2020-2021

The Arts Department of Wexford County Council and Wexford Arts Centre are delighted to announce the successful applicants for the eighth year of the Living Arts Project.

The Arts Department of Wexford County Council in partnership with Wexford Arts Centre are delighted to announce this year’s successful artists and schools for this year’s Living Arts Project. The aim of the Living Arts Project is to provide children with an understanding and appreciation of contemporary visual art. Selected primary schools have the opportunity to host an artist in residence for nine weeks during the school year.

In April of this year, an open call took place for interested artists and schools to submit expressions of interest to participate in the project. The artists and schools selected are; artists Caoimhe Dunn and Aoife Banville with Bunscoil Rís Edmund Rice Senior School (New Ross); artists Deirdre Meehan-Buttimer and Nadia Corridan with St. Mary’s NS (Enniscorthy); artists Mary Claire Kehoe and Deirdre Travers with Scoil Naomh Maodhog; and artists Kate Murphy and Rachel Rothwell with St. Teresa’s NS (Gorey).

A mentorship programme runs alongside each residency and each artist nominates an independent artist or curator they feel is relevant to their professional practice. This mentorship helps to ensure the effectiveness of the project on an ongoing basis, while also providing a positive critique for the resident artist. In addition, the programme helps to refine methods of engaging with the students throughout each residency. The mentors involved in the 2020-21 project are Clodagh Emoe, Els Dietvorst, Sarah Lincoln, Eamonn Maxwell, Ann Mulrooney, Una Sealy, Louise Shine, and Dominic Thorpe.

All residencies begin this November and culminate in an exhibition from participating schools at Wexford Arts Centre in March/April 2021. Pupils participating in the project have the benefit of detailed guidance from the artist over the period of the residency and the opportunity to see their work exhibited in a gallery.


The Living Art Project is funded by the Arts Department of Wexford County Council, The Arts Council, Creative Ireland, and participating schools. The project is administered by Wexford Arts Centre.

For further information on the Living Arts Project please email catherine@wexfordartscentre.ie or alternatively you can visit www.livingartsproject.ie.

For more information on Wexford County Council’s full arts programme please visit www.wexfordcoco.ie/arts-and-culture or call 053 9196441/ email arts@wexfordcoco.ie.


Participating Schools

Deirdre Meehan-Buttimer spent 30 years working in financial services before beginning her formal visual arts training in Selskar College, Wexford. Following this, she returned to work intermittently, extending her 4 year honours degree timeframe, and graduated from IT Carlow Wexford School of Art & Design in 2016 with 1st Class Honours. Deirdre successfully transitioned from college and has built a strong participatory arts practice.

Amongst other projects, Deirdre was lead artist on the Living Arts Project last year in Donard National School. In 2019, she was also awarded a Creative Communities Award by Wexford County Council to undertake a project with Wexford Women’s Refuge exploring Coercive Control.

Deirdre’s practice is experimental in nature, driven by an intuitive and curious approach. Her processes are often indexical with a strong photographic/drawing element. She uses non-standard surfaces and everyday objects as ‘mark making’ tools with mixed media.

Nadia Corridan has a BA Honours from Limerick School of Art & Design. Based in Ballindaggin, County Wexford, she teaches children's art at the Presentation Centre, Enniscorthy. Her work can be seen in The Civic Theatre, Dublin; The Boathouse Gallery, Kinsale; The Gallery - Bell Heather and The Wilds Cafe, Enniscorthy and online her website and social media. In addition, her work is currently on view in the Ulster Museum, Belfast until January 2021.

The majority of Nadia's work is figurative with a particular focus on hands. She is repeatedly drawn to the intimate nature that hands can reveal as a subject matter, observing human interactions in both public and private moments. An unspoken dialogue.

The intent of her compositions is carefully considered. Pared back scenes of unknown figures purposely concealed and mostly free from landscape are frozen in cropped compositions. There is a sense of fragmented time occurring, and she aims for the empty canvas to say more than the paint application itself and to push against the traditional idea of a finished painting. It is the artist's intention for her work to probe, evoke and conjure up faded memoirs and gaps of uncertainty, allowing room for the viewer to fill in new narratives and reflect of ones own personal memories.

Mary Claire Kehoe is a professional printmaker currently based in Gorey, Co. Wexford. She obtained her MA in Printmaking from the University of the Arts London in 2007 and has been involved in arts education and facilitation since her return to Ireland in 2008. Having firstly taught in Youthreach and VTOS, she set up her own studio in 2013 running private classes and workshops in Gorey. Solo exhibitions have been held in Draoicht (2014), Ulster Hall Belfast (2015), Iontas Monaghan (2016) and Leixlip Library (2017). She was awarded an Artlinks Bursary Award in both 2014 and 2018, and this will be her fourth time to complete the Living Arts Project. She worked with Advocates for Autism with the Creative Communities Programme in 2018 and over the last year Mary Claire has facilitated workshops in Wexford Arts Centre, Rua Red Tallaght, and the Luan Gallery Athlone. She was also involved with the Creative Schools programme in Bunscoil Loreto Gorey, and a schools outreach programme in conjunction with the Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely. Upcoming projects include Creative Schools - Bunscoil Rís New Ross, Creative Ireland - the Irish Wheelchair Association Athlone and the Artist in Schools Programme- Roscommon.

Mary Claire's is based primarily on life experiences and memory; how they shape our character and evoke emotional creativity and responses. She is interested in narrative and the stories behind abstract imagery. Drawing on her own experience, these abstract concepts are always open to viewers’ personal interpretation but for the artist they represent constant self-development. Based on these personal investigations, she introduces rich colour and texture, and constantly experiments with mark-making. Due to the pandemic and the idea of the ‘staycation’, Mary Claire has focused on places of interest around Ireland that she has visited and connected to emotionally. Through her explorations with colour, she is questioning if these places evoke emotional creativity and responses within us.

Deirdre Travers is currently a resident in the Creative Hub, Wexford. She received her honours degree in Art & Design in 2018 from Carlow IT Wexford Campus School of Art & Design. Since graduation, she has developed her own practice while engaging in community-based workshops with Windmill Therapeutic Centre and the Cornmarket Centre. Deirdre was commissioned to create her first solo workshop in 2019 in association with the Collective Sensory Group, Westlands, Wexford. The project consisted of a series of workshops which encouraged the children to be in control of the creative process, culminating in an exhibition held in D’lush Café, Wexford Arts Centre.

Deirdre's work takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues, often referencing female trauma and the ideology around generational trauma.

The artist uses a multi-disciplinary approach, working with film, photography, sculpture and performance Through this range of mediums and by employing processes of repetition, a certain state of meditativeness is attained which creates a sense of ritual and balance. Through her installation works, she creates a tactile, immersive and personal experience for the viewer. The performance work can be confrontational which creates a sense of discomfort in the audience. Deirdre uses this discomfort as a way to create a moment of pause - a space where the viewer can connect to the work in a more personal and emotive way.

Deirdre's new body of work uses materials and processes which would traditionally be associated with what was called ‘women’s work’. However, she takes these crafts out of their traditional context to create a piece which explores issues of generational trauma.

Kate was born in Dublin but now lives and works in Co. Wexford. She graduated from the National College of Art & Design in 2000 with an honours degree in Fine Art, Sculpture. In 2006, 2007 and 2009, she had solo exhibitions with Stone Gallery, Dublin. Kate's fourth solo exhibition entitled The Good Room was in Wexford Arts Centre in 2011. Talbot Gallery in Dublin hosted This is the Point of Contact in October 2013.

Kate's work has been selected for national and international group exhibitions. She represented Ireland at Artisterium, Georgia's International Contemporary Art Exhibition in 2013 and was an invited artist at the Boyle Arts Festival 2014. She is among the artists representing Ireland in the Imago Mundi International Project.

In 2018, Kate exhibited at the Olivier Cornet Gallery, Dublin as part of the collaborative project Concerning the Other. During this year she took part in Wexford Arts Centre's exhibition of contemporary painting entitled And Creatures Dream... curated by Catherine Bowe and Helen Gaynor. Most recently in 2019, Kate's work was accepted into the RHA Annual Exhibition and Cairde Visual - the annual group exhibition at The Model Gallery, Sligo.

Kate will exhibit at BEEP Painting Biennial in Elyseum Gallery in Swansea, Wales in November 2020.

Kate was short-listed for the Golden Fleece Award in 2010 and was awarded the first prize Visual Arts Bursary by Wexford County Council in 2009. She was awarded an Artlinks bursary in 2017. Her work is in the collection of The Office of Public Works, the Bank of Ireland, Wicklow County Council and in private collections.

Kate also pursues a community/collaborative practice, undertaking varied projects within a community context under such programmes as Wexford County Council's Creative Communities Scheme. She worked for seven years on Wexford Arts Centre's Insight Education Programme during which time she also participated in the Living Arts Project 2014. In 2019 Kate completed the first artist's residency in Wexford General Hospital which was funded through Creative Ireland and Wexford County Council.

Born in Wexford, Rachel Rothwell studied ceramics at the Limerick School of Art and Design, graduating in 2012. In 2013, she spent 12 months in South Korea where she was an active member of both the Daejeon Arts Collective and the​ Professional Artist Network Korea (PANK)​, exhibiting regularly around the country. From 2015-2017, she lived and worked in Montreux, Switzerland where she was secretary and resident artist at the arts association ​Loft A46 ​before completing her MFA degree at the ​Haute École d’Art et de Design​ in Geneva in 2019. 

Her work focuses on the process of self-definition, exploring the external factors that influence us as we try to make sense of whom we are. She uses a variety of materials to create abstract drawings, presenting her observations without judgement. 

Social engagement and public interaction are a fundamental part of her practice. Examining the how’s and why’s of living together, she creates workshops and creative tools to support discussion and exchange. She has exhibited in several locations in Ireland, Switzerland, Finland and Germany as well as South Korea. 

 

Rachel's artwork examines how humans interact with their environment, exploring the internal and external factors that influence us as we try to make sense of who we are. Social and civic questions are key strands including the notions of community and shared space. These questions are important for citizens of all ages to consider as we move forward living on an increasingly crowded planet, with the environment an ever-more present concern as we try to understand how we can truly 'live together’. Rachel works in a variety of media, ranging from ceramics and illustration to book making, installation and storytelling workshops. 

Caoimhe Dunn is a freelance artist, model-maker, puppeteer, puppet maker, mask maker and youth arts facilitator. A Wexford based artist and an IADT graduate of both Fine Art and Model-Making, she her began her career in Street Arts & Spectacle with Buí Bolg as a puppet and prop maker, performer, and as their community and youth arts facilitator. Recent work includes facilitating the Street Spectacle Project 2019 and 2020 for Kerry Arts Office, creating costumes and props with schools and community groups for Tralee’s St Patrick’s Day parade and Killorglin’s Biddy’s Day Festival.

She has worked as a prop maker for the Wexford Festival Opera from 2014 to 2020 and has created masks for performance as well as exhibition. She has created pieces for several productions by Dublin Lyric Players as well as creating masks for the National Library's Yeats Exhibition.

Caoimhe has facilitated workshops, nationally and internationally, in a variety of areas related to Street Arts & Spectacle, such as carnival puppet making at NYCI'S Summer School in both 2011, 2013 & 2016, giant prop making for Seachange Arts, Great Yarmouth UK in 2012, and various workshops for local schools in Wexford and Waterford.

Aoife Banville is visual artist based in Wexford, and the main focus for her work is exploring light. From a background in photography to working on aerial sculptures and bespoke chandeliers, she is interested in the poetic emotions of light and the positive feelings that it can evoke. Specialising in site-specific installations, she explores the juxtaposition of objects in outdoor or historic settings. In her work, commonplace objects and materials are used in multiples and repeatedly to create immersive and sensory environments as she is primarily interested in calling attention to the aesthetics of light and space.

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