How I became an Artist:
In 1988 I had reached a point with Song-writing that I could no longer express what I felt simply by writing 3 Verses a Bridge and a Chorus or even a Double Chorus.
I was living in Dingle and busking through the Summer from Easter to the end of September building up a bigger and bigger Repertoire of Songs that I performed over the Tourist Season.
I was living on top of a Mountain called Cnoc A Chorrain and had an amazing view of the entire Dingle Harbour on one side and Conor Pass the road to Ballyferriter on the other.
One day I was passing a Pound Shop on the Quays and saw a cheap set of Chinese Acrylic Paints in the window. Something in me seemed to want to buy them so I bought them and a Box of German Crayons. From these small beginnings I started painting. I bought a pack of Daler Paper which came in 16 sheets and began painting and drawing.
I had no Formal Art Training but had been reading the Works of Alice Miller for a number of years. Alice recommended Spontaneous Painting for getting at a deeper level of self awareness and that is what happened. What also happened was that as my Painting became more complex and involved my Song-writing became easier and easier.
I found that I was writing entire Songs almost effortlessly. Waking up with entire finished Songs running through my head. I also found that I stopped questioning whether what I did was Art of not.
I just painted exactly how I felt. I had my first piece of luck in 1989 when a Painting (the name of which has long since faded from my mind) was chosen for inclusion in the first Samlaoicht Ciarrai in Siamsa Tire The National Folk Theatre of Ireland. I held my First Solo Exhibition later that year in the Tigin Ban Gallery in Dingle and went from there to inclusion in the Annual Aer Rianta Exhibition in Shannon the 2nd Year of my Participation having one of my Paintings appear on the cover of the Exhibition Brochure. My final Exhibition in Tralee was entitled “Meditation at Teampaill Na Greine” and was a huge affair involving the entire Building.
The Gallery, The Theatre and the Foyer were all put to use. Christy Moore and Donal Lunney opened it and it drew one of the largest crowds ever to attend an Exhibition in Kerry. Draoicht a local Band with their Singer Mary O’Regan performed their own Original Material and then accompanied me through my Set. In 1992 I moved to Dublin and lived in Rathmines.
I painted my Next Exhibition in a converted bathroom in 22 Maxwell Road and in 1994 hung my final Exhibition in the form I was then working in at The Westbury Mall. It ran from February 1st 1994 to February 1st 1995 and was called “The Poets Way” The Band for the night were Kila and it was opened by Niall Toner the Musician and Broadcaster.
The majority of the Paintings were sold. In 1997 I began a new Exhibition painted on found wood, objects and different materials based around the premise that situation has no impact on the Creative Urge whatsoever. The thought occurred to me while reading about Giacometti and Picasso that they and other Artists trapped in Paris during WW2 would have had serious trouble finding materials with which to work and the result and a partly constructed Exhibition called “Vassily Vassilating” all pained on treated cardboard, old hessian sacks, rice sacks and other treated materials such as wood and linen shirt backs.
This Exhibition was never completed due to personal issues and then I stopped painting for 11 years as of this year. I have spent the time studying Artists such as Yves Klein and Derek Jarman amongst others with a view to changing the direction of my Art to cover more Multi Disciplinarian Areas, such as Sound, Poetry, Film, Painting and Music.