I studied woven textiles for four years at Dunlaoghaire School of Art, Dublin and graduated with distinction in 1980. I have studied numerous short courses in all types of weaving all through my career which is still an ongoing process and I never cease to learn new things about tapestry weaving. I taught part time at The National College of Art and Design, Dublin for fifteen years. I taught woven and constructed textiles in the education department, giving art teachers creative and technical skills to bring to classrooms for junior and secondary level students. Since my college days in the late 1970’s I have always been aware of a strong movement of tapestry art in Scotland. The Dovecot Studio was always high on my radar as well as the vibrant tapestry department at Edinburgh College of Art, which I always dreamt of attending one day.
Interconnections has been a God-send for me. After many years of weaving large commissioned tapestries for churches, public and corporate buildings my practice started grinding to a halt in recent, recessionary times. I had started turning my back on making large tapestries that were not commissions and turned more to my rug weaving to earn my living. Interconnections gave me the push to start designing and weaving larger tapestries again so as to take part in the last three Interconnections exhibitions. It has re-invigorated my interest in tapestry and has pushed me to making some of my finest works to date.
I have been aware of contemporary Irish tapestries since the mid 1970’s and there have been many commissioned pieces made by very small groups or individual weavers that now constitute a large collection of contemporary pieces in public and corporate buildings.
I am primarily a tapestry weaver but I do also weave floor rugs and inventive experimental woven textiles, using such materials as willow, drift wood, bark, paper, palm fibre and found materials. I have been weaving tapestries for 40 years and it is still like a drug for me. I have this inner need to be weaving and creating textiles and life is all about finding the next exciting thing to weave on my loom. Nature inspires me constantly and never stops amazing me, so long as I take the time to observe.