Inauguration into The National Self Portrait Collection

Self Portrait 2017

It was a case of a great day had by all last October 12th, with the official unveiling of the 2017 and 2018 additions to the National Self Portrait Collection, at the Bourn Vincent Gallery in the University Of Limerick. The great and the good, and 14 of 20 artists attended, and were fed and watered while receiving insights from the podium into each work.

Many well wishers attended (including my parents), and I must express my gratitude to all who made the effort to attend, and the kind words.

My especial thanks to Yvonne Davis of the Bourn Vincent for all her work and assistance, and indeed, to the board members for inviting me to participate.

As always, my thanks to Declan Greene – unsurpassed Fine Art Photographer, and fine Painter – for the great documentation of the work.

For the benefit of any viewer of the collage piece, below is the script from the catalogue:

‘At Home, New Road, Thomondgate, with my Friends (l-r) Cáit (RIP), Squeal(er), Mandy & Mindy, 2017, Collage on Board, 47x60cm

‘At Home…’ portrays a typical evening at my house in New Road, where I have lived for over ten years.
It is a fairly faithful recreation of my sitting room, containing depictions of myself, with back to the viewer, watching snooker (which I love!), with my three cat friends, Squealer (Matriarch), and two daughters Mandy (Tabby Cat), and Mindy, in their respective seated positions. At the back door, seated on a wheelie bin outside, is a representation of my long lost friend, and mother to Squeal’, Cáit, who’s disappearance prompted me to begin my Cats’ Tales series in an effort to preserve her memory. (Keen-eyed viewers will also spot a mouse!)
As an artist I tend to collect other artworks from artists I respect and admire, and some of these are referenced in the work – (l-r) Kevin O’ Keefe Daffodil Study, Michael Delohery Refusal to Play, Broken Dreams (by myself), two pieces by Laura McMorrow, Ciarán O’Sullivan Apprehension, and a ceramic vase by Clare Butler. My own two illustrated books are also referenced laying on a chair – Mathilda & the Belligerent Blackbird (yellow cover), and Skippy’s Tale (purple cover).
There are various references to my own personal preferences and lifestyle also – a Golden Virginia pack, a stainless steel coffee pot I bought in Centra many years back (and is unbreakable!), a wooden inlaid box depicting two cats
my parents bought me as a gift from Italy, and a humorous ashtray my Mother brought back for me from Las Vegas which reads Carl’s Butts.
Also pictured are two musical instruments, a ukulele and a shaker (on the armrest) referencing my time playing music with Luggage Doors Operating.
The piece is made entirely of collage, small pieces of magazines cut up to create a painting type effect – a process/technique I call Aesthetic Collage.