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Artist Spotlight- Caragh O'Donnell Delaney

Creative Exchange is a community of artists working side-by-side to encourage and inspire artistic growth. With that, we will be showcasing our wonderful studio holders and letting you get to know them a little bit better with our Artist Spotlights.

This edition we have artist and board member Caragh O'Donnell Delaney.


What’s your background?

I did my degree in fine art here in Belfast, graduating in 2003. Since then I’ve worked extensively in arts organisations and as a freelance artist. Including festivals, community arts, teaching and research.

Are there key themes in your work?

Drawing, as both a process for exploring ideas and medium for finished works is something i return to repeatedly. I’m fascinated by mark making and lines, as traces of human activity, expressions of ideas, form and three dimensional space.

How has your practice developed or changed over time?

My practice has changed over time and continues to develop in unexpected ways, I have a highly adaptive and experimental approach to working and have worked across a variety of mediums.

While studying i focussed on three dimensional and installation based works, including larger site specific pieces and video. Since graduation I’ve explored digital drawing and video as ways to make work, but themes and drawing and mark making are common to all the works.

Currently I’m working mainly in painting and drawing, and exploring print as a new medium to work in. The pull to working in space and 3 dimensions hasn’t left me though, I could see my practice developing toward those works again in the future.

What work or processes do you most enjoy doing?

Drawing in particular, but any time in the studio when you become immersed in making work and lose yourself.

Who or what are your biggest influences?

I think my biggest influences are people and place. The people I’ve worked with or spend time around - while studying and working in a whole range of different capacities. I love seeing the work that they make and most of all talking to them about what they’re doing. As a place Belfast has had a big influence on me, it’s a great place to make artwork, there’s a lot happening for the size of the city and there’s a sense of being a creative community. That spurs you on to make your own work and to keep going.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

To follow what interests and fascinates you, rather than trying to make the work you think you should be making. That’s stayed with me as a solid piece of advice.

Have you had any responses to your work that were particularly memorable, or not what you expected?

Open studios are very direct way to see responses to work - it’s really fascinating to talk to members of the public and to other artists. I’ve been surprised at times by the works people are interested in - sometimes the ones that are most experimental, in progress or that i’ve overlooked as having potential. That’s a really interesting experience, it makes you see your own work in a different way.

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