Le Chéile Information

Eileen Keane

I live in Newbridge, Co. Kildare which is about 25 miles south of Dublin but I was brought up in the west of Ireland in Roscommon. I moved to Kildare after college when I got a fulltime job teaching in Naas and I have lived in Kildare ever since, got married there and have two children. I was mainly involved in painting up to 1997, that year I attended a course in the National College of Art and Design and was introduced to printmaking by Taffina Flood of the Graphic studio. I liked the technical aspect of it and the unexpectedness of the results and I joined the Leinster Printmaking studio when it was set up in 1998. I work mostly with carborundum and collograph as it suits the textural quality of my work but sometimes combine this with photoetch especially in the use of text.

My work is inspired by organic forms abstracted mainly from landscape studies. I am interested in the linear quality of openings in natural surfaces that suggest layers beneath of time and history. I use a layering of textures in much of my work, and at the moment have used formal rectangular shapes to frame textural areas and create a kind of window effect. When I started working with my welsh twin Linda on the idea of home and memory we started with maps and I began to work on imagery inspired by the bog near my home- Mouds bog- exploring its physical presence through making collographs from materials found on the bog and also its history of burial rituals and its inspiration for poets such as Seamas Heaney. I used a map of this bog in several of the pieces and also some text to represent memories or to give the bog its own voice in language.

I am also a writer and am very interested in words and language. I am fairly fluent in Gaelic but do not speak it at home and was very interested to see how much the welsh language is part of everyday life in Wales as I assumed it was the same as here with only a few isolated places speaking Gaelic every day. This project has widened the scope of my work with a broader use of ideas, from texture to text and mapping and has given me an interest in making more artists books as this was something I discussed with Linda and she sent me some information on technical aspects. I look forward to developing these ideas further over the course of the next year.