Art News

Helen Comerford celebrated

The late Helen Comerford was born in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny in 1945 and trained as a sculptor, working with a variety of materials until she used wax as a medium.

Helen Comerford celebrated
Related Issue

Share

The late Helen Comerford was born in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny in 1945. She trained as a sculptor and worked with a variety of materials until she used wax as a medium. When, in a whimsical moment, she put beeswax together with pigments, she discovered the ancient art of encaustic painting used by the Egyptians and Greeks. She continued to explore and refine work in this medium throughout her artistic life and produced an important body of work, rich in depth.

Teaching played a significant part of her life and she worked in various institutions including Dún Laoghaire College of Art and Design and University College Dublin. In 1995, she established an art school in Ormonde College in Kilkenny, where she had a lasting impact on generations of students.

In 1995, she established an art school in Ormonde College in Kilkenny, where she had a lasting impact on generations of students.

Comerford’s interest in spirituality led to her exploration of the seven stages of earth evolution; each work in her ‘Planetary Boxes’ series opens to give a glimpse of planetary qualities. In 2012, she presented a body of work entitled ‘Alpha to Omega’ at the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny. The seven paintings have been preserved and, fittingly, remain together. In the catalogue essay, Reglind Kühlcke provided a particular insight into viewing the work: ‘These paintings extend an invitation to engage with some of the most potent processes of existence: life’s ability to teach, to transform, to heal; to give you times of great inner peace. They speak of a journey completed, of a secret uncovered, a mastery acquired.’

Helen Comerford was a founding member of Na Cailleacha, a collective of six visual artists, one jazz musician and a curator/writer who came together to explore being female, older and hopefully wiser.

Comerford was the recipient of many bursaries and awards and she exhibited extensively in solo and group shows. Her work is in public collections including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Butler Gallery and the Hugh Lane Gallery. Her last major solo shows were ‘The Nineteen’ at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2021 and ‘Indigo’ at Taylor Galleries, Dublin in 2022.

An exhibition celebrating Comerford’s life shows at Jerpoint Glass Studio during the Kilkenny Arts Festival from 3 August.

Anna O’Sullivan

More Art News

Crisis at Castletown
Art News

Crisis at Castletown

Castletown House, Ireland’s largest and finest Palladian mansion, has lain closed to the public since last September – all because of a dispute about access and parking.


Continue Reading
Aosdána’s new members
Art News

Aosdána’s new members

At the 42nd Annual General Assembly of Aosdána, the organisation whose members are honoured for their contribution to the arts in Ireland, Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh was the sole visual artist to join the ranks.


Continue Reading
Eimear Walshe in Venice
Art News

Eimear Walshe in Venice

Representing Ireland at the 60th Venice Biennale, Eimear Walshe (they/them) presents Romantic Ireland, curated by Sara Greavu with Project Arts Centre, Dublin.


Continue Reading
Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping
0