HOMEGROUND Open Call - Fingal Arts Office & Draíocht

August 10, 2020

Art, People, Place, Identity
Research and Development Mentoring Awards (2020-2021)

Fingal Arts Office, in collaboration with Draíocht, is delighted to announce an Open Call for HOMEGROUND: Art, People, Place, Identity, five new Research and Development (with mentoring) Awards for artists working in socially engaged and collaborative practice and/or artists working with children and young people.   

The call is open to artists from all disciplines across the visual and performing arts.    

The artists will demonstrably be either:
(a) currently involved in socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for  children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county 
(b) have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county .

The Award will support the research and development of a pertinent project with attendant mentoring support.  The Award does not cover the realisation of a project at this point.  In undertaking the researching and development of a project at this point, its realisation may however be envisaged for a gallery, theatre or site-specific space  in Dublin 15/Fingal.  Subject to resources, Fingal Art Office and/or Draíocht may consider future support for the realisation of one or more of the projects developed through a HOMEGROUND Award.

There are five Research and Development Awards (with mentoring). One award of which will be available specifically for an artist from a minority ethnic or migrant background.

The timeframe of the HOMEGROUND Award is November 2020 - April  2021.   

1. A six month mentoring research and development period to support the development of the artist in researching a project of mutual interest to the artist and to Fingal Arts Office/Draíocht.
2. A fee to the artist of  €2000 with an additional €500 to a mentor
3. A monthly meeting for peer networking and sharing/learning opportunities. Meeting to be convened by Draíocht there or on Zoom (tbc) and will include presentations on themes of interest and relevance to the artists by key experts.  Dates: 11 November; 09 December; 13 January; 10 February; 10 March; 14 April.

Artists applying will:

-have a proven track record of work in their chosen field of socially engaged/collaborative practice and/or with children and young people

-be currently involved  in a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with  children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county 


-currently have the idea, the capacity and the existing relationships to initiate a socially engaged, collaborative project or a project with/for children and young people in Dublin 15 or the wider Fingal county

-provide an outline project plan that they wish to  develop and that could be or is located in Dublin 15 context or the wider Fingal county in a gallery, or theatre or site specific context

-provide a statement of benefit (max 1 page) as to:
(a) how you as an artist would benefit at this time from this  opportunity in this context
(b) how your proposal would benefit the Fingal / Draíocht context

- provide an up-to-date CV (max 2 pages)

- provide 10 images (max) in jpeg format (max file size 3MB) and/or three links to projects

-identify the key qualities they seek in a mentor at this time in the context of HOMEGROUND and also identify their own needs for support and guidance required of a mentor at this time in the context of HOMEGROUND.  Note: Mentors can be based locally, nationally or internationally and mentoring sessions can be conducted face-to-face or through Zoom/others platforms.  It is important that the mentor be experienced as a mentor and also  have a high level of experience in your artform/art practice area. You are not required  to identify a mentor for this application but if shortlisted this will be an important point for consideration.   Through an organic process of  discussion   Fingal art office arts officers / Draíocht's Director and resident curator  together with the artist  will work to identify a suitable mentor.  You will be asked to  address this on the HOMEGROUND Application Form.

-be available to engage fully in all elements of HOMEGROUND over the time frame November 2020-April 2021.  A Memo of Understanding (MOU) will be agreed with all artists in receipt of an award. Participation in the following will be central to the MOU : An orientation session (half-day) in November  and thereafter 6 monthly (half-day) meetings (until April) at Draíocht/Zoom (dates indicated above); regular meetings with mentor as agreed between artist and mentor and Fingal Draíocht; a comprehensive written review of the experience and a plan for the future.

Summary of requirements
-CV (max 2 pages)
-Outline project plan (max 1 page)
-A statement of benefit: a) how you as an artist would benefit at this time from this  opportunity in this context; b) how your proposal is of benefit to the Fingal / Draíocht context (max 1 page).
-Max 10 images jpeg format max file size 3MB and/or three links to projects.
Please submit as one single PDF

Closing date for applications:  5pm Friday 18 September 2020
Selection of shortlist:  24 September 2020
Zoom interviews for shortlisted artists:  28 September 2020
Selected artists notified by:   02 October 2020 

Selection will be made by a panel of members from Fingal Arts Office and Draíocht. The panel’s decision will be final and no correspondence or other engagement will be entered into in respect of its decisions.

Please submit application by email to: HomeGroundMentoring@gmail.com 
Deadline: 5pm Friday 18 September 2020.



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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts, Youth Arts,

Making Art Printing Online Gallery - Graphic Studio Dublin

July 16, 2020

Works from the Graphic Studio - Members from Fingal is an exhibition which marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Graphic Studio and features members from Fingal who work across a range of process including etching, woodcut/lino, screen print and lithography. Artists include: Susan Early, Mary Grey, Julie Ann Haines, Michele Hetherington, Ernada Husic, Siobhan Hyde, Desmond Kenny, Michael Killen, Jennifer Lane, Pamela Leonard, Ned McLoughlin, Sorca O'Farrell and Una Sealy. The exhibition will also feature work by master printmakers, Niamh Flanagan and Robert Russell.

If you are interested in supporting their work by purchasing a print, framed or unframed, please email nicola@draiocht.ie and we can take your card payment by phone and organise swift payment, in turn, to our artists.
A 25% non-refundable deposit will secure the work for you. Full payment means we can pay the artist concerned swiftly.
Delivery will be dependent on when artists can gain access to studios/printers/framers.

Draíocht’s Galleries are normally open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm
Visitor capacity has been reduced to allow for social distancing.
Please read our Current Guidelines HERE


Susan Early
Susan Early is an Architect & Printmaker. She became a member of Graphic Studio Dublin in 2012 where she now works as Studio Administrator. She makes etchings in drypoint and aquatint and has exhibited nationally and in Europe, Canada and the USA. Her work features in private and public collections including Fingal County Council, University of Limerick, Office of Public Works and National Botanic Gardens. Susan’s printmaking is informed by drawings and photographs of familiar elements in Irish landscapes. Structures, buildings and the landscape topography, studied against context, are explored. The built and natural environment defined by the sea is of particular interest and includes studies of ships, lighthouses and other built landmarks.  
Susan Early - Lighthouse at Baily / Edition: 50
Medium: Etching & Aquatint / Size: 24 x 18 cm
Price: €360 framed; €280 unframed 
Framed size: 46 x 38cm
Purchase price for 2:  €340 each framed

Susan Early - Lighthouse at Howth / Edition: 50
Medium: Etching & Aquatint / Size: 24 x 18 cm
Price: €360 framed; €280 unframed 
Framed size: 46 x 38cm
Purchase price for 2:  €340 each​ framed


Niamh Flanagan

Niamh Flanagan graduated from Fine Art Print at the National College of Art and Design. She became a member of Graphic Studio Dublin in 2004, where she now also works as Projects Manager and Master Printer. She has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and her work is in the collections of the Office of Public Works, The Law Society of Ireland, the Chester Beatty Library, the British Library and the National Gallery of Ireland.  Niamh Flanagan’s work explores the search for utopias within our world, and the restless desire to be somewhere else. She uses visual elements of the landscapes around her; both urban and rural, internal and external, to describe this search for something that is perhaps unattainable. The prints depict a world of abstracted landscapes and cityscapes telling fragments of stories, showing the unseen, the hidden and the unreal as they lurk beneath turbulent skies. The world spins, the seasons change, they change back again; and we dream and spin and dream again. 
Niamh Flanagan - the lost villages / Edition: 30
Medium: Etching / Size: 26 x 26 cm 
Price: €360 framed; €275 unframed  

Niamh Flanagan - jumping haybales / Edition: 30
Medium: Etching / Size: 26 x 26 cm 
Price: €360 framed; €275 unframed  

Mary Grey

Mary Grey took up printmaking when she retired from teaching in 2005. She attended classes in Graphic Studio Dublin and was accepted as a member in 2009.  Since then she has made prints using various methods of printmaking - etching, linocut, woodblock, photointaglio, screenprint, carborundum, lithography and letterpress -  liking the variety, and continues to learn through weekend classes in the Studio. She exhibits in the Summer and Winter exhibitions in the Gallery, and in exhibitions, organised by the Studio and Gallery, in venues throughout the country.  Her inspiration comes from Nature and her surroundings. 

Mary Grey - Magnolia / Edition: 15
Medium: Linoprint / Size: 21 x 15 cm 
​Price: €200 framed, €140 unframed

Mary Grey - Morning Dew / Edition: 6
Medium: Photo Intaglio / Size: 20 x 27 cm 
Price: €180 framed, €110 unframed 


Julie Ann Haines
Julie Ann was born in Belfast and studied Fine Art Painting at Manchester and Norwich Schools of Art. She discovered Fine Art Print after moving to Dublin and colour etchings and monotypes now comprise her main body of work. Her images depict intimate studies of the urban landscape around North Dublin where she lives and concentrate on isolated structures that convey a quiet contemplative stillness. Her carefully balanced compositions are usually small in scale and a recent departure into larger work - as seen in the pieces in this show has allowed her to develop a more painterly approach with the mark making in her etching process. Julie Ann’s work is in many private collections as well as the National Gallery of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Library, University of Limerick, Fingal and Meath County Councils. 

Julie Ann Haines - Strand Rd / Edition: 50
Medium: Etching aquatint / Size: 50 x 70 cm 
Price: €680 framed; €545 unframed 

Julie Ann Haines - 782 Howth Road / Edition: 50
Medium: Etching aquatint / Size: 46 x 82 cm 
Price: €680 framed; €545 unframed 


Michele Hetherington

Michele Hetherington is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Dublin. Her practice emerges from a conceptual and poetical curiosity surrounding ideas of Time, Place and the Self. Michele holds a Masters Degree in Fine Art and an undergraduate degree in Printmaking from NCAD, Dublin. In 2018, she was awarded the Fingal Arts Council Graduate Award and subsequently held her first solo show, ‘Talk Softly’. Exhibiting nationally and internationally, her work is a part of both private and public collections. Michele became a member of Graphic Studio in 2019. 

Michele Hetherington - Polaroid Series: Horizon #1
Edition: 15 / Medium: Etching  / Size: 10 x 10cm 
Price: €300 framed, €225 unframed 

Michele Hetherington - Polaroid Series: Sunset 17:42
Edition: 15 / Medium: Etching / Size: 10 x 11cm 
Price: €300 framed, €225 unframed 


Ernada Husic

Ernada Husic is a Dublin based artist. She is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) where she studied Fine Art specialising in Fine Print. Since graduating in 2016, she has exhibited in exhibitions nationally. Her work is represented in both public and private collections including, the Office of Public Works, St. Patricks University Hospital Dublin and was also chosen as the feature image for Optic Screen Magazine Cover. In 2017 Ernada became a member of Graphic Studio Dublin. Since joining Graphic Studio, she has exhibited in  multiple Graphic Studio Gallery exhibitions including the 2018 and 2019 Summer exhibition and the recent 2019 MÓR show. She works mainly in multi-layered screenprint. 

Ernada Husic - Violet / Edition: tbc
Medium: Screenprint / Size: 76 x 50 cm
Price: €535 framed; €450 unframed 


Siobhan Hyde

Siobhan Hyde is an excellent and proficient printmaker and has worked in the field of print making for over twenty five years, joining Graphic Studio Dublin in 1990. Her most recent body of work started with the idea of creating a series of prints in memory of her Mother as a dressmaker, subsequently a visit to see Jim Dines 'Tools' in New York influenced a broader appreciation of objects as beautiful and worthy of representation. This suite of screen prints mainly still lives, incorporate homemaking, soul searching and remembering the delight of the simple pleasures in life. 


Siobhan Hyde - Sticks and Stones / Edition: Unique print
Medium: Screenprint / Size: 10 x 24cm  
Price: €130 framed  

Desmond Kenny

Desmond Kenny is an interdisciplinary artist who works in paint, sculpture and print. He joined Graphic Studio Dublin in 2005, where his focus is on screen-printing, creating multi-layered, unique one-off works that combine watercolour, acrylic and mixed media.  Since he began making art in 1986 he has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad, solo shows include Draíocht in 2001, The Lab in 2006 and Pallas Contemporary Projects in 2008, Draoicht Arts Centre, Dublin 2011, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan.  Recent group shows include Ink Miami Art Fair, 2018, Model Sligo, 2019. His work is included in many collections including the Office of Public Works, SIPTU, and Fingal County Council. 

Desmond Kenny - Untitled / Unique print
Medium: Multi-media screenprint / Size: 91 x 102 cm  
Price: €650 framed 
Desmond Kenny - Untitled / Unique print
Medium: Multi-media screenprint / Size: 91 x 102 cm 
Price: €650 framed 


Michael Killen

Born in Dublin, Michael studied in Dunlaoghaire School of Art majoring in Sculpture and Fine Art. He then received a scholarship from the Italian Government to study in the Academy of Fine Art in Florence in the school of Antonio Berti. On completing his time in the Academy, he moved to Pietrasanta in the Carrara marble area just north of Pisa where he worked under the direction of a family of stone sculptors. On his return to Ireland he assisted the German sculptor Imogen Stuart in a series of her larger commissions and then established his own studio in Malahide, County Dublin working in bronze and timber. He has executed public and private commissions for bodies such as Fingal County Council, Arts Care Northern Ireland, The Royal Hospital Donnybrook, E-Tec Power Management Europe amongst many others. He has exhibited in the Jorgensen Fine Art Gallery (Dublin), The Royal Ulster Academy (Belfast), The Graphic Studio Gallery (Dublin) and in the Irish Embassy in Berlin (Germany). While working as a sculptor he pursued his interest in print and was awarded a residency by Fingal County Council to study under the direction of Robert Russell in the Graphic Studio in 2015. Michael became a member of the Graphic Studio in 2017.

Michael Killen - Caught in a Wave / Edition: Unique print
Medium: Etching & Aquatint / Size: 30 x 20 cm 
Price: €390 framed 


Jennifer Lane

Born in Dublin, Jennifer Lane studied at the Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design in the early 1970s. Shortly afterwards she joined the Graphic Studio Dublin and worked initially in lithography and later in woodblock printing, a speciality since. Her first solo exhibition was held in the Abbey Theatre in 1978; since then she has exhibited in the 1984 Bradford International Print Biennale; the 1993 Print Biennale in Ljubljana, as one of five artists representing Ireland; international group exhibitions in Milwaukee, Beijing, Singapore and Yokohama, Brussels and Paris; a solo exhibition in Graphic Studio Gallery in 2001. Her work has often been shown at the R.H.A., including 2006. More recent exhibitions appearances occurred in 2009, 2012, and 2015 and 2016. Woodcuts by Jennifer Lane figure in many large collections, including those of the Office of Public Works, the Irish Management Institute, the Bank of Ireland, the Jurys Hotels group as well as other private, State and corporate collections. In February 2020 her images featured in an exhibition of Irish art in the Irish Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. 

Jennifer Lane - Silver Bream / Edition: 10
Medium: Woodblock print  / Size: 56 x 38 cm
Price: €380 framed, €310 unframed 

Jennifer Lane - Pine cones / Edition: 5
Medium: Woodblock print  / Size: 58 x 57 cm
Price: €350 framed, €280 unframed 

Pamela Leonard

Pamela Leonard spent 6 years studying in The National College of Art. She won an NCAD scholarship in painting and taught art for 20 years. She has also designed stamps and books and won awards for these. She has worked at etching for the last 33 years and joined Graphic Studio Dublin in 1986. Pamela has exhibited in the RHA for 43 years along with other major exhibitions. Her etchings are in collections in Amsterdam, P&O liners and other public buildings. 

Pamela Leonard - A Quiet Place / Edition: 30
Medium: Etching / Size: 20 x 18cm
Price: €275 framed, €195 unframed 

Ned McLoughlin

Ned McLoughlin studied painting in the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and has exhibited in Ireland and abroad. He has worked in film and tv as a production designer and art director and in theatre as a set designer and scene painter.  Recently he has been exploring narrative in large paintings under the provisional title ‘Bog People and Other Works’. He joined the Graphic Studio in Autumn 2017. 

Ned McLoughlin - Bon Bon Baile Dubh / Variable Edition: 33
Medium: Screenprint / Size: 40 x 69 cm 
Price: €545 framed; €455 unframed 

Sorca O’Farrell

Sorca O’Farrell is a landscape artist from Howth, Co .Dublin. She is a graduate of NCAD, Fine Art Print-Making. Her work has been exhibited in The National Gallery of Ireland, The RHA, RUA, and various group and solo shows. Her work is included in many public and private collections, and she was delighted to receive the Graphic Studio/Fingal County Council Residency Award 2019. 

Sorca O’Farrell - Ghost Forest / / Edition: 10
Medium: Etching / Size: 38 cm x 30 cm
Price: €400 framed. 


Robert Russell

Robert Russell attended IADT Dun Laoghaire from 1979. He specialised in sculpture but also worked in painting and print. Robert has focused on printmaking since joining Graphic Studio Dublin in 1988 and is Studio Director and Master Printer there since 2007. His work is in the collections of The National Gallery of Ireland, The Chester Beatty Library and The British Library. He was awarded a prize for painting in the Taylor Art Competition in 1980, and received the Alfred Beit Award and the Norah McGuinness Award in 1993. 

Robert Russell - No Parking / Edition: 50
Medum: Etching / Size: 74 x 49 cm 
Price: €595 framed; €480 unframed 


Una Sealy

Painter Una Sealy was the recipient of the Fingal Arts funded residency at Graphic Studio 2017/18, where she made this piece. She is a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy, where she is also a tutor in painting and drawing at RHA School. She has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad, and is the winner of numerous awards.  She is currently undertaking a Masters of Science in Anatomy for Artists at RCSI. 

Una Sealy - Refuge / Edition: 20
Medium: Etching / Size: 38 x 38 cm
Price: €485 framed, €400 unframed 



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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts,

Susan Buttner - Kitchen Studio

June 26, 2020

Artist Susan Buttner started her residency in early March 2020, just before the Covid-19 lockdown, and continued to work from home. Susan returns to Draíocht's Artist Studio on 30th June and will stay until the end of the year. She writes for us about her experience of working from home. 


Susan Buttner - Working at my kitchen table:
Within the covid19 lockdown parameters, with no access to my studio, I began working from my kitchen, with my family and dog around, clothes dryng and meals being cooked. I began exploring materials, reseacrhing ideas that are playful, vulnerable and disquieting. Through sculpture and painting, I attempted to create a dialogue between the exposition of things to hand,  (square cut oak, metal stands, radiator, cloths line wire, drawer liner, foam, ankle tape, birch plywood, acrylic paint, rubber fabric, spray paint, polyurethane foam, cardboard, bristle head, metal ruler, fur) engaging exploratory, improvised methodology as the antithesis of convention, and social dogma, using experimental methods to provide an alternate language for discovering and articulating bodily experiences of the imposed lockdown of covid19. The video records the process, combining static elements, pointing to their potential metamorphosis through bodily sensorial experiences. 

This project was made with support from Arts Council Ireland.

I am delighted that one of the sculptures from this series ‘dialogues I sculpt, eventually static, this thing a sort of self’ (homeschooling) was one of the Highly-Commended recipients for the Inaugural Janet Mullarney Prize at Highlanes Gallery.


Susan Buttner
dialogues I sculpt, eventually static, this thing a sort of self
video, 2020

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts,

TU Dublin’s Sarah Mooney Wins Draíocht’s Creative Digital Media Graduate Award 2019

May 27, 2019

Sarah Mooney by Andres Poveda Photography

We are delighted to announce Sarah Mooney as the winner of Draíocht’s Creative Digital Media Graduate Award 2019 in association with TU Dublin Creative Digital Media Blanchardstown Campus ... Sarah's piece 'Serenity' is an installation that will help raise awareness of mental health in club culture by exploring the state of mind through an immersive, mixed media, audio-visual experience. Congrats to all students who applied.

The Creative Digital Media Graduate Award 2019 was open to this year’s graduating students from the Creative Digital Media Degree Programme and was selected by Draíocht’s Director Emer McGowan and Curator Sharon Murphy. The Award is offered as part of Draíocht’s INCUBATE programme, which supports young and emerging artists. This includes on-going series of studio-based residencies at Draíocht and opportunities to exhibit new work as part of Draíocht’s annual summer exhibition, PLATFORM.

The award includes:
- a six-week residency in Draíocht artist’s studio in summer 2019
- a solo exhibition in Draíocht first floor gallery as part of PLATFORM 2020

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By Draíocht. Tags: Visual Arts,

Artist Interview: Anna Hryniewicz

May 14, 2019

Anna Hryniewicz - Studio Incubation Award
04 MAR – 20 APR 2019

"When I was 3 or 4 years old, my parents were in the kitchen, so I covered the furniture and walls in our living room with doodles. I had paper, but I needed something bigger ... "

Anna Hryniewicz is a Polish artist now living in Baldoyle. Her painting explores abstraction, form and colour and is strongly influenced by memories of childhood drawn from the natural world. Three recent series of works called 'Inner Child’s Play'; 'Parallel Worlds'; and 'Habitable Planets', all derive from childhood memories.

I remember my father told me that I should paint how I feel about the natural world rather than how I see it. So I started doing abstract landscapes where I could see the aura and atmosphere of my memory.

Anna is the recipient of the Draíocht Incubate Open Call for artists whose work is concerned with childhood. Her studio residency runs in tandem with MAKing Art: PAINTing (14 Mar – 18 May Ground Floor and First Floor Galleries) which focuses on contemporary painting and is especially aimed at children and young people. During her residency, Anna will initiate another in her ongoing series.

Anna graduated from Institute of Art Education in University of Czestochowa, Poland, where in 2004 she received Masters of Fine Arts in Painting and Teaching Art with distinction. She also holds a professional diploma in Piano Performance from Royal Irish Academy of Music. In 2015/2016 she was shortlisted for the Winner Prize Award in RUA RED Winter Open Show in Dublin, and her works can be found in private collections in Ireland, the UK, Poland, USA, as well as in OPW state collection in Ireland. Since 2000 Anna was an author of numerous solo and group exhibitions, as well as part of curated shows in Ireland and Poland. In 2018 she was an Artist in Residence in Cill Rialaig Artist Retreat;  since 2018 she is a member of Visual Artists Ireland.

Draíocht’s Marketing Department caught up with Anna to find out more about her and her work!

Q: Tell us a little about yourself, your background, where you’re from? How long have you been an artist and why choose an arty profession over a more conventional career?

My name is Anna Hryniewicz and I create abstract paintings.
I always wanted to be an artist. I can’t imagine doing anything else. At first, I started playing piano when I was 5 years old. I was in a musical boarding school. But as a child, I was also interested in all art-related activities. Mostly drawing, collaging and painting, as it was accessible for me at home and school. I was sketching a lot in my copybooks, diaries, journals … constantly collaging pieces of colourful magazines. My father always gave me tons of paper, glue and colouring pencils. But most of my time, a few hours a day after school, I practiced piano and music subjects.

I studied classical piano up until I was in my early twenties and graduated with a repertoire that I could perform. For a while I continued on with my piano studies but I wasn’t entirely happy. I struggled because I had small hands. This physical limitation kept me trying to reach for chords too big for me. I loved music, but I had always had a love affair with Fine Arts. So, at that point of my life, I decided to prepare a portfolio for Art College. During that time I did a Graphic Design course and I worked in a multimedia company doing 3D animation. That helped me a lot to support myself financially and prepare my art portfolio, attending courses etc, but I knew being a graphic designer, constantly looking at the computer screen was not something I was happy with. Instead of being creative, to me it was more about fulfilling clients’ needs. My work had to please them, not me; I didn’t feel good about that. I worked hard on my portfolio … and … I did it! But at first I was not taken seriously in Art Academy, which was painful. It just looked strange to them - someone like me, educated in music with a distinction, after 17 years of practicing piano, suddenly wanting to be a fine artist? I tried again and again. Eventually, I studied Art Education and Painting in Częstochowa University for 5 years. I felt as if I had started flying, it was so liberating. I could finally explore and I knew it was the right moment in my life to thrive. I completed my MA in Art Education and Painting with distinction. Later, after my family moved to Dublin, I came back to my beloved piano and I gained a Diploma from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, in Piano Performance.

Q: When you were small, what did you want to be when you grew up? Were there any clues in your childhood that you would follow an artistic path later?

I didn't feel particularly interested in working with numbers, or in an office. I felt there was something I wanted to express. I simply felt good in art.

As a child I enjoyed performing for others. When we had guests in our house, I would always sing, dance, show my drawings. I did things like that all the time. I would use every opportunity to express myself. I even remember when I was 3, I ran up onto the altar in the church during the sermon and started showing off my dance. I was quite shy among my peers though. Verbal communication was difficult for me. But when I drew portraits, faces, trees, animals, I immediately drew their attention. I think they remember me doing this constantly in my classes in school.

My Dad was always very encouraging, always gave me art supplies. He had a great sense of art and he played piano really well. Also my aunt and older brother were artsy and musical. So I had a good example to follow I guess. When I was little, my Dad brought me to the National Museum for an exhibition of Impressionists. I was enchanted by their paintings. I remember touches of thick paint, and this luminosity, and heavenly, celestial light. I even though the work was literally painted WITH light, not with paint.

Anna Hryniewicz, Parallel world 29052017, 80x80cm, acrylic on canvas 2017

Q: Perhaps you also have a conventional day job to supplement your income as an artist?

I’m a piano teacher.  I occasionally do art workshops for children, adults, including people with mental and physical disabilities. In many ways, I think of my years playing the piano as foundational not just for my painting, but everything I have done since. Practicing a musical instrument is a demanding and extremely intimate act. It helps me now with everything that I do.

Q: When did you create your first painting and what was your subject matter?

My first painting experience was when I was 3 or 4 years old. My parents were in the kitchen, so I covered the furniture and walls in our living room with doodles. I had paper, but I needed something bigger to paint on. Wax crayons all over wallpaper couldn’t be removed easily, so they remained there for a long time before my parents could eventually renovate the room. But they never really gave out to me for this.

Anna Hryniewicz, Inner child's play 3, 40x40cm, acrylic on canvas, 2017

Q: Has your style changed over the years and what might have influenced this change if yes? And what other artists or people have influenced or inspired you, and in what ways?

Has my style changed over the years? I committed to abstraction at some point of my life. Maybe it will change, but I don’t think so. I really feel there is nothing else that could top this experience of being totally free from representation, free from object. For me there is nothing more important than COLOUR itself. Relationships between colours and shapes have always thrilled me, they would tell every story you can imagine. This is enough for me, I don’t need anything else. All things that happen on the surface of the canvas during the art process are enough.

When I was a student, I played a lot of atonal, contemporary music. Post-romantic, modernist and of later composers, using twelve-tone scale, which was abstract in a way. There was some structure and order to it, but not in a traditional way. The tonal style was different to what has been before, for example Olivier Messiaen’s, Karol Szymanowski’s compositions. Instead there was a dissonance, atonality, gesture, sometimes not easy for perception. This influenced me a lot, as I started to perceive sound and colour as a value itself.

In fine arts I first fell in love with impressionists, post-impressionists, too many to name. Paul Cezanne was my favourite hero at first. Then fauvists, colourists - Pierre Bonnard, Mattisse, Derain, of course. I spent hours in our National Museum in Wrocław looking at Polish colourists Olga Boznańska, Jan and Hanna Cybis, then Piotr Potworowski, Stefan Gierowski (contemporary abstract movement). I love work by William Scott, William Crozier, but also I admire American and European abstract expressionism, especially Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Joann Mitchell, Antoni Tapies, and many more.

Q: Can you tell us what triggers you to start a new painting?

Basically I start every painting from totally random colours, lines, shapes. I need silence, so I don’t put on any music. I would often read poetry before I start. It really puts me in the right mode. Next, layers of colour are the response to the previous. After that I carefully decide in what direction the painting wants to go. Painting itself is a quick process, but it takes a long time to look at it and make decisions. I don’t have a plan. I think the best trigger is in ‘not knowing’ and being open to creation. If you can predict something it is not going to work that well. Sometimes, I pick small sketches or ‘accidental gestures’ that I consider interesting and I think ‘This has to go big’. I use them as a starting point, or literally paint them in larger scale. I would also manipulate some images, compositions or photographs on my computer first; then I paint (old habits of a graphic designer!).

Anna Hryniewicz, Parallel world 110418, acrylic on canvas, 20x20cm, 2018

Q: Can you tell us a little about the stories behind some of your paintings?

My paintings are mostly influenced by my childhood memories. ‘Exoplanet 2018’ (Habitable Planet) for example, is a universe-inspired work. This painting is evoking my vision of the world on another planet, it’s a kind of distant landscape which is beyond our reach. I can only imagine beautiful colours, lights and elements that govern that place.
I was inspired by my Dad’s storytelling about nature, the sky and planets. He didn’t know that he gave me the best lesson on abstract art I’ve ever had. He taught me to look at the sky as on the canvas, to look at the tree as a sculpture. Everything around seemed so colourful, so intense. I perceived it that way. As a child, I believed that if I painted it really well everyone will see and feel the beauty of the world around us. Now, as an adult, I paint for myself, my work is supposed to capture those memories and please me (and hopefully the viewer) with its colour and composition. I recently started a new series entitled ‘Parallel Worlds’, ‘Inner Child’s Play’ and ‘Habitable Planets’, and I am giving them numbers. This is how I imagine them. There is an endless amount of them in Space. Maybe we will reach them some day ...

Q: Have you ever tried other art forms like photography or sculpting for instance?

I tried many things in my life, and I enjoyed them, especially sculpting, songwriting, drama and many more. But there is not enough time for everything. I hope one day I will be able to sculpt, I loved sculpture in college. But you have to decide what is the most important for you, what you can do best. Life is short.

Q: What is the thing you most enjoy about your work?

In my work I enjoy my own freedom and the power of colour the most. This is something that keeps me alive. I work in complete silence, that way I can really listen to myself, find my own thoughts. Colour is strong enough and it will lead me forward throughout the painting. If the colour is not right, the work doesn’t fully resonate and has to be reworked. First and foremost, I seek colour, after that comes line, which is also important. It’s a gesture that reveals intention and feeling. It’s a little bit like personal handwriting. I love the fact that I do what I feel, I don’t have to do anything to fit in with anyone else’s taste. I do what I love. I follow my heart. The only criteria is if I like it or not, because I think if I’m happy with my work, there is a chance someone else may like it too. If I’m not happy with a painting, then it’s not a good work.

Anna Hryniewicz, Undiscovered Planet 09112018, 2018, acrylic on canvas 40x40cm

Q: How do you keep motivated if you’re having a bad day?

Motivation and inspiration come as I work. It’s not something that comes and goes, but more a matter of attitude and decision. If I have a bad day, I usually keep doing what I’m doing. It’s because I love it so much and it’s always so exciting to make new works and see them emerging. So I just continue unless I’m really sick. Other than that, I keep going. Of course, some days are better than others. It’s important to also have fun and rest and take good care of yourself.

Q: How have you handled the business side of being an artist, promoting yourself and getting exposure, selling your work etc? 

It was and still is, very hard. I came from Poland and moved to Ireland in 2007. Since then, we’ve had small children, so I started slowly getting back to art in 2012. I was in a foreign country, I knew literally no one, let alone artists and galleries. I made my own website, then set up a FB account, but for a few years, I was posting for no one. It was very difficult. Being a mother of 2, trying to also work part-time to make ends meet, spending a lot of money on art materials, no friends, family. Really very difficult, but I’m not one to give up! I just try to see opportunities and keep my eyes opened: submit my work to galleries, open calls, festivals, and expose on FB and Instagram. I’m not doing this all the time because my family is for me the most important thing in life and I want them to feel happy.

Q: Could you tell us a little more about your residency in Draíocht’s Artist Studio? How valuable is this time for you and are you working towards anything in particular?

This Residency in Draíocht is such a gift for me. I saw the open call on FB just in the last moment before the deadline. I read the description and I thought it fitted me perfectly!! Years ago, when I used to live in Blanchardstown, I knew about this place and lovely galleries here in Draíocht. I saw exhibitions in the Ground Floor Gallery and always thought it would be fantastic to have my works here. It kind of was a dream. Now, I’ve got this residency and a possibility to exhibit in the forthcoming PLATFORM 2019 exhibition, in June. I am really thrilled. Working here is such a pleasure - the Studio is very big and spacious. I can concentrate on making large canvases, which wouldn’t be possible in my little home studio. The director of Draíocht, Emer McGowan and the Curator, Sharon Murphy are really great in what they do. Draíocht is so active in different art forms - theatre, workshops, dance and so much more - there is so much going on. I feel lucky to work in this community for a few weeks. I am planning to do a series of large canvases based on themes from my childhood memories and show some of them in PLATFORM 2019 in June, and I will definitely show all of them soon in my upcoming solo show.

Q: Do you have any advice you could give to an artist just starting out? 

If someone wants my advice I would say: do the best you can do; keep doing what you are doing and be persistent. Create work that pleases you, not others.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years, I will be doing the same thing and I hope my work will be getting better and better.


For further information see:

For media information please contact:
Nicola Murphy, Marketing Press & PR Manager, Draíocht / Tel: 01-809 8021 / e: nicola@draiocht.ie

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By Draíocht. Tags: Reviews & Interviews, Visual Arts, Anna Hryniewicz,

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