Friday, October 17, 2008

Express Yourself #1: Kieran Herlihy

Welcome to a new feature of the blog – ‘Express Yourself’. I will sporadically get various artists, music makers, etc to explain a little bit about themselves, their work, their plans and hopes, and all that jazz.

First up to the chopping block is Kieran Herlihy, who kindly obliged to tell me a little bit more about his work. I blogged about Kieran’s work quite recently here, looking at his new exhibition ‘A Full Stop’, which runs at Limerick Printmakers until Thursday, October 23. Kieran received the 2007/08 Bursary Award from the Printmakers. Do check out this show.


“I have a younger brother and when we were trapped indoors on a wet Saturday (and had no real interest in Sports Saturday), very young and unsupervised in the sitting room, I took a crayon to the wall and took on the curtains. My cousin Tim introduced me to comics and in my early teens I was given the freedom to draw and paint on my bedroom walls; from there it went to walls outside. At school, I leaned towards the creative rather than academic subjects and if I didn’t like a class, I’d draw on the tables or t-squares for friends. So art was a habit by that stage.”


“Art College happened because I had no interest in anything else when I finished school. I think when I was in school and all I did was draw, I thought if I get the opportunity to go to college, I'll go do what I love. L.S.A.D. was the best decision of my life so far. In that college I had my mind opened; I felt engaged in all subjects. It was there that I made my best friends and had so much support from the Tutors and Lecturers. L.S.A.D. was hard work and great fun. I will look back on my time there with fond memories.”


“Every year the Limerick Printmakers offers a one year bursary to one graduate from the print department in L.S.A.D. Also that artist is given a show at the end of their year. I was very fortunate that the Printmakers selected me, I learned a lot more this year, and they are so encouraging. Also Joe Buckley has been an amazing source of support, so I’d like to give him a mention. The Bursary award was the best way to make that transition from Art student to Artist. The fact that when I left the college I had such amazing facilities and resources at hand has made a difficult transition period a great deal easier.”


"A Full Stop" is a contradictory title for my show. Most exhibitions are placed in situe, the show has an opening and then for the duration of the exhibition viewers can come view the work; the artist is seldom there and the layout of the work never changes.

With "A.F.S." the opening night was the first night of an ongoing installation. Everyday I add work, move work around, talk to the viewer making them a participant in the art, and interact with the space, the people and the materials.

I try to encourage an open dialogue between other viewers and myself. I also play with imagery, cryptic phrasing and the gallery space itself. I want the work to be accessible, engaging and playful. It’s a very organic show, always changing, and viewers come back every few days and find new things, and we always end up in different discussions on various subjects.

The work in this show was created within the last twelve months; a lot is being made in situe. I constantly make work and collect materials.”


“The reactions are as varied as the people who are coming to see the installation. Some people need a little coaxing to talk, and some don’t want to talk, while some just go straight ahead. The thing I have learned from this show is to recognise who is who, how to approach them and how to get the most from people. It’s tricky but its a learning curve.”

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