Paula is a mixed media artist and founder of Artlife. Her studio on the second floor of The Chocolate Factory is a vibrant inspiring place full of art materials, books and curios gathered over decades of creative exploration. A graduate of NCAD, she has held solo shows and participated in group exhibitions both nationally and internationally.
Her work practice involves various techniques, including painting, collage and gilding . Progressing from macro to micro, she initially creates a ground which is then layered with hand painting and print. Paula likes to maintain an experimental approach, allowing space for chance and fluidity in her creative process. Her aim is to be simultaneously abstract and representational, embracing both possibilities. Themes such as the natural world, the elements and spirituality are all central to her art as is the importance of texture, time and patina. Time also plays a part in her practice in that she works on several pieces at a time each at various stages of development. In this way, a body of work can take from months to years to complete.
Working and life partner to Paula, Jerry created our large scale gilded hangings in silver, gold and copper leaf on white canvas. His workspace in the Artlife studio often resembles that of a laboratory. The methods he employs range from blending pigments in a mortar and pestle to painting, troweling. stirring, sieving and burnishing.
Jerry creates colours for use in our artworks. Colour is his passion, its subtleties and possibilities have been his work for many years. His palette is derived from earth and mineral pigments. Adding ingredients such as chalk, marble dust, mica and mother of pearl can give a subtle iridescence to a piece. His gilded circle art works are designed to enhance the play of light within a space.
Jerry is also our technical/creative problem solving person. From creating the mobile concrete bases for our free standing forest, to suspending glass tea lights from our forest chandeliers, to ensuring a vertical garden is insect free. Under his vigilant and watchful eye we can relax, sure of the health and safety of our clients and the smooth installation of our work.
Elizabeth brings a melting pot of creative and academic thinking and lived experience to Artlife. Her work has encompassed fields from gastronomy to ceramic sculpture, education and travel. As a former lecturer in Culinary Arts and Gastronomy at DIT, Elizabeth’s research encompasses areas of food and art, food and culture, food and history/politics, food and film. Her interest in food and story telling has a direct and transferable link to the kind of work she creates for Artlife. For Elizabeth, creating spaces and telling stories through assemblages and installations is all about connecting.
Elizabeth and Paula, as sisters, are drawn to stuff. Not to own it, or for it’s material value. they are drawn to the emotional resonance of a time worn piece. How these objects, inherited, found or discarded, when assembled with care and consideration, can construct a new story, communicate a feeling and create an atmosphere.
In Elizabeth’s hands, all manner of discarded resources are wrapped and re worked into expressive tactile art works. Combining natural and found objects, hand painted fabrics, flora and fauna and her own hand formed ceramic sculptural pieces. The installations aim to pique curiosity and add depth and interest to a setting. The goal is that participants leave with raised spirits and a sense of connection.
Joe, brother to Paula and Elizabeth, is our go to source for all things botanical. Recently retired after many years working as Head of Department of Culinary Arts and Food Technology in DIT, Joe has an eye for colour, texture and shape, honed from a lifetime working with food. His instinct for the ingredients required for our Forest Chandeliers, Vertical Gardens and Wildflower Installations is pitch perfect.
From his home in Ravensdale, Co. Louth, Joe supplies all of our foraged natural materials gathered from the mountainside: Cut greenery, ivy, fern, broom , wildflowers, fallen tree branches, lichen covered twigs, mossy stones, sheep’s horns.
Our terrariums are as likely to house seasonal, vividly coloured berries and fruits from Joe’s glasshouse, as flowers as from his garden. His vegetables such as purple broccoli, blue green cabbage leaves, fungi and herbs all find their way into our botanical installations. Joe’s work with Artlife is a continuation of his previous working life, a re-interpretation of a life immersed in gastronomy but this time a feast for the eye.