process of the work, was translating him to the kind of eternal
state his faith would have envisaged for the likes of me.
4 Michael O'Dea
When the Arts Council outlined the commission proposal to me the picture that
immediately came into my head was of one-to-one confrontations in the corridors of the
secondary school. The pattern was usually a push or a shove followed by a sizing-up of
each other. As soon as this potential conflict was detected by anyone in the immediate
area they shouted "Row Row Row" in rapid succession. This shout was taken up by
everyone and anyone, and suddenly the two protagonists would find themselves
surrounded by a mob eager for action at their expense. In such circumstances, they
were compelled to fight. If it was inconvenient to fight there and then, a time was set for
after school where the two lads would have it out to satisfy the thirsts of the students.
The painting gives us an aerial view of the corridor confrontation. The lads are facing
each other surrounded by all the pupils eager to get a view of the proceedings. Medium-
length hair with no styling, jumpers, (mostly dull colours), flared trousers and denim suits
seemed to predominate at the time. I have depicted the scene with a touch of humour.
5 Brian Maguire
Self-Portrait of Self in School
My memory of school informed this piece. My mind naturally wandered out the window
at school. There was the blackboard and the window. On my first days I recall being
excited at the newness or adventure of , the day. I recall at seventeen being very
defensive and reactionary, hence the two self-portraits in the piece. I often sat alone in
class (I used to cause trouble) and I felt the space as a captive. My emotional
development had its usual and ordinary pitfalls but I found the "Rules of the Road"
spirituality anything but helpful.
The strong colours around the figures relate to the concreteness of things outside
myself; inside myself (as in the figure section) I felt I had no solid base, except in
reaction to teachers and rules.
6 Geraldine O'Reilly
The starting point for this piece was an old school photograph - 35 girls arrested in time
at the age of eight. Initially I intended something very figurative, which the piece would
have been had I painted the photograph as it was. Instead, over a two month period I
kept whittling the image down until it represented more of an idea and an atmosphere
from my school memories than a straight representation of people and things.
The picture is about the atmosphere and the remembered colours of my first school
which was an old two-roomed country school with peeling paint and old maps. Those
maps represented my first thoughts on travel. I have represented this in the columns and
leaping horse. The little photograph is about a number of things: firstly the cliche that
your face is your passport, but more seriously it is about the ritual of school photographs
and how one always comes across them long after you have left school. I always
experience a certain amount of nostalgia for the innocence of that time but they also
speak to me of the inevitable cycle of decay yet to be experienced by the face in the
photograph. These images I set into what looks like an empty stage set (which I think
explains itself without resorting to another clich6 like "life is a stage").
The colours are not quite black which to me meant that the future held some
attractiveness. The overall design comes from another early school memory of when a
girl lifted me up to the blackboard to draw for the class. That incident set a precedent for
my life to date as I have never stopped drawing. The square flat shape of the surface of
the picture represents the board on which those first marks were made.
7 Maria Simmonds-Gooding
Mother St. Dominic
I was born in India of an English father and an Irish mother. The family returned to
Ireland when I was six and they lived in Co. Kerry where I was surrounded by mountains
and a creek which flooded the field in front of the house in a high tide. I experienced
great freedom and had no formal schooling till I was 12. Whatever I was taught before
going to school was taught to me by my mother, as it was to my younger sister.
The Convent of the Holy Child Jesus came as the first unpleasant shock in my life. All
my freedom gone. Bells ringing all day, regimenting us endlessly. Latin, French, English,
I hated them all. I couldn't and still can't spell well.
Out of all this came one good thing, Mother St. Dominic, who took us for Art and
She had that great ability to see and encourage the potential in a child, no matter how
unimportant, and to this end she greatly encouraged my artistic abilities. We had only
one art class a week but it was sufficient to keep my morale up.
I left school at 16, followed by many different jobs, including being a matron in a
Benedictine monastery, until I started studying at the National College of Art, Dublin in
my 21st year.
8 Jay Murphy
Variations on a Schoolgirl
Sometime ago I accompanied a group of school children on a bus journey to a singing
and dancing competition. The children performed beautifully, singing in high, sweet
voices, exactly as the teacher had ordained, and they danced in carefully made
costumes. But on the way home on the bus, back in their own clothes, they sang their
favourite songs in strong, lively voices, completely naturally. It was great entertainment
and a pleasure to hear.
This incident, and my own recollection of school as being something rather separate
from the rest of my life, drew me to my subject. I decided to paint a double portrait of a
schoolgirl of my acquaintance, wearing in one portrait her school uniform, and in the
other dressed exactly as she wished.
The question that arises from this is the relevance of school and the standards set by it
in the pupil's "real" or fantasy lives. However, I have left a slight ambiguity in the picture
which also questions the value of the standards set by our own peers.
9 Michael Mulcahy
In education today, we must be shown that there are many different ways of thinking
rather than the one way which they say is always right.
We always have to question the credibility of the person in authority and the system that
put him or her there and keeps them there. If not we suffer from tunnel vision and this
has all sorts of frightening consequences, as we see when we look at history. These
happen because we are not true to our real selves, and because we do not allow others
to be true to their real selves.
Sometimes we are all responsible because of our apathy.
These are the sources of inspiration of the painting Compages.
10 Robert Ballagh
The Dance of Life
In 1985, in the course of an interview on R.T.E., recorded at the time of his 70th
birthday, Dr. Noel Browne suggested that "until (the Irish people) take education away
from the powerful political institution, which calls itself the Roman Catholic Church, they
cannot exercise freedom to make decisions in relation to liberal, conservative or socialist
The result of the 1986 referendum on Divorce absolutely confirmed this point of view for
me, so therefore I decided to attempt to deal with this situation in my picture for The
11 Mary Burke
The school I attended was a modern building containing lots of large windows and long
corridors. One of my main memories of the place was the large bright rooms and
corridors - they seemed larger then than they do now. When I was asked to produce a
piece of work for this exhibition, I felt I would like to revisit the place to see if it had
changed much over the last nine years. As much of my work consists of both drawings
and paintings of interiors and exteriors of buildings, and as shiny surfaces and
reflections hold a particular fascination for me, I decided to spend some time during the
summer drawing in the school. One of those drawings is the piece shown in The School
12 Wendy Shea
Not the Happiest Days of his
I have chosen, as my theme for this exhibition an amalgam of the schoolroom scenes
from The Silver Dollar Boys by Neil Donnelly. I was working on the sets and costumes
for this play at the time of being asked to contribute to The School Show, so it seemed a
good opportunity to combine theatre and education - something in which I am very
I have used collage because this is how I sometimes make my costume "drawings;' and
also because, as an art teacher, I have found that pupils who are not so happy wielding
a pencil did much more exciting work when working with different media.
I believe that art class should be fun.
13 Brian Bourke
I had a short school career of unpleasant memories. The prevailing memory I have tried
to depict here is of angry-faced men in clerical collars, with raised fist, holding what was
called a strap, but in fact was more like a cudgel.
Memoirs Reference Key
1 Self portrait from 1974 sketchbook
2 Quotation from "The School that I'd Like" (Penguin
3 Sketches about emotions -1980
4 Quote from "The School that I'd Like"
5 Sketch from a childhood memory -1980
6 ARK Education From "Free way to learning" Educational
Alternatives in action
7 Enlarged page from Irish Language book - circa 1960
8 Photocopy of flower picked in Africa in 1974
9 School photo of the Artist -1962
10 "The Second Sex" - important book about women -
Simone de Beauvoir-1949
11 Women in costume from the 1800's
12 Child's bracelet, with the Ten Commandments
engraved upon it
13 Quote from "The School that I'd Like"
14 Enlarged text from Liturgy and Church History
15 Quote from "The School that I'd Like"
16 Drawing by Max , aged 4 -1986
17 Drawing from my teens -1966
18 Quote from "The School that I'd Like"
19 Photograph of the Artist -1984
20 Trying to remember how I learned to draw
21 Drawing from sketchbook
22 Photograph portrait of Danish writer Karen Blixen
23 Composition and grammar by Máiréad Ní Ghrada with
14 Pauline Cummins
In Memoire, the blue images are made up of fragments from my past
education (see reference key).
Some I chose, others were forced upon me.
They are now, all, notes and memories.
The bright colourful shapes represent the feeling of "self:'
I want to show by the combination of these images, that each of us has a central core - a
self - that always exists.
Education or information can surround you. It can excite you or sometimes repress you.
This self has many names - Ego, Centre, Conscience, Consciousness, Libido, or the
It is the vital connection between information and your existence, it tells you what is
important for you, and helps you in your own pursuit of knowledge and understanding.
15 Michael Cullen
The School of Life
My painting about school goes this way. In it you see a world of grey (reality?) overhung
by a black cloud. Here, who teaches, who is learning and who has learned? The blind
lead the blind. A little off the centre stands Deceit with red cloak masquerading as
Phenomenon. The contraption at right-hand top with perspective inverted is a
ramshackle stage/platform. On it a monkey, Ape of God, performer, etc., etc., sits. They
who take the platform are in a sense performers, teachers, politicians, clowns, painters
and the like. Madness runs amok. In the centre foreground is a sad clown or wise fool.
The car could be thought of as a status symbol for those who think they have got the
16 Patrick Graham
Bouquet of Innocence
The photograph is of my first communion. My mother was with me. She was out of
hospital for that day and arranged for this shot. At that time my family was split up. I was
in a small rural community with my grandparents. My brothers and sisters were in other
places. My mother had T.B. and my father was in England. I suppose it was at this time
that I discovered how to hide. This was to feel safe. I allowed nobody to know how I felt
and began a process of out-thinking any emotional events that might happen. Nothing
was true I felt. There could be nothing lasting. I became like a stone.
I saw everything and never reacted openly to emotion - to me emotion was pain and had
to be defeated. For this I used thinking and, yes even at that time, analysis. I became
aware that I felt like a stranger so I stayed silent. This feeling of being a stranger grew.
My relief was to have secret places for a secret self, a pool where the water was like me.
On the surface a mask of stillness with another darker world, another life underneath. I
also had a tree I spoke my secrets to. This tree heard me cry and dream, heard my
confusion. It was a tall evergreen and overlooked my world. I could see the house, the
farm, the school, the world as a dream. I only was real. I felt no connection.
I was very good at school then - reading and sums etc. It was a way to avoid contact. To
know meant to be left alone. Afterwards in the Christian Brothers, this knowing of things
(as a kind of defence of myself and my world) collapsed. This too was confusing
because now being able to know was becoming irrelevant to me. For the first time I
began to have real fear whereas before I felt oddly at one with being lost.
My private world was invaded by the Christian Brothers. I could defend myself against
the school curriculum but not against their views on religion. In my other place I had an
innocence of God, a magical
belief in nature and self. My holy trinity, so to speak, was God, Nature and a secret Self.
In this I could strip naked on the bog, the sensual feel of the earth, .the black country
light and the head high colour - my line of vision was the horizon coming to fill my eyes,
nostrils and mouth with floating colour. It was sexual. Pure energy. I lay on my back and
searched out larks. I felt a oneness with the liquid black earth. My sensuality of touch,
smell and vision were linked with God in an innocence of well-being, alive.
When I left the country and returned home, my mother finally being well (though I feared
her illness for many years to come), I was sent to the Christian Brothers. I was alarmed
at the mill and drill. I saw casual beatings from my first day. I became even more
anonymous. I watched now with the added dimensions of fear and anger. I saw power
and. terror for the first time. Besides the cynical use of physical power, I felt for the first
time the power of religion in an organised sense, in a psychological sense. I became
aware of sin, not in any external sense such as lying, stealing, cursing etc., but deep in
the heart and soul of my private self. My trinity of the body's senses, nature and God
was destroyed. While talking in class, wrong answers, no home exercises, lying, cursing,
stealing were punishable by varying degrees of severity, sins of purity, without ever
being really explained, were so horrendous or evil as to appear beyond even that. Purity
was the virgin, all else was corruption. If beating and confession could cleanse these
external expressions of sin, then what of the sins of the body? It was this above all which
took my stranger's ground and turned it into a swamp.
It is hard to explain all of this, but the insidious repetition of the corruption of the body,
the theme of the virgin and the temptation of the flesh, and the knowledge that beating
was sufficient to cleanse other sins and yet other sins were somehow beyond the
redemption of beating - all this left a prevailing sense and smell of doom.
I could manage the world and its demand on my presence by knowing what it wanted,
and this was easy enough. But beyond this mask, my secret self, the giver of my well-
being life, my innocent cocoon was burst apart. That these men were dressed in
holiness and spoke from a power which I believed incorruptible was beyond my ability at
that time to defend myself against. The virgin theme made all girls a threat. They
became either holiness or evil, virgin or corrupt.
This is the only learning I have any clear memory of. Of that time nothing prevailed
except the stench of doom, of being damned, of being a sinner by virtue of the life within
me. I was to make an attempt to purify myself by becoming a priest. I had codes with this
given God. I became mad with God, drunk with holiness and denial, I had great ,secret
passions. This failed too. I always had drawing and it never failed. For many years this
was my only connection to a tenuous reality. There had to be a collapse and there was -
1 was a year out of school, like an invalid. Hospitals, doctors and drawing - there too
began my journey into reading and some writing - my education proper so to speak.
My schooling was a hammer. I cannot detail much here. It was a hammer descending
most heavily on the sensitive among us. I have no anger about it now because I
eventually freed myself of it all - the dogmatic anti-humanness, the ideology of
martydom, the hatred of the body and the corruption of love and truth. As I said, I can't
describe the half of it. In my own case I've set out on a journey through pain to be
innocent again, in life and art and all that was given as truth. It's a long night's journey. I
know I have an innocence of spirit, but innocence of mind is another story. Where life
and art are sealed in containers which accomodate ideologies, dogma and aesthetics
not validated by my spirit, I will doubt. Doubt is my ultimate act of faith, my ultimate act of
survival. It's all right to be a stranger. As a stranger I have nothing to defend.
17 Eithne Jordan
Three Young Faces
The three faces (three girlfriends) are looking towards the figure of authority
(teacher/headmistress). They are standing in a row, presenting on the surface an orderly
picture of attention. Although only their faces can be seen, the overall grey colour
scheme of the painting is indicative of the grey school uniform - symbol of anonymity.
What is important in this painting is the expression on the faces of the girls. Their
individual personalities cannot be disguised, nor their responses - scepticism,
rebelliousness, and disbelief - to what they are hearing from the invisible authority.
18 Pauline Bewick
Holly doing her Homework
Holly and Poppy got out of doing the washing up, getting in turf, feeding hens, all sorts of
things "No I can't I'm doing my homework" Unfortunetlly this excuse kept them for hours
at the table or in their beds even though 50% was just "pretend" homework, Its a shame
that children dont have time for, nothing at all, or time to explore the country side or paint
there own Pictures - Three nights of homework pr. week would be plenty, leaving the
other evenings free for such things and for helping a little at home. Luckley for Poppy &
Holly Pats education was very compleet - both his schooling & university, so it was he
who helped them with their questions -1 couldn't, you see at my 2 progressive schools
the children were able to choose there classes, I alwase choose Dorithy Higgins the art
teacher, we would go off drawing trees together, she loved knarled trees! If a teacher
found his class empty it showed he/she wasn't a good teacher - so they'd have to leave
Poppy & Holly have had 2 very differently educated parints and intrestingly enough they
went along with there schools rules and have done very well but its not because ether
Pat or I forsed them to attend, say when sick or tired, or forsed them to do homework,
they'd say I must or I'll be behind or miss out. Poppy now 20 is at collage doing creative
work full time such as draing, sculptre, photography, and is flurishing and Holly will I
know be exelent when all her genril school education has been compleeted and when
she speclizes - she will flower too - but with a bank of knollage behind her about this
world, & to use in this world. All good wishes,
19 Martin Folan
The Arts Council commission for The School Show was lying about inside my brain for
weeks before anything began to spark my imagination. I then was drawn to the idea of a
child looking at a page. I often found the lines of pages of a copy to be the most exciting
place to be. I would totally forget the business in hand and allow my mind to roam freely.
Basically speaking, I was a great day-dreamer and still am.
This work has its own meaning. I set out with the idea of a child looking at an open book.
The lined pages are totally at odds with what's inside the child's mind. I wanted the tree
growing out of the page and that's what I got, or did I? In fact there is a body
spreadeagled on the page. That's how the piece turned out. It's got its own meaning - in
other words I tried not to impose myself totally on the idea. I tried to tease it out and I
think I've succeeded in getting to the root of something. Maybe you can figure it out - I'm
still working on it myself!
All the best,
20 Trevor Geoghegan
This piece came about as my response to the brief supplied by the Arts Council for a
painting about experiences from school life. I found it a difficult brief because time has
deleted most of my memories of school life. However, the one abiding memory I do have
is that wonderful feeling one had when a holdiay was due, and the plans that one made
with friends as to how to spend it.
So the painting grew from that idea. The actual minute one left the school and the feeling
of euphoria, of being free for a short time, able to pursue other interests. My school was
what was termed a secondary modern, now a comprehensive. So it was of the new
design. Lots of glass, aluminium etc. There were plenty of potted plants and flower beds.
This last item was to instil in us a feeling for nature and natural order. It certainly made a
pleasant living contrast to the rigid geometry of the new schools. My painting is thus a
sort of remembrance of that time and place.
Born in Dublin in 1943, Robert Ballagh studied architecture and was a professional musician before becoming a full-time
painter in 1969 He has executed many important commissions in a variety of forms which include portraits, murals,
posters, book-covers and stamps.o
Robert Ballagh is a member of Aosdána and is Chairman of the Association of Artists in Ireland. He has been a member
of the Arts Council and has lectured on Irish art in many countries including the United States of America and the German
For over twenty-five years his work has been exhibited widely in one-man and group exhibitions in Ireland, Europe and
the U S A He has won many major awards and is represented in numerous public collections at home and abroad.
Born in Northumbna, England in 1935, Pauline Bewick studied at the National College of Art, Dublin until 1952 and had
her first one- woman show in 1957 Since then she has exhibited widely in solo and group shows in Ireland and abroad
and most regularly at the Dawson Gallery/ Taylor Galleries, Dublin.
Pauline Bewick is a member of Aosdána and in 1985 she was elected a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.
In 1985/86, to concide with her 50th birthday, a series of mid-term retrospective activities took place.
A fifty-minute TV profile was made and shown on R T E and Channel 4 A major book on her life and work by Dr James
White was published in 1985.
In 1986 an exhibition of fifteen hundred of her paintings (work done at the age of 2 through to present work) was seen in
Dublin, Cork and Belfast.
Born in Dublin in 1936, Brian Bourke has been working full-time as an artist for over twenty years in drawing, painting and
Since 1965 when he had his first one-man exhibition and when he was chosen to represent Ireland at the Pans Biennale,
he has been a consistent presence in the Irish art world and a regular Irish representative at major international shows.
His work was seen most recently in the Arts Council exhibition "Out of the Head" which was the sixth in the series of
"Artist's Response" shows to tour Ireland Simultaneously he had a major sculpture exhibition of heads in the Taylor
Brian Bourke was elected a member of Aosdána in 1982 and his work is to be found in numerous private and public
collections including those of the Arts Council, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Ulster Museum, and the Hugh
Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art.
Born in Dublin in 1959, Mary Burke studied painting for five years at the National College of Art and Design and graduated
in 1982. The following year she helped to found an artists' co-operative studio in Dublin (New Art Studios) where she has
been working since. She is a part-time Lecturer at the N.C.A.D and serves on the Executive Committee of the Association
of Artists in Ireland Mary Burke has had two one- woman shows, at the Lincoln Gallery, Dublin (1984) and the Belltable
Arts Centre, Limerick (1985) In addition she has shown work in all the major group exhibitions in Ireland and her work is to
be found in the collections of C I E , Ulster Breweries and the Limerick Contemporary Arts Society.
Born in 1946 in Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, Michael Cullen worked as a silkscreen printer before turning to painting. He studied
life-drawing at the Central School of Art and Design, London and travelled widely in Europe before returning to Dublin
where he gained a Diploma in Painting from the National College of Art.
He has participated in all the major Irish group shows since 1986 and has had one-man shows in the Project Arts Centre,
Dublin (1976 and 1981), The Tnskel Arts Centre, Cork (1984) and the Lincoln Gallery, Dublin (1984).
Awarded bursaries by the Arts Council in 1977,1982 and 1984, Michael Cullen was elected a member of Aosdána in
His work is represented in the collections of the Arts Council, the Contemporary Arts Society, the Central Bank and Trinity
Born in Dublin in 1949, Pauline Cummins graduated from the National College of Art in 1969 where she specialised in
painting and ceramics. She has had a varied career, living and working in many countries, but at present lives in Lacken,
She was director of a craft workshop in Kenya for two years before returning to Ireland to co- found Ashford Pottery in Co
Wicklow Subsequently she moved to Canada where she worked as a painter until her return to Ireland in 1981.
Pauline Cummins has taken part in many group shows in Ireland, the U S and Canada, including the Irish Exhibition of
Living Art, and she has been particularly active in exploring sensuality, sexuality, pregancy and motherhood in her work
For the 1984 Living Art Show she did a mural/installation at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin and the following year
made a slide/tape piece called "Anne Kelly - is a midwife".
In 1986 Pauline Cummins was the recipient of the George Campbell Memorial Travel Award.
Born in Dublin in 1955, Martin Folan studied at the National College of Art and Design which he left in 1981.
He has exhibited in the Independent Artists and Exhibition of Living Art shows and has had one-man shows at the
Orchard Gallery, Derry and the Project Arts Centre, Dublin as well as having joint exhibitions in the I LAC Centre and the
New Arts Studios in Dublin.
In 1986 Martin Folan won a major award from the Arts Counci in Ireland and from Ireland-America Arts Exchange to allow
him live and work in New York at the P.S.1 Studios.
Born in Vancouver, Canada in 1958, Triona Ford returned to Ireland in 1964 and studied art at Galway RTC , Ulster
Polytechnic and Dusseldorf Art Academy from which she graduated in 1981.
She has had one-woman shows at U C G Gallery, and in the Project Arts Centre Dublin and has exhibited in Independent
Artists, Cork Art Now, and the Exhibition of Visual Art in Limerick where she won a graphics prize in 1985.
In 1986 Tnona Ford was awarded an exchange scholarship by the U'S Embassy and the Department of Foreign Affairs to
attend the San Francisco Art Academy.
Born in London in 1946, Trevor Geoghegan studied at Worthing College of Art, Sussex and Chelse. School of Art, London
from which he graduated in 1968.
In 1971 he settled in Blessington, Co Wicklow and since then has exhibited regularly in galleries in Dublin, Galway and
Wexford as well as in all the major annual exhibitions.
Trevor Geoghegan's work is represented in numerous private collections at home and abroad and in the collections of a
wide range of bodies including the Arts Council, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Irish Management Institute, Guinness
Peat Aviation and the Fitzwilton Group.
Born in Mullingar, Co Westmeath in 1943, Patrick Graham graduated from the National College of Art in 1964.
He has shown in all the major exhibitions in Ireland including Independent Artists, "Making Sense' (1981 Arts Council
Touring Exhibition), Oireachtas, ContemporEire, Living Art, and "4 Irish Expressionists" He has also shown in London and
His work is to be found in the collections of the Arts Council, the Irish Contemporary Arts Society, the National Concert
Hall, and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art as well as in several major private collections in Ireland and
abroad Patrick Graham is a member of Aosdána.
Born in Dublin in 1954, Eithne Jordan studied painting at Dun Laoghaire School of Art and graduated in 1976, which was
also the year of her first group show Subsequently she has exhibited in the major annual exhibitions in Ireland and has
had one-woman shows in the Peacock (1980), the Project Arts Centre (1982), and the Lincoln (1985).
In 1978,1982 and again in 1985 Eithne Jordan was awarded bursaries by the Arts Council and her work is represented in
the collections of the Arts Council, the Contemporary Irish Arts Society, the Bank of Ireland and Dublin Corporation.
Born in 1949 in Finland, Ana Kajermo studied languages at Stockholm University in Sweden and went to art school in the
evenings She worked in a variety of jobs before devoting herself to cartoons Since 1971 she has lived in Dublin and her
work has become familiar to a wide audience, particularly to readers of In Dublin magazine and The Sunday Tribune.
Born in Dublin in 1935, Michael Kane studied at the National College of Art and at the Graphic Studio, Dublin He lives and
works in Dublin now but at various times he has worked for extended periods in Switzerland, Spain and Britain.
He has had fifteen one-man exhibitions since 1960 and has represented Ireland in numerous international shows
including the Salzburg Biennale, the International Exhibition of Graphic and Serial Art in Segovia, and the Sense of Ireland
Exhibition in London.
Michael Kane has shown in all the major group exhibitions in Ireland and annually with the Independent Artists since
1960. In 1982 he become a member of Aosdána and subsequently was elected a Toscaire.
His work is included in public and private collections throughout the world.
Born in Wicklow in 1951, Brian Maguire graduated from the National College of Art with a Diploma in Painting in 1974
Since then he has exhibited widely in Ireland, Britain and abroad and has shown in the Independent Artists Exhibition
every year since 1980 In 1981 his work was selected tor the G P A Emerging Artists show and he was one of the artists
chosen for the 1982 Arts Council touring exhibition "Making Sense" In 1986 Brian Maguire's work was seen in Boston as
part of "4 Irish Expressionists" and in the National Gallery, Athens in the exhibition called "11 European Painters".
Brian Maguire is a member of Aosdána.
Born in Cork in 1952, Michael Mulcahy graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 1973 He has
lived and worked in Europe, North Africa and Australia but is living in Ireland at present and has taken part in nearly all the
major group shows in this country.
From 1980 -83 he was a
committee member of Independent Artists and has exhibited in that show, the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, the "Making
Sense" exhibition (1982), GPA Emerging Artists (1983) and Cork Art Now (1985).
Michael Mulcahy has shown in New York, Amsterdam, and at the Fifth Biennale of Sydney, and his latest one-man
exhibition was in 1985 at the Taylor Galleries, Dublin He was elected as a member of Aosdána in 1986.
Born in Dublin in 1952, Jay Murphy studied at Dun Laoghaire School of Art and part-time at the Central School, London
Her work has been seen throughout the country but particularly in the West of Ireland where she lives She was a founder
member of Fior Disce and exhibited with that group annually from 1973 to 1977.
Jay Murphy has shown at the Listowel Graphic Exhibition (1975 and 1984), Galway Arts Festival (1980 -1986), Cibeal
Cincise, Kenmare (1986) and in the Lincoln Gallery, Dublin were she had a one-woman exhibition in 1983.
Born in Ennis, Co Clare in 1958, Michael O'Dea studied at the National College of Art and Design and at the University of
Massachusetts He is a member of the Association of Artists in Ireland and of Independent Artists and he is a part-time
teacher at the N.C.A.D.
Michael O'Dea has exhibited with Independent Artists, at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art and in the Grapevine and
Wexford Arts Centres Since 1982 he has exhibited regularly at the Taylor Galleries where he had his first one-man show
Born in 1956 in Killucan, Co Westmeath, Geraldine O'Reilly graduated from the National College of Art and Design in
1979, and subsequently did a degree course in painting there from 1982-83.
She has had a varied career as an artist, showing in many of the major group exhibitions as well as having her first one-
woman show at the Lincoln Gallery, Dublin in 1985 She worked regularly on the Arts Council's mural scheme for primary
schools Paint on the Wall, has taught art at second and third-level and has organised successfully the major 1985
exhibition Cork Art Now (C.A.N.) and the first Co Monaghan Arts Festival in 1986 In the same year Geraldine O'Reilly was
awarded a travel grant from the Arts Council to allow her work with the mural painting company Artmakers Inc in New
Born in Dublin in 1937, Wendy Shea graduated from the National College of Art with a Diploma in Painting and then spent
a year in London specializing in stage and costume desgin She has worked in most aspects of theatre design, from music
hall to repertory and for several years was a designer with R T E television.
She left television to return to theatre and worked in Newcastle, Guildford and Dundee before returning to Dublin In 1975
she joined the Abbey Theatre and for many years was head of the design department there before once more going free-
lance and working in a variety of contexts, most notably as the creator of the infamous O'Bnen character in The Sunday
Born in India in 1939, Maria Simmonds-Gooding studied at the National College of Art, Dublin, Le Centre de Peinture,
Bruxelles, and at the Academy of Art in Bath. Since 1947 she has lived in Co Kerry.
She has exhibited regularly in Ireland and abroad and has had one-woman shows in Taylor Galleries, Dublin, Crawford
Gallery, Cork Project Arts Centre, Dublin as well as in galleries in Mexico and New York She has been represented in the
Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1970 and 1979) and the 1980 touring show "The Delighted Eye'.
Maria Simmonds-Goodmg's work is to be found in the collections of the Arts Council, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the
National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and in the Hirshorn Museum in Washington D.C.
Since 1981 she has been a memer of Aosdána.