First View 2020 : Final Year Visual Art Students from W.I.T.

Jan 28th - Jan 31st 2020 |
6:30 pm
Free event |

Official Opening held on January 28th : Opening remarks by Gemma Tipton

Final Year Visual Art Students from Waterford Institute of Technology Offer a First View of their Degree Show Work

Garter Lane Arts Centre in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology is delighted to present the annual First View exhibition featuring the works of the final year WIT Visual Art students. First View 2020 will see the continuance of Garter Lane Arts Centre’s creative collaboration with WIT Department of Creative and Performing Arts and its emerging graduate artists.

First View forms part of the WIT students’ final academic year programme and is an opportunity for the emerging artists to be involved in the full process and practicalities of installing an exhibition in a professional gallery space and exhibiting their work publicly before they graduate. Exhibiting Artists are; Emma Burke, Jaela Bates, Karra Peters, Lisa Comerford, Roisin Brazil, Marika Manning, Milana Ziedelyte, Roberta Sarni and Susie Kelly. 

Poster & Image credits Susie Kelly.

This year’s exhibition is inspired by an array of concepts including consumerism, climate change, voyeurism and vulnerability. Using both traditional and new methods the artists present drawings, charcoal paintings, photography and screen-based works, installations and sculptural works. Many of the pieces are works in progress, giving the students an opportunity to develop their ideas further.

The students have been supported by Garter Lane Arts Centre staff throughout their course in developing ideas and learning the process of mounting an exhibition in a professional space- from marketing to the installation of their work. The project provides invaluable and unique learning opportunities for the students to support them in developing their artistic careers.

Ben Reilly Lecturer at Waterford Institute of Technology says “First View gives students the opportunity to take a piece of their work out of the studio environment and place it in the clean white space of the public gallery.  Terrifying in one way as the reality is, can it stand on its own merits as a decent piece of work?”.

Opening hours: 11am-5.30pm Tuesday – Saturday and during evening performances. Admission free.

All welcome.

For further information, contact Sandra Kelly, Visual Arts and Outreach Manager, Garter Lane Arts Centre: T: 051 877153, E:

Poster & Image credits Susie Kelly.

Artists Statements:

Emma Burke

From a young age I have always been inters Tested in art, in all shapes and forms including classical, abstract, performance, theatre, music and literature. My understanding and passion for art defiantly blossomed when I was in my teens, in secondary school. I always assumed that my skills were limited to drawing, until I went to college. Here I discovered the exciting experimentation of working with 3D art. For the last 2 years I have worked mainly in 3D. My current work is a representation of mass production in the female beauty enhancement industry, ie false eyelashes, nails, make-up etc. It is an experimental piece composed of works made of plaster, to represent the hard and often harsh chemicals in the products we use on our bodies every day and various types of make-up, perfumes, creams, pigments and how they react to the plaster. I chose plaster as the main medium for this work as I feel, in this context it can also represent the rigidity and impact of which the companies who make these products have on today’s society.

Lisa Comerford

My passion for positive mental health awareness and community inclusion has fuelled the fire for my art practice to date. Born in Kilkenny Ireland, in 1980. I grew up and still reside in a council estate where I and many others struggle through the daily obstacles. After becoming a young, single mother to 3 children, it was sink or swim time. I decided to focus on my passion for art and the peace of mind art making brings me. To make a difference I volunteered with local community development projects, facilitating young mum’s art groups and teaching dance to local teens.

My work here uses dogs as a metaphor for everyday life, as one big game of playful destruction through daily activities with a visual installation of the pain of youthful teething problems and choices made while in pain. Through the dog’s pain there is chewing. Our youth of today experience the pain of self-worth belonging and choice. Like the dog deciding what to chew next, they must choose their next path.

As a graduate of fine art, I look forward to making work about aspects of social engagement.

Kara Peters

My name is Karra Peters I am Irish art student based in Mountmellick, country Laois. I am currently studying visual Art in Waterford IT. Over the past four years I have been developing my own art style. Last year I began to investigate derelict building, the patterns and textures that peeling wallpaper and paint create. This idea is what inspired me to work with textures such as card, carborundum and spray paint. My current art style focused on layered textures that creates 3D areal views of different towns and cities. This idea came about while researching Ariel photos and vintage maps of Mountmellick. I enjoy working with different textures and materials, as they are visually appealing. My new artworks focus on two different locations, Mountmellick and Waterford as both areas contain a vast amount of history. In order to honour both locations I have created a 3D Ariel map of both.

Marika Manning

This body of work is based on the human inner organs. The desire to investigate human organs, happened when a close family member became ill over a year ago. I felt the need to learn about human organs in greater detail in order to give me a better understanding of the body’s inner systems. I wanted to overcome my fear of human anatomical investigations. As we do not see our insides, we are not always aware of them, in fact a lot of illness results from ignoring the first signs that our body give us.

I felt it necessary to make the ‘invisible’ visible, to draw attention to what lies within all of us and showing the organs isolated from their normal contexts, the body itself.

Throughout this project I have found it difficult to look at some of the images and artworks I researched, drawing and working in 3D has helped me to overcome my initial fears and feelings of disgust, and turned it into becoming interested and more curious about the functions of the inner body and the various organs. The research has also given me a better understanding of medical procedures and interventions. 

Jaele Bates

Jaela Bates is a young Irish artist who grew up in county Wexford. She was first introduced to art classes at the age of five in her home village, Kilmore Quay, surrounded by seascapes and fieldscapes. Walking in this environment on a cloudy day came to be of much influence in her artwork; gloomy beaches, driftwood and bones which decorated the shore. Thirteen years later she began her visual art studies at Waterford Institute of Technology. Since then she practiced further with artistic media such as photography, acrylic paint, digital art, multimedia and mixed media. In this exhibition, her artwork is focused on existence and imagination through the use of digital art; drawing in Adobe Photoshop and guided by her photographs of landscapes and remains.

Roisin Brazil

My work focuses on how the body is affected by our surroundings and how the things we subject our body to, be it physically and mentally, affects is highlighted on our skin. Commonly seen in both land and sea animals their skin adapted to their environment. This can also be seen in humans. As someone with a skin condition, it is constantly indicating that something happened or is happening.

By using pencils as my chosen medium, allows me to control the controllable. This allowed me to create a beauty that isn’t necessarily there or obvious when people are faced with psoriasis, or with any type of skin condition. The smoothness of the drawing has created a sense of juxtaposition with the subject matter, as the skin is rough, sore and irritating. By looking at the skin close up it allows people to really examine the condition and piques their curiosity.

My work enabled me to highlight a soft beauty in the condition that is neither soft nor beautiful. By looking at skin conditions up close it allows people to really analyse and maybe familiarise themselves with it to the extent that they class it as a norm.

Roberta Sarni

Being born in the late 90s, I grew up at the feet of Technology. My fascination with technology started with video-games. However, video-games have changed a lot from the ones I used to play when I was a little child. What impressed me most about those changes is the way we socialize through them – from just being able to play with your friends, siblings and acquaintances to being able to play with literally anyone. I therefore started to explore ways to analyze how those changes affect the way gamers behave through my artworks. Little I knew that investigation would make me realize how much we are affected not only by video-games but every single human invention – just imagine how differently we would behave if we didn’t have things like a car, a fridge or a mobile device.

Our dependency on technology has created a very unique relationship – it’s more than just man making his life easier by using his tools, it’s a relationship of constant power struggle where, if an individual is not carefull, he can become a prisoner of his own inventions.

What is even more fascinating about this relationship is that we tend to ignore the consequences of such relationship and that’s the reason why I try to explore this distorted relationship through my artprocess.

Milana Ziedelyte

I was born in a small town of Plunge, Lithuania and currently reside in Waterford, Ireland.

My interest was always in capturing the moment, taking inspiration from surroundings with a focus on dilapidated places and wilderness. Most of my work is based on the process of exploring different environments, mediums and trusting my instincts where they lead me. I don’t limit my interests to one particular style. Most of my work relates to the sensitivity and intimacy as a way to express personal feelings. However, everyone’s point of view is different, and how someone perceives my work depends on individual personalities and backgrounds.

In search of a balance between the process and the physical work, I collect objects from places to support the emotional experience of abandoned environments. Using these objects and photography I try to create an uneasy environment and reflection of my inner thoughts within my artwork.

Particularly for these images I framed the idea, with a question, how does one behave in an uneasy environment?

Susie Kelly

A hybrid artist and perpetual student with an ever-evolving aesthetic, all media are in the mix in my artworks, usually involving pre-used or recycled elements, holding their own embedded memories. 

London born in the swinging ’60’s, I grew up mainly in Meath and now live in Waterford City. With a lifelong passion for art and its histories, I am active in many strands of visual research, largely influenced by extensive experience working with some of the most vulnerable people in society throughout a career in social inclusion, and by my personal story.

Ecosophical leanings and concern about the planet mingled with curiosity about the concept of post-Jungian “autonomous psyche” collective unconscious and synchronicity, their presence in everyday human interactions, have led me to observe and visually manifest how this vs voluntary conditions impact our behaviours. For example, we are aware of being in the Anthropocene and feel powerless about it. Many of us either ignore it because it’s too huge and abstract to make sense of or else experience a state of eco-anxiety.

While making the installation exhibited in First View, I was thinking about climate change and our dependence on fossil fuels, how that situation developed and the consequences.

When making the installation presented at Garter Lane, I was thinking about climate change and the consequences of our dependence on fossil fuels.  |  susieck_art

  • Materials used in work to be displayed:
  • Recycled steel barrel
  • Recycled steel and fibreglass tent poles
  • Recycled and regenerated fibre from recycled plastics
  • Polycaprolactone
  • Steel wire
  • Turntable
  • Plant saucer
  • Bird net
  • Sticky back plastic
  • Black card
  • Watercolour paper
  • Ink, water-soluble graphite


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