By Ceara Conway
My name is Ceara Conway and I am a Visual Artist based in the west of Ireland.
My area of practice is in Public Art and Photography where I enjoy working across the board (within different public sectors) using my artistic capabilities to inform both myself and the public about particular issues that interest me. I studied Glass and Photography at the Edinburgh College of Art and Alfred College, New York then set up a Glass Blowing Studio in Rome for two years before returning to Ireland in 2007 to undertake a postgrad in Community Arts Education in NCAD.
My 2011 projects and commissions in Ireland include a recent residency at Cill Rialaig, a public commission for Offaly County Council, an artists residency for RTE Radio na Gaeltachta and a group show at the Galway Arts Center. I am currently working with the Galway Hospital Arts Trust. To date my work has touched upon representing aspects of self and spirit, cultural aspects such as heritage, language, local and global issues that effect people and their environment.
In July 2011 I received an invitation from the renowned Public Artist Suzanne Lacy on behalf of the OTIS College of Art to undertake an artists residency in LA for three months starting mid November 2011.
I came across her work while studying in NCAD and she has been the driving inspiration for my interest in public art.
She is an internationally known artist whose work includes installations, video and large scale performances on social themes and urban issues. Her best known work to date is The Crystal Quilt, a performance with 430 women broadcast live on public television. Her work as been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Guggenheim, Rockefeller and the Whitney Museum. Lacy edited the influential book Mapping the Terrain. She is also chair of the Fine Art Department at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angelus.
So you can see what an amazing opportununity this is for me.!
This unique residency will allow me to create a new body of work and to learn from a master in the field of Social Arts Practise. My residency includes being involved in Suzanne Lacy's production of a performance called ''Three Weeks in January'' which will be held at the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA.
It is my intention to create a collection of photographic works while during my residency in LA . When I return I will exhibit this work and give an artists talk/discussion on Public Art in Galway City in July 2012 . To date I have been awarded €2000 from the Arts Council and I have received €500 from Udaras na Gaeltachta. I am also investing some of my own money.
The money that you pledge will go towards my overall costs of materials and towards the time that I will be using to develop and create new work in the presence of a pioneer in Public Art.
Thank you for your support.