Storm Francis, I hear ya.

While storm Francis is playing with the construction of the studio roof. I am in the studio feeling inspired to keep the coffee going, the music on and not step back out until it stops sounding like the Wizard of Oz outside.

Arrived into the studio, coffee on and opened the laptop. Or should I say the black hole?  Admin if it could only be done with a paintbrush, it would be more enjoyable.

My exhibition is running at GOMA, Gallery of Modern Art, Waterford until 27th September. Its getting great numbers and some nice reviews. I will be doing an artist talk this Saturday at 1 pm, booking is essential due to restrictions. To book your bum on a seat go to https//tiny.cc/Bernadettedoolantalk  

I am delighted with the response to the exhibition both the footfall and how the work looks in such a great space, I’m delighted too for the gallery so do visit and support them if you can. In these strange times, we got to get creative and that has been demonstrated last weekend at Wexford Arts Centre with a couple renewing their wedding vows at a Pierce Turner gig.

Finally, I have got some catalogues to view http://bernadettedoolan.com/catalogue/ you can view as a turning book which I like but if you are like my husband who prefers the pdf. Let me give him a shout out as he is responsible for the website design etc with his team at TwoHeads.ie

I’m off now to finish online applications and take a look at some artists work that inspires me. Or make me ask the question, how? Jenny Saville being one.

Continue to get in touch with any queries.

Have a great Tuesday,

Bernadette

 

 

The House That Built Me

 

It has been a very strange few months. The uncertainty, the unknown.

However, when I went into the studio all was good. It was great to finally hear that my solo exhibition was going ahead, even if a few months later. Here we are now, the day before the opening. I do hope you can make it to see what I have been up to these last few months.

The title seems very apt considering we were all staying at home.

The House That Built Me  looks to express where we have come from. The snapshots of being a child and how we respond to life events and in this way how it moulds who we are today. I came across the tagline from Barnardos, ‘Childhood lasts a lifetime’ it really does. I delve into aspects of my growing up, the house, the people the memories that built me. I feel it leaves a space for the viewer to resonate with their recollecton of childhood.

As acclaimed realist painter Bo Bartlett discusses his philosophy and art through the belief that your root feeds your crown. Theres no denying your past, no point living in it either. You can however reflect on it and how it has made you into the person you are today.

Singer/songwriter Miranda Lambert encompasses this perfectly in her song The house that built me,

‘If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave. Won’t take nothing but a memory, From the house that, built me.’

Exhibition runs until September 26th.

I am not worthy.

I am not worthy.

Limerick Museum, 4th – 28th February 2020.

A collection of paintings depicting aspects of childhood viewed through an adult’s reflection.  Through the process of reflection, I became aware of the power of words and suggestions when I was a child. It is said that children are like sponges, they absorb their environment and those in it.  The child always listening, captivated by every word, influenced by the power of suggestion.” I am not worthy” struck a particular chord with me, when I heard the mantra coming from my lips, after years of repetition. But one day I really heard the words that I had repeated without question.

This body of work is not about questioning anyone religion or beliefs, but more to do with how powerful words can be.  I did not like to be told I was not worthy, what if as children we are empowered by words that prompt us to love ourselves, believe in ourselves, be kind to ourselves.

I aim to capture the vulnerability and the strength that children have in abundance.  This is achieved through exploring the fragility of the child’s mind and the power mantras have on them. These mantras passed on in most part,  innocently from parents, school, church. We hear it, we believe it, we don’t but question it.

For me, I felt at an early age reciting prayers in school to be somewhat uncomfortable. I heard each line I was saying but some words felt very uncomfortable to get off the end of my tongue. “I am not worthy” was not an easy one.

It was not that I was brimming with confidence, it just didn’t sit with me, perhaps I was fearful that it might be true. Maybe I felt unworthy, who knows. All the more reason not to have a mantra that crushes you every time. I am not saying everybody felt the same, but I suppose I was never asked. Instead in church, I would lower my head and mumble a sound, believing that I could not lie I had to be in my truth.

It took me into my adulthood to realise that the power of the word on us at an early age can be damaging. In my work, the portraits depict this vulnerability that separates us from the crowd, that quietens our spirit, but only for a short time if we are lucky. We can tap into our strength, our feisty childish warrior to question these mantras that don’t fit with us. That our gut feeling is telling us that this does not feel right, to trust this gut.

The advantage of being an expert in childhood means we can remember what it means to be funny, carefree. This is how we developed our resilience by climbing trees and falling. How we fell down, dusted ourselves off and tried again. There were no failures just “That didn’t work this time, what can I do differently next time”. As adults we tend to be in our “adult” head, afraid to fail. Not trying, maybe because we believe we’re not good enough.

For the day that’s in it, Happy Valentine’s day. Be kind to yourself first and foremost, listen to the mantra you are telling yourself, does it fit?