Class of 2021 • Painting

Ciara Aherne

National College of Art and Design


Graduation Year
Class of 2021


The body of painting work is an introspective and idiosyncratic commentary of the contemporary world. It unveils ironic humour in the societal expectations imposed on women and the oxymorons that surround our everyday lives.

With a diagnosis of endometriosis in 2015, the research is very personal. Up to 50% of women with infertility have endometriosis and it is a taboo topic to openly discuss sexual health. The frustration of no cure and often unrealistic expectations from doctors to urgently conceive motivates the work.

The ability to adopt humour can challenge adversity. The bright themes bring a sarcastic comedic spin to a dark subject matter. The colourful and playful imagery is a satirical illusion of happiness and reflect an inner maternal turmoil. Figures with balaclavas and buckets on their heads reappear throughout the paintings; they serve as a maternal instinct to protect and provide optimism in a rather bleak world.
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