Mary Burke is an emerging Contemporary Irish Artist. She studied Fine Art (Level 5) &(Level 6) before undertaking a BA (Honours) in Visual Art, South East Technological University. She is currently working from her studio in Kilkenny city.
"My art practice deals with nature, and also culture and traditions and exploring their place in a contemporary sense. My work is inspired by the pcsyhic in the Irish land and sea and people.. My work often investigates that deep connection between humans & the land.
My starting point within the research involved taking photographs, sketching outdoors and gathering organic materials from the local environment. Combined, they are then used for inspiration back in the studio, where the creative process is intuitive and spontaneous. I create Sculptures, Paintings and Monoprints.
As a painter I am familiar with a variety of media. Skilled in landscapes and more abstract compositions, I work in oil, acrylics, watercolour, gouache and mixed-media such as collage. My landscape compositions often start from plein-air sketches which are then worked up back in the studio."
A wide range of physical materials are used for sculpting, such as wood from the hazel and ash trees, leaves, ferns, reeds, clay, sods of turf, cloth, wool. Experimentation with these organic materials set the mood of my work. A sensitive approach to the particular qualities of each material helps decide the ultimate result. My sculptures are created from wood and clay that sometimes result in a hybrid artwork incorporating monoprints on cloth. Mark making is used to express the psychic in the land, that have been absorbed over time from the stories of the people that have lived there, generation after generation. The process involves creating gestural marks, some controlled and some uncontrolled.
I build the sculptures in response to the space in both the landscape and in the studio. Interested in what is absent in my sculptures, I have also found that while working in the core of the handleability, my best designs arrive. Considerations are given to the relationship of the sculptural forms with the larger spaces surrounding it. How each piece engages with each other dictates the final installation.
SETU Graduate Degree Show SELECTED WORKS Garter Lane - Waterford June 2022 - Curator Sandra Kelly
Graduate Degree Show "NineArt22" South East Technological University - May 2022 –
Curator Susan Connolly/Ben Reilly/Michael Beirne
Collective Exhibition “Beyond + Expanded Studio – Experiments in First View” Garter Lane - Jan 2022
Collective exhibition 2017 Tipperary ETB Fine Art Students – Oil Paintings - The Source Library, Thurles - Oct 2017-
Curator PJ O Connell
Collective Exhibition “Placescape” – Barnstorm Theatre & Butler Gallery – Alternative Kilkenny Arts Week – July 2016-
Curator Tunde Toth
Solo Exhibition – Monoprints - Urlingford Library, Kilkenny –Nov-Dec 2022
Curated Photography Exhibition "A Century of Emeralds GAA & Camogie" The Gathering Centenary Celebrations -July 2000
Hons BA Visual Art - South East Technological University - Waterford, 2022
Level 6 Fine Art : Higher Certificate - Ormonde College - Kilkenny, 2019
Level 5 - Fine Art : Certificate -Tipperary ETB - Thurles, 2018
Level 6 Cultural Studies with Telesales & French -Higher Certificate - Ormonde College - Kilkenny, 1999
Millinery Skills (Advanced) - Kells Mill - Kilkenny, 2016
Beginners & Advanced Milliner Course - The Feathered Millinery - Dublin, 2015
Painting in Oils - Intermediate – Artforms Studio Mary Cassidy - Carlow, 2015
Assistant Producer Kinsale Storytellers Production Company - 10-show run “Cauldron of Poesy” in Kinsale, Clonakilty & Cork city May 2021 – Aug 2021
Milliner - Designed & created Bespoke Headpieces Employed 2015 - 2021
Art Tutor - Urlingford/Graine ICA & Annie’s Summer Camps [Day workshops, art lessons at camps, Adult Painting Classes] - 2019 to present
Artisan Baker – De Burca Home Baked Foods -Self Employed 2010 – 2017
Leaving Cert Exam Reader Dept of Education - Good Counsel Sec School New Ross June 2017 & June 2018
Customer Service Rep Bank of Ireland - Kilkenny Feb 2012 October 2014
Account Handler - Personal & Commerical Lines Campion Insurance - Urlingford 2002 - 2010
Ceramic Dept Sales Kilkenny Design Centre 2000 - 2002
Arts Admin Kilkenny Arts Festival Summer 1999