Niamh Clancy graduated holds a Joint Honours Degree in The History of Art and Fine Art from The National College of Art and Design, Dublin and an MA in Printmaking from The Royal College of Art, London. She currently lives and works in London. She has exhibited across Ireland as well as in Europe and America.
Read an interview with this artist here:
Can you tell us how you came to be a printmaker?
During my first year at NCAD, I was introduced to new techniques of working (stone sculpture, ceramics, fashion, printmaking etc.) and I loved absolutely everything. So much so I found it difficult to decide what to specialise in when it came to my degree. I asked myself what made me happy. I used to sing when I printed and this was the indicator for me. It was the right choice. Printmaking continues to make me happy, I love what I do. Determined to continue my art practice, I became a member of the Blackchurch Print Studio and I worked part time to fund my art and participated in group shows in Ireland and abroad.
What factors were important in helping you decide to make that your profession?
I can only describe it an inherent thing and it stems back to my school days. On entering my second year of secondary school I was advised not to do art but to do science instead. On the teachers advice I did just that.
I hated science. So when it came to the state exams, I went in for the art exam instead of the science. I got an A. This was a good lesson in that I should listen to my gut and my own thought process before anyone else’s. Following this result I knew that this is what I wanted to do and went about researching what was needed to secure a place at Art College.
What kinds of challenges have you faced in your career?
I have worked extremely hard to continue working in the art world and especially to continue with my art practice. Early in my career I was lucky to secure funding from the Irish Arts Council. This allowed me to spend time in the studio and focus on creating work for exhibitions. The sales from these shows in turn helped fund my education on a Master’s Degree course in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art, London. In conjunction with studying/my own art practice I have always worked two jobs. I continue with the hope that my art practice alone will provide a stable living.
Can you tell us about the work you have in our collection?
Ex Zhou was one of a series of prints looking at the history of the written word and the question of truth. It was made towards the end of 1999/beginning of 2000 and was one of a series of prints that was created for my first solo exhibition and was part of my portfolio application for my MA.
What was the impetus for making the piece?
As part of my joint degree course at NCAD we studied a lot of Early Irish art- Neolithic, iron age etc. I became interested in the history of this work but also the interpretation of it and the information that we were to believe as fact.
The recorded word is one view point. So looking at the documenting of events with the history of the alphabet, I went about doctoring existing examples of text and found archaeological objects alongside fictitious and presented them as fact. Would it be questioned? It was quite an experimental period for me, working a lot with carborundum and multiple plates. The print carries a theme that still underlies my current practice and a subject that still interests me.
Tell us a little about your current practice?
My most recent body of work was produced on a residency in Stavanger, Norway. This series of work is a fictitious narrative that relates to the history of the city, its museum collections and neighbouring islands. I attach images.
In conjunction with my art practice I teach printmaking at third level at City & Guild of London Art School and have established a reputable editioning service for established artists/ architects & designers. I have worked with Sir Nicholas Grimshaw PPRA, Prof. Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, Prof. Ian Ritchie CBE RA, Ian McKeever RA, John Maine RA, Alan Stanton RA, Yorkshire Sculpture Park/Nigel Hall RA among others.
Find out more about this artist here: www.niamhclancy.com