Crossing the Barbican

It’s always a bit tricky getting down to work in the new year after all the Christmas malarkey; and this year was no different. In Italy, I did manage to finish two large drawings; so I wasn’t totally idle during the festivities.

Christmas Drawings

It’s the going into, and then staying in, the studio that’s difficult. I always manage to find other things to do instead. So after taking down and packing away of all the Christmas decorations, going through the large heap of post, answering various emails, paying bills, petting the cat, and cleaning the house to within an inch of its life, I had no more excuses: I HAD TO GO INTO THE STUDIO AND WORK!

But then I got an extra incentive to start, in the form of an email. I submitted work for the Surface Challenge exhibition in early December and had half forgotten about it in all the mayhem since. The email informed me that Mr Morris’s wonderful wallpaper had been selected for the show at the Barbican Library in London. What a great start to 2024!


To be honest I always try to forget about the work once it’s submitted, as I find it makes me anxious, and then it’s difficult to concentrate on the work at hand. But this good news brought me back almost thirty five years; to when I was selected for the BP (Europe) Young Artists’ Exhibition, again at the Barbican. One of the prints selected was “Dinah” and it was a very lucky piece of work; not only was it selected for this important exhibition, it also won my first prize at The Claremorris Open Exhibition with it. The adjudicator was the art collector Pat Murphy: both he and his wife Antionette were great supporters afterwards. Antionette introduced me to Ib Jorgensen and his gallery, and later I joined her Peppercanister Gallery. The Claremorris Prize /“Dinah” led to a solo exhibition in Claremorris a few years later.* It is also part of the Butler Castle Collection in Kilkenny.


So all this has definitely put a pep in my step as I start the new year with a new print. No going back now!

*more about this later