DRIFT ARTIST: John Flynn

As part of our ongoing, collaborative project #DRIFT, we are excited to launch our series of Artist Interviews with the creatives involved. We discuss practise, process and career advice.

We continue with John Flynn, a Cork based artist and designer. John is a Graduate of Crawford College of Art and Design, working on a variety of mediums such as hurleys, prints, paintings and stone. John discusses with us his methods and inspirations as well as the unique work he’s producing for DRIFT. 

 

Could you tell us about your background in the visual arts industry and how you developed your career?

I have a degree in Fine Arts from the Crawford College of Art and Design. I graduated in 2012 and from there on I based myself and my work in Cork City, with various solo/group exhibitions throughout the years.  

The networking, commissions and friendships while practicing my craft helped solidify Cork City as a base  for myself and a creative hub to allow my artistic career to develop.

Artist John Flynn in studio

How would you describe your artistic practice and process?

With my work I am always trying to tell a story to the viewer in some shape or form. A story through the visual, through colour and composition. I like to explore my own imagination and try not to limit myself in what I can do. I always want my work process to keep evolving in every aspect, from skills to styles, to look at every new avenue, to work with new artists and to broaden my range as far as possible so that I can understand what I really enjoy in my own artwork

 

Ink drawing Skellig Beag, 2019 © John Flynn

 

Could you tell us more about the artwork you are planning to exhibit as part of DRIFT?

The series I’m currently working on at the moment for DRIFT is titled ‘DRIFT’. Working with the title of the group exhibition itself ‘DRIFT’ suited perfectly what I wanted to illustrate. My own series, ‘DRIFT’, is features a series of digital drawings and paintings on slate of Irish marine wildlife, which we are at most risk of losing through extinction by our hands or as the title explains ‘they will drift away from us’. 

The digital drawings will feature a wide range of wildlife to show that all of theses animals common to us or not are all under shadow of humans when it comes to extinction. My chalk paintings on stone slate will be a performance piece depending on the public. 

The 5 paintings will be in the same style as the drawings but from the start of each hour they will be destroyed unless a member of the public would like to save them and if not the stone slate will be returned to the sea. Just a small way of showing how easily we are at risk of losing something. 

 

Chalk painting on Slate © John Flynn, DRIFT

 

What aspect of your career to date are you most proud of?

I consider the artwork that I do on hurley’s to be a significant achievement in my career. What started off a small idea has allowed me to work with hundreds of different people from all aspects of life. Sports clubs, come from these which makes it so special. Every hurley is unique, every hurley has a story, a meaning canvas is now one to them and the fact that people have my artwork in their homes in pride of place is quite a nice feeling.

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Ancient Ireland Hurley series © John Flynn

Could you share with us the best career advice you received?

I haven’t been given much career advice really, it has always been learning from my own mistakes in the art world. 

One of the best things that keeps me going is thinking about how my mum always had belief in my artwork from when I was small and if you can have the belief around you either from a family member, friend, partner or even just yourself its amazing how far you can go with it!

Chalk painting on Slate © John Flynn, DRIFT

You can see more of John’s work on his website and Instagram feed, and once we’re back-up and running you’ll see his beautiful images as part of our DRIFT exhibition on show at Sea Fest 2021. Stay tuned to our news feed for more interviews with our artists and industry friends.

Posted by Kate in Artist Interviews, Journal
DRIFT ARTIST: Jeanette Collins

DRIFT ARTIST: Jeanette Collins

As part of our ongoing, collaborative project #DRIFT, we are excited to continue our series of Artist Interviews with the creatives involved. We discuss practise, process and career advice.

We catch-up with Jeanette Collins, an Irish artist specialising in acrylic paint portraits. Jeanette tells us how she has constantly challenged herself, found her voice through her artwork and shares advice on building a strong professional network and why it’s crucial to a successful career in the arts.

“Working as an artist can be a solitary discipline, so you must be very proactive in connecting with like minded artists from all areas to help bounce ideas, educate yourself in the business of art, and find new ways to collaborate with amazing artist.” – Jeanette Collins

Tell us about your background in the visual arts industry and how you developed your career?

I studied Art until Leaving Cert level, and unfortunately my art took a back seat in my life up until 2015, when I decided to pick up the paintbrush again. I continued to work on my skills through self-taught methods and began to promote my work online. This led to a lot of positive feedback which eventually resulted in my first solo exhibition in 2016. 

Since then I have exhibited yearly, focused on refining my painting skills and finding my voice through my work whilst networking with Irish art groups and through online networking. I have established a strong following through my online social and founded a local art group holding group exhibitions with artists from different disciplines.



How would you describe your artistic style and process?

I work with acrylic mediums, and occasionally used mixed media, such as oil, inks and sprays. I work mainly on large canvasses and incorporate thought provoking images with a colourful abstract and contemporary style.

Could you tell us more about the artwork you are planning to exhibit as part of DRIFT?

The piece I will be exhibiting, will focus on my interpretation of our relationship with the sea. When approached by The Visual Loop, I was first challenged with the idea of adjusting my process of creating artwork to adapt a more sustainable application. This piece will be created by focusing on eliminating as much waste as possible in the process and incorporating recycled materials.

What aspect of your career to date are you most proud of?

I was recently awarded a significant grant from Cork City Council as part of the 1920 centenary commemoration in Ireland. I presented a contemporary portrait of a key figures in Irish History to the Lord Mayor and Mayoress of Cork City. The piece is currently in residency in the cultural site of St Peters with a view to move this piece permanently to the US.

Could you share with us the best career advice you received?

Network. Network. Network. This has been the most beneficial advice I have received in recent years. Working as an artist can be a solitary discipline, so you must be very proactive in connecting with like minded artists from all areas to help bounce ideas, educate yourself in the business of art, and find new ways to collaborate with amazing artist.

You can see more of Jeanette’s work on her Instagram feed, and once we’re back-up and running you’ll see his beautiful images as part of our DRIFT exhibition on show at Sea Fest 2021

To coincide with the interviews, each artist will be in residency on our Instagram bringing us behind the scenes of their practise and process. 

Stay tuned to our Journal for more interviews with our artists and industry friends.

Posted by Kate in Artist Interviews, Journal, 0 comments
DRIFT ARTIST: Sarah O’Neill

DRIFT ARTIST: Sarah O’Neill

As part of our ongoing, collaborative project #DRIFT, we are excited to launch our series of Artist Interviews with the creatives involved. We discuss practise, process and career advice.

We kick-off with Sarah O’Neill, a designer working within the sustainability and zero-waste movement. Sarah tells us how she uses anthotype print process, experimenting with different plant materials – such as red cabbage, algae, onion skins and nettles – which she then applies to organic textiles to make her one-off pieces…

“Ultimately nothing can stack up to simply not making and consuming clothes, you can only be responsible 

and conscious in your approach and that ethos really resonated with me to challenge my approach to my

 designs. Going forward I don’t want my brand to be completely focused on sustainability, for me It is more

 about making innovative designs and having a personal responsibility to design and produce them 

in the best way possible.” – Sarah O’Neill

Could you tell us about your background in the design industry and how you developed your practise?

I’m a Cork based ethical fashion designer, creative director and most importantly, I’m an activist in the ethical fashion revolution. Throughout my education I gravitated more and more towards ethical fashion, and now specialise in sustainability and zero waste through my process and practise. I’ve always had a strong environmental awareness which initially sparked my interest in sustainable fashion.

My focus was then nurtured from my internship in London with ethical brand Faustine Steinmetz while assisting them on their collections for both London and Paris Fashion WeeksIt was there that I realised we can drive this necessary change in the industry on a global scale. Faustine has always rallied against the fashion industry’s reliance on mass-production; their pieces are unique in their production, they spin, weave and dye the fabrics in their studio, using ethically sourced cotton and recycled denim.

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How would you describe your design style and process?

I adapted my practise and approach to sustainability through traditional pattern cutting combined with zero waste pattern cutting along with stand work to create asymmetrical silhouettes. I believe the most sustainable approach is to reclaim and repurpose garments and textiles, working with pieces that have the lowest carbon footprint. I invest in vintage and second-hand clothes to circulate the life cycle of the garment in order to reduce the waste sent to landfill and with the intention to circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible. I incorporate a lot of drape in my designs to try and reduce as much fabric waste in my patterns, using mainly reclaimed clothes for fabric and organic materials such as bamboo and cotton. All my fabrics used are natural fibres and repurposed fabrics.

I am always evolving my anthotype print process, experimenting with different types of plant materials such as red cabbage, algae, onion skins and nettles. Along with different  natural toners and mordants. I believe the most sustainable approach is to reclaim and repurpose garments and textiles, working with pieces that have the lowest carbon footprint. I believe we should be investing in vintage and second-hand stores in order to reduce the waste sent to landfills. For me as a designer It is important that my approach is to make sure I have really considered choices around the way the materials are made and used, where that item is made and what happens to it afterwards so it is fully recycled and recyclable.

 

 


What aspect of your career to date are you most proud of?

My Degree Portfolio was chosen to be showcased in Graduate Fashion Week in London last year alongside a select few graduates that represented their universities across the UK and Ireland. 

This opportunity gave me great confidence in my ability and creative identity, as well as a lot of exposure. In addition to academic institutions, Graduate Fashion Week pulls together industry names, influential people in the industry and the media, so the exposure I got from this was priceless


Could you tell us more about the artwork you are planning to exhibit as part of DRIFT?

It is a Textile installation piece using anthotype print methods on reclaimed fabric and reclaimed fishing wire. Using Algae as my photosensitive plant material to dye my fabric. It will consist of a series of images of the Atlantic ocean, using my anthotype process to print straight onto the fabric. The piece is in relation to “the war on plastic”, the concern about the detrimental environmental effects of discarded plastic

Each printed piece of fabric will be suspended on rows of fishing wire, representing a piece of plastic drifting in water for eternity. An image we have become a accustomed to as more and more of our rivers, lakes, seas and oceans are becoming ingulfed with the overabundance of garbage and the indestructible non-degradable material that is plastic-petroleum. My intention with this piece is to stimulate conversation and thought around how we can solve this crisis.


Could you share with us the best career advice you received?

The best piece of advice I received was from Faustine Steinmetz when I was interning with her in 2018.  She said –

“Nothing is sustainable. You can only be responsible, really.”

That advice has really resonated with me over the past few years and has made me really focus on delving deeper into my process and really trying to explore the best methods that make the least environmental impact .There is no such thing as “sustainable fashion” it’s an oxymoron. It is now impossible to ignore the connection between human behaviour and the environmental crisis, and unfortunately the apparel industry is a huge contributor to this devastation. I’m making a conscious effort to reverse this trend so that future generations do not inherit an irreversible disaster. As a designer I understand that I am inherently part of the problem, but I can design and create with the environment’s best interest before my own.

You can see more of Sarah’s work on her Instagram feed, and once we’re back-up and running you’ll see his beautiful images as part of our DRIFT exhibition on show at Sea Fest 2021. 

To coincide with the interviews, each artist will be in residency on our Instagram bringing us behind the scenes of their practise and process. 

Stay tuned to our Journal for more interviews with our artists and industry friends.

Posted by Kate in Artist Interviews, Journal, 0 comments
ECO ART: Sustainable Processes & Practises for Visual Artists

ECO ART: Sustainable Processes & Practises for Visual Artists

Join us for an evening of talks and idea sharing on making processes & practise more eco-efficient for visual artists inc. panel talk, q&a + networking.

From photography to painting, sculpture to printing, we’ll look at a variety of environmental issues facing visual artists in their practise today.

During this event we will be sharing advice and insight on how industries and suppliers could adapt to support artists and instigate change for a better environment. Our panel will discuss the methods that could be implemented to make processes and practise more eco-efficient. We’ll also invite questions and idea sharing from the audience before wrapping-up with a mixer, giving everyone a chance to chat and connect with some like-minded folk.

  • Jeanette Collins Contemporary Artist
  • John Flynn Artist and Illustrator
  • Claire Byrne Green Party Councillor for Dublin South East Inner City, Spokesperson for Heritage, Culture and the Arts
  • Kate O’Neill Founder The Visual Loop + Photography Practitioner

Join us Thursday 12th March at Gallery of Photography from 6.30pm for this evening of talks, ideas and networking.

Spaces free but limited so booking is essential – REGISTER HERE!

Posted by Kate in Journal