Graduate Artist Talks | Ashling Smith, Emma Hopkins, Olivia Normile

Artist Talks, Artists Talks, Award, Events, Graduate, Graduate Residency, Ormond Studios 2018


Join us on Tuesday 16th October at 7pm for an evening of talks by shortlisted artists from our Graduate Award, Ashling Smith and Emma Hopkins, alongside Graduate Award Recipient, Olivia Normile. This is a free event.

Ashling Smith is an emerging Digital Media Artist and Creative Designer whose practice encompasses video, photography, sound and sculpture. She graduated in 2018 with an Honours Degree in Creative Digital Media from the Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown. Her degree show ‘Vision’ attracted particular attention and won her Draíocht’s inaugural ‘Creative Digital Media Award’ which will lead to a solo exhibition as part of ‘Platform 2019′ in Draiocht. Primarily concerned with a combination of digital media and large-scale sculpture, Ashling’s practice incorporates still and moving imagery, sound, and vocal testimony, She is interested in gathering personal narratives that explore the boundary of the real and the imagined in relation to specific communities and places. Interviews and conversations with people working in various professions become a catalyst for developing digital installations that explore the relationship between time and memory, place and identity. Her work is immersive and meditative.

Olivia Normile graduated with a BA in Visual Arts from IADT in 2018. She was longlisted for the RDS Visual Arts Awards and is the recipient of the Ormond Studios Graduate Award 2018. Olivia’s work explores the space and boundaries between image, object and idea. Surface tensions recur in her work evident through a rough, agitated quality to edges and appearances. Through combining handmade objects with animated forms of themselves, she attempts to expose an unseen tension and quiet dialogue between the definite and unseen. By capturing the motions of making and transforming them into solid ‘stills’, she reveals lone moments within a process. In turn, private environments and passageways form for these animated moments to exist and survive. Developing an affinity for unassuming yet prevailing characters in various narratives, she is drawn to the influences they have on their surroundings. Somewhat lowly, humble creatures who contain traces of divinity, existing on the threshold between reality and unknown depths. This dialogue between the physical and the fleeting is revealed through repetitious mark-making, extracted to become singular and static.

Emma Hopkins’ work explores the everyday spaces we inhabit and the spatial practices we produce in them. It arises from her interest in how architects and planners think about space in three dimensions. This has lead to the creation of installations that adapt and change in scale depending upon the interior architecture of a particular place. Emma also use photography to document different spaces, domestic and industrial. This is an aid for the structures she creates which use the language of painting to communicate elements of interior and exterior spaces. The idea of ‘construction-deconstruction-reconstruction’ is an important part of her work as each society is producing and reproducing space to meet new needs and functions. Therefore, she is interested in how language is used to describe specific spaces and spatial practices. Language also allows us to imagine the body in a space. As there is already a mental image associated to the word ‘kitchen’, for example, there is an expectation of how such a space is used: how our bodies move around that space, the specific objects and structures inhabiting this space. Emma sees all of these elements as contributions to what she calls “performing space”.

Artist Talks | Emma Finucane and Saidhbhín Gibson

Artist Talks, Events, Exhibition, Ormond Studios 2018, Thinking About Blue Almonds

(Thinking About Blue Almonds)

Ormond Studios would like to thank Emma Finucane and Saidhbhín Gibson for discussing their artistic practices as part of our event series, ‘Thinking About Blue Almonds’.

Both artists responded to the thematics of the event series, the title of which is taken from the Polish phrase for day dreaming, ‘myśleć o niebieskich migdałach’. They explored a shared impulse within their work to aesthetically shift our relationship to fellow human beings and nature, creating interrelated and interconnected worlds, while moving minds to the sense of wonder and fellowship that promotes empathy, curiosity and a sense of belonging.

We would like to thank our audience members for joining us for this insightful and enjoyable evening.






Image credit: Deirdre Brennan


Artist Talks, Events, Exhibition, Ormond Studios 2018, Thinking About Blue Almonds

(Thinking About Blue Almonds)

On April 10th, Ormond Studios has invited artists Emma Finucane and Saidhbhín Gibson to discuss their respective practices. This event is free but ticketed. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite –…


Left: Emma Finucane, ‘Pelvis’, installation, Exhibition View: Mermaid Arts Centre, 2017/18
Right: Saidhbhín Gibson, ‘Peripheries’ – detail 1


Emma Finucane develops artwork through dialogue, process based, participatory and collaborative practice. A founder member of Outpost Studios in Bray Co.Wicklow Emma completed a BFA (1997) and MFA (2006) at the NCAD. She has been commissioned and supported by the Arts Council Ireland, CREATE, Wicklow, Carlow, Cavan and Kildare County Councils. Her work has been shown in nationally and internationally and can be found in many private and public collections including: OPW, AIB, DIT, and UCD. Conference presentations: Art&Health, The Model Sligo (2017); Motherhood&Creative Practice, London Southbank University (2015) Emma initiated an interdisciplinary research project in UCD School of Nursing and Midwifery (2014) presented in a solo exhibition Mermaid Arts Centre (2017)


Gibson is a graduate of NCAD, Dublin (MFA, honours, Fine Art, 2016) and D.I.T. Mountjoy Square, Dublin (BA, honours, Fine Art, 2000). Gibson’s work explores the framing of the non-human world for and by contemporary society. She employs multifarious methods of production whereby the ‘hand’ is at the core of the manufacture of the work. Gibson has exhibited nationally and internationally in solo and group shows including ‘Bristle – Hair and Hegemony’ Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (2017), ‘Loping Towards Darkness’ VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art (solo, 2017), ‘Make it OK’ touring to seven UK venues (2015-17), RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin (2016) and ‘Natura natura’ (solo) concurrently at The Lab, Dublin and National History Museum, Dublin (2014). This year she will travel to Arizona to participate on an international artist residency as awarded by ArtLinks – Kilkenny Arts Office.


Event Series | Thinking About Blue Almonds

Artist Talks, Events, Exhibition, Members Exhibition, Ormond Studios 2018, Thinking About Blue Almonds

(Thinking About Blue Almonds)

Ormond Studios is pleased to present ‘Thinking About Blue Almonds‘, a short series of events involving a film screening, artist dialogues, an exhibition, and a musical performance that revolve around different meanings and interpretations of the colour blue; melancholy, water, infinity, distance, night time etc. The title is taken from the Polish phrase for day dreaming, ‘myśleć o niebieskich migdałach’, which translates as ‘think of blue almonds’. This lyrical turn of phrase speaks to the creative potential inherent in the act of idle thinking; that porous mental space where relations are created and expanded, where things, concepts and ideas overflow the confines of their conventional parameters and are free to commingle and rub up against one another in odd, thought-provoking and compelling ways.

On March 31st, coinciding with the blue moon, Ormond Studios will hold a screening of Derek Jarman’s seminal film ‘Blue’. Inspired by the monochrome ultra marine paintings of Yves Klein, Jarman’s film consists of a single, opaque, static shot of vibrant blue. Created the year before he succumbed to AIDS-related complications, the glow of the projected frame echoes the filmmaker’s fading eyesight, while the evocative and layered soundtrack conveys Jarman’s artistic vision, his physical, mental and emotional anguish brought on by his terminal illness, as well as explores the meanings associated with the colour blue. This display marks the 25th anniversary of the film’s release.
This event is free but ticketed. Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite (blue moon screening). Please see Facebook event page for more details.

SEA Foundation visited Ormond Studios

Artist Talks, Events, Ormond Studios 2018



We had a lovely afternoon yesterday in the studios meeting with Riet van Gerven, Jan-Willem van Rijnberk and Valeria Ceregini from SEA Foundation, The Netherlands.

They also gifted us with a beautiful handmade artist’s book by a SEA Foundation resident, Sidney Aelbrecht. We look forward to meeting them again and hopefully collaborating in the future!



Artist Talks, Graduate Residency, Ormond Studios 2017

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Join us for the third in our 2017 series of talks with emerging Irish artists.

This event will feature shortlisted artists from our Graduate Award, Cará Donaghey and Aideen Farrell, alongside Graduate Artist Residency Recipient Hannah Bloom.

Please note this event is free but registration is required.

Hannah Bloom:

Hannah Bloom’s practice is interested in combining the digital with the material, and finding a way to unite these parallel worlds. Thinking sculpturally, physically and through making, the artist infuses the work with digital media to give it life. Every material responds to being handled in a completely different way; control is always limited by the characteristics of the medium. Bloom embraces this, by having a systematic approach to making work; she has always been drawn to a process which involves setting up a system and allowing the aesthetic outcome to be decided by the material itself, time and the conditions that she has provided. Bloom’s main interest lies in the blurred lines that exist between science and art. Her belief is that science is a means of generating feelings of wonder in relation to an artwork, and that art exposes the mystery and magic in science.

Cará Donaghey:

Cará Donaghey is a multi-disciplinary artist. Originally from Donegal, she has been based in Dublin since 2014. She is a graduate of NCAD with First Class Honours in Fine Print and Visual Culture. Cará is this year’s recipient of Black Church Print Studio’s Graduate Award and is undertaking her year-long membership of the studio at present.

Working with the term ‘the archive’ in a flexible and contemporary sense, Cará’s current work focuses on the operative aspects of archiving – collecting, preserving, and mediating images, drawings, and objects. Photography and printmaking are a grounding point of both ‘the archive’ and Cará’s practice. She is interested in the emotional resonance of place, drawing on her own and other’s experience in an attempt to articulate non-specific memory and history.

Aideen Farrell:

Aideen Farrell is a Dublin based installation artist whose practice explores the processes that shape urban space. Using a combination found materials, wood, metal, wire, thread, drawn lines and text, she investigates the influence of the abstracted symbols of mapping and place marketing over the physical spaces they represent. Her temporary installations draw on the appearance of scaffolding and makeshift construction to create navigable three-dimensional drawings that react to existing spaces. Her work interrogates the power to shape and divide our surroundings.

Aideen is a recent graduate of the National College of Art and Design with a BA in Fine Art Painting and Visual Culture. In 2017 she was awarded the Fire Station Graduate Sculpture Award and highly commended in the undergraduate awards visual arts category. She also recently exhibited in the Graduate Show, Symbiosis, at the Catalyst Arts Centre in Belfast.

Images courtesy of (L-R) Aideen Farrell, Hannah Bloom, Cará Donaghey

Artist Talks: Leah Hewson | March 31st | 19.00 | 4 Ormond Quay

Artist Talks

EO-LH9_Resized.jpgJoin us for the third in a series of conversations with emerging Irish artists at our new location at No. 4 Ormond Quay with artist Leah Hewson.

(b. Dublin, 1986) Leah Hewson achieved a First Class BA(Hons) in Fine Art from DLIADT in 2010. Hewson’s first solo show, Whats behind the Magic door? (2011) gave way for her work to be included in the Microsoft Collection as well as being published as part of Goblin Market: New Irish Contemporary Art. Amongst a steady flow of commissions for private collections, Hewson developed work for her second exhibition CUSP which was in 2013. Earlier this year she gained experience working in Sean Scully’s studio in New York which has seen her work move to a more abstract approach to image making.

Following on from the artist’s recent solo exhibition ‘Scintilla’ at the Ashford Gallery which was the culmination of a six month studio residency at the RHA, the artist will speak about this project as well as research topics including Jungian psychology and her instinctual approach to image making.

Artist Statement:

Hewson’s area of concern has always been the importance of preserving ones imagination. It holds endless possibilities but with maturing age and alternative priorities it becomes abandoned in many humans. The act of utilising her imagination is the primary motivation in her work. This act rebels against the formulaic and stems from the desire to develop it as a tool and refine its use in achieving obscure possibilities.


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Images Courtesy of Hazel Egan

Artists Talks : Jessica Kelly & Sinead Keogh| Friday 17 February 2017 | 19:30 | 4 Ormond Quay

Artist Talks, Ormond Studios 2017


Join us for the second in a series of conversations with emerging artists in our new space.

Jessica Kelly and Sinéad Keogh are two Irish artists who frequently work with video and performance. They will each present their work and talk about their practice.

Facebook event:

Due to limited capacity, please let us know if you would like to attend:


Jessica Kelly (Dublin, 1982) is an artist who works primarily with moving image. Her work is usually screen-based and is informed by philosophies of technology, dance and spirit. Collaboration and discourse are frequent features of her practice, and she also uses text and performance. Present interests include the spectral image, commemoration and after-death existences.

Kelly graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 2007 with a degree in Fine Art Media, and from 2009-10 was a resident artist of Daghdha Dance Company, Limerick. In 2011 she moved to Belgium and in 2014 completed her Masters in Fine Art Multimedia at KASK School of Arts, Ghent. She currently lives and works in rural Leitrim, in the west of Ireland. Recent exhibitions and events include: ‘Fragmented Identities’ at Borders Festival, Venice, ‘(phe)NOM(e)NON’ at the Guesthouse Project, Cork, ‘Homeland: A Terrible Beauty is Born’ at Damer House Gallery, Tipperary, ‘Wayward Fruit Tree’ and ‘2016…’ at Ormond Studios, Dublin. She also undertook a residency at Dance Limerick, to support a collaborative project with Mary-Jo Gilligan, entitled ‘A Dancer Drowned’.


Sinéad Keogh is a multimedia performance artist with a recently finished MA in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Sinéad is also an expressionist dance instructor at the NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) for the past four years. Keogh has had many exhibitions in Dublin institutions such as The Broadcast Gallery, IMMA, and The Lab and exhibited internationally in New York, Italy and Glasgow. Keogh has made work for festivals such as BIFPA and The Bram Stoker Festival. The utilization of raw human states are ever present through the artists’ practice created from ideologies of intensification of the senses leading to immersive, often emotional experiences. Keogh has collaborated with groups such as Create and performance artist Pauline Cummins. Keogh works and is based in Dublin.