ARTIST Carol Healy

Carol Healy is a visual artist living in Cork City. Her artworks and research explore the relationship between humans and nature, with an increasing focus on climate change and its effects on the human psyche. In her practice she works directly with nature in all forms, with a special interest in the trees and plants in her local urban environment. 

Her primary discipline is drawing, an area that Healy has researched the benefits of over the last few years, both inside her own practice and engaging with the public.  She has found drawing to be a significant tool in how we learn and gain knowledge about ourselves and the world around us. Healy sees drawing as the great connector, an embodied act, with infinite possibilities.

Everything is connected, that is how the universe works and that is how I see my life, it is an interwoven thread of connections one thing leading to another into infinity.  To understand my work today I must connect the dots back to my childhood, because I think its that sense of wonder you have as a child that I am staying connected to in my art today.

I grew up in Shannon Co.Clare  a ‘new town’ built in the 1960’s on reclaimed marshland.  As an 80’s kid I spent my youth outside playing in nature, we practically lived in the trees, we even gave them names. I rode horses in the local riding school, and spent all my free time there, learning everything from how to identify grasses to how to apply a poultice to a horse’s hoof. What I realise now is, I was learning how to see, how to notice the details and to have a sensitivity of touch and trust my senses and intuition. 

The connection between horse and rider is incredibly special, communication is mostly nonverbal, although you can use your voice it is body language and touch that connects you.  I find when I am drawing, this nonverbal dialog is possible with trees and plants, and any natural object in fact, if you can just be still enough to listen.  The love of science came when I studied veterinary nursing and specialised in large animals.  I used drawing to learn anatomy and got to look beneath the skin into the internal organs, completely in awe of it all.  I remember how Id often grab a stick and draw in the dirt or sand to explain something, or to memorise a dressage test, in fact dressage is basically a large drawing between horse and rider, figures of eight  and serpentines, lines and curves, all drawn through the connection of touch from rider to horse. 

And, although I no longer ride or muck out stables, I feel I have gathered a rich well of sensory knowledge that I can draw from today.  As Seamus Heaney says in his poem ‘Digging’ ‘Between my finger and my thumb, the squat pen rests.  I’ll dig with it.’ 

‘Solastagia’, Carol Healy, Graphite on Heavy Cartridge paper, 2020.

ARTIST’S Accolades

Education

  • 2015 – BA Honours in Fine Art, Crawford College of Art & Design. 

Exhibitions

  • Selected group show – 2018
  • Big Paper Show, Sarah Walker Gallery, Castletownbere, Co. Cork, Ireland.
    2016
  • ​Print in Space , ​Blackrock Castle Observatory , Blackrock Cork, Ireland.
  • Affective Entities , CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery, Ireland.
    2014
  • The Katalog, CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery Cork, Ireland.
  • Arcadia, Triskel Arts Centre Cork, Ireland.
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