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Artist Profile

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.

Artist Statement: 

"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.



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Group Exhibitions

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 Exhibitions

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

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