Laois Artists

Artists in Laois

There are a large number of artists living and working in Laois and in this page we will give information on some of these artists and tell you who they are and what they are doing. If any artist from Laois or living in Laois would like to be included in this webpage please contact the Arts Office Tel; 057 8664033/057 8664109.  Email: Contact details for all artists listed here are available from the Arts Office.

Maire Behan working as a full-time artist in County Laois and Capri. “My work is an interpretation of evolution to express my inner thoughts, emotions and fears.   I wish to work to engage the imagination with concepts of mind, matter and light, in a surreal imagination with concepts of mind, matter and light, in a surreal way”. Capri’s most hidden soul.


Patricia Bennett is a Laois based painter and installation artist whose mainly abstract work covers the themes of memory, identity and place. She works with mixed media, and is particularly interested in the transformation of found objects and material. Her influences include the Spanish painter Tapies and the German abstract expressionists. Patricia, who has exhibited both nationally and internationally, has recently returned to Ireland, having spent the last twenty years working and studying in the Netherlands and the United States.

Carol Booth completed her BFA at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. She has since worked as a gilder, sculptor & painter. Carol on completion of her degree travelled extensively throughout Europe, Mexico and settled in Southern California for many years where she had a studio and exhibited locally in the San Diego area – where she was involved in the local art scene. On her return to Ireland her primary occupation was Fine Art restoration for many years with her studio in Francis St., Dublin where she employed and trained many in the techniques of gilding – both restoration and contemporary design – working with Interior Designers & Architects on commissions for  private homes, hotels, Embassies etc. In 2013 Carol decided to explore, once again the field of Fine Art and has since been painting here in Ireland.    Her subject matter is landscape/mindscape.  Her work explores the world beyond, a realm of mystery and questions, a tension between the real and the imaginary – but at its heart returns to the landscape around her – where she lives and works in the Irish countryside in Co.Laois. She has exhibited with The Blackbird Gallery in Kilkenny City, ShackletonThomas in Vermont, USA, Serala’s Art Gallery, Chennai, India and until it closed recently The Ib Jorgensen Gallery, Dublin among others. My website is Mobile – 0862469131

Studio open by appointment



Michael Boran (photographer) “In my work I often seek to emphasise the archetypal that is to be found in the everyday, to go beyond the surface of the moment in the photograph and connect with deeper significances”


Antoinette Breen “I spent two years in Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design and Technology and one year in NCAD. I have exhibited in Eigse and group exhibitions. I am a community based artist and see my role as artist/tutor in Laois very rewarding.

I find it difficult to categorise my work. The term “outsider” probably best describes it. A sense of place is very important to me and sometimes my work is an impulsive reaction to my surroundings or the human condition. Using thick impasto and thin translucent glazes evoke an emotional narrative, forcing the …. to engage with the work which is an on-going Shamanic journey of discovery”


Michael Burke established Sculpture Works in Dublin 1983, having qualified from N.C.A.D. (National College of Art & Design, Dublin). Michael has a genuine sensitivity and a unique ability to handle and combine a variety of materials including bronze, steel, wood, stained glass, ceramics and stone. This sensitivity is reflected in artworks created for commissions in public locations, interior and exterior, for churches and other liturgical spaces and for private clients.

Works created by Michael Burke are located in Ireland, The United Kingdom, Africa and the United States.


Cathy Carman was born in Portlaoise and studied sculpture at NCAD. She is widely acclaimed for her large figurative work in wood stone and bronze. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections including European Parliament, Arts Council, Bank of Ireland, Dublin County Council and Laois County Council. She is currently developing works as a response to the rural landscape and our emotional connection to it. This work combines digital print and mixed media in a form that embraces both sculpture and print.


Maeve Collins was born in County Laois. Maeve obtained her degree from the University of Ulster in 2005 and is currently working with glass and voile material. She combines these with photocopied deconstructed mixed media drawings of the living body. The entire process evolves from the artists’ internal dialogue with that ‘in between space’ in the body. Maeve is also the winner of the Laois County Council, Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary 2007.


Sandra Corrigan Breathnach -The fundamental core of my practice deals with states of phenomenological expression of self and connectivity of the physical and meta-physical. Intent on transcending ego my work lifts me to a heightened state of communication exploring natural materials as means of expression to connect and open a discourse through ritualistic action. Art is means to express, through this expression my life is given meaning and it is the searching for meaning within my life that has brought my work to its current manifestation. Performance Art allows me to enter an existential plain, where the vein of an innate knowledge as Beings in this world is explored, culminating in a lexicon of works that seek to communicate, focusing on the narrative between objects and action, developing forms through performance actions and mark making exploring the temporal tensions in relation to identity, striving to be read on an individual basis and seeking to go beyond the shroud of ‘modern life’.


Brendon Deacy’s work is inspired by the land and people of Ireland. His compositions always tell a story, where realism and abstraction are reconciled in a variety of media including paint, pencil and print. His most recent exhibition and accompanying ‘artist’s book’ which consist of sixty five beautifully crafted linocuts came from his admiration for Michael Davitt (founder of the Land League) and has been touring extensively since January 2006. Deacy has enjoyed solo and group exhibitions around the world. Significant public collections hold his work including the Victoria & Albert Museum, Georgetown University, and the Office of Public Works. Since 1994 he has lectured at the National College of Art & Design.


Angela Delaney – My work speaks of the mysterious nature of life that is constantly in a state of flux and which can change instantly. It is concerned with relationships rather than opposites and it allows both positive and negative to co-exist. Primarily working in stone I create organic forms that aim to stir feelings in the viewer. These forms are vaguely familiar but also ambiguous. My recent M.A. Degree in Fine Art focused on fragments of the body in stone and I am currently working on a solo exhibition for the Crawford Gallery, Cork that will open Jan.2007.


Sarah Delany lives in Aghaboe in Laois.   She began her artistic training at the Byam Shaw School of painting and drawing, graduating in fine art. Since then she has emerged as a gifted painter working in a variety of media. In the early nineties she studied animation, the fruits of which are evident in her series entitled “Memories of Summer”. Included are figurative, equine and canine studies (which were mostly painted outdoors), inspired by animals and her children playing on the beach. Sarah intuitively applies her paint in thick broad, highly spirited brushstrokes, that not only convey the essence of her subject but also highlights an artist who understands what paint is about.   Sarah has been inspired and humbled by the changing light and mood of the Irish and English coast which fuels a passion to stretch and explore her relationship with paint when creating these seascapes. Sarah has exhibited in both England and Ireland and her work is in several private collections.


Lisa Fingleton works predominantly through installations, video, sound, photography and performance. Recent works have focused on issues around reproduction in all its diversity. Lisa has participated in over thirty group shows in Ireland and abroad. Her very successful first solo show was hosted by the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise in April 2006. The show was described by Catherine Marshall of the Irish Museum of Modern Art as ‘one of the best shows in Ireland’. Lisa graduated in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2005.


Pat Fitzpatrick – My work deals mainly with the landscape and at present explores the atmosphere and the essence of the Irish Landscape. My work deals with elements such as beauty, history, myth and our connections as a people to our rural surroundings.


Pat Fox paints in oils and the subjects of his paintings are landscapes, townscapes, seascapes and portraits. He also produces limited edition Fine Art Prints. In a recent collaboration with Pete St John he has painted the Songs of Pete St John “Fields of Athenry”, “Dublin in the Rare Oul Times” etc.


Karen Hendy “My childhood years were spent moving from place to place, soaking up an ever changing landscape. I believe that my painting and drawing is a response to those early experiences. My work is an extension of my childhood journeying. I begin within myself, but I cannot say what my destination will be. Each piece is a representation of a place I am struggling to reach. My work is an expression of my personal journey to somewhere”


Annie Holland trained as a visual artist in Ireland, Scotland and Wales specializing in Ceramics; and later whilst living in Japan began studying Photography. She currently works as a Photographer and as Artist in the community, and also continues to exhibit her own work both in Ireland and abroad. “I believe that art, when it’s really working, changes the way we see what is already there. It can lead us to our inner landscape of imagination, feelings, thoughts and values. Mostly I like to create collages, both two and three dimensionally, and while I use a variety of materials and processes in each project my methodology is consistent. The subject matter of each body of work determines the materials and the forms of the work”. Each project often consists of multiple works, sometimes in a range of different media, grouped around specific themes and meanings. During research and production new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work.


Tom Joyce His work is heavily influenced by the mountain environment in which he lives. His exploration of the moorlands, forests and river valleys of Slieve Bloom provide the inspiration for many of his landscapes. His seascapes are influenced by his connections to the West of Ireland. Most of his paintings are ‘oil on canvas’ and classical in style; his illustrations are either ‘pen and ink’ or watercolour.

Orla Mc Donagh is a portrait and mural artist based in Laois and working primarily in oil, pencil and acrylic. Orla has working in fine art for over 26 years and regularly teaches art, art history and crafts to students of all ages. Orla is currently working on a collection of ink drawings based on the architectural ruins of the midlands. Work can be viewed and commissioned through facebook; orlamcdonaghartist or by contacting the artist directly on


Rachel Marum originally from Laois,  (b.1991) currently lives and works as an artist in Limerick. Marum attended Limerick School of Art & Design (2010-2014) where she graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art, Painting.  Marum was previously a member of Ormond Studios, a visual arts initiative, in Dublin City. The artist has exhibited her work in the North and South of Ireland. Marum currently works as a Gallery Assistant in Ormston House, Limerick City, and is a member of Wickham Street Art Studios.

Ray Murphy from Cork City, His show at the Dunamaise Arts Centre included paintings and drawings inspired by the hidden architecture of Gandons’ masterpiece. He worked on a similar home for Roscrea in March 2007. The Kitchen Gallery hosted an exhibition of “Drawings from Memory” in February 2007.


Robert Stack has been working as a landscape painter for almost twenty years. An American, Stack studied art at the University of Missouri in the central U.S., where he received a Masters degree in 1995.   After re-locating to Ireland, Robert continued to work on his painting, often using the scenery in and around Portlaoise as inspiration. In addition to his exhibition work, Robert works as a graphic designer in Dublin, and does freelance illustration work for a number of publications. His media of choice include watercolour, acrylics, coloured pencils, and pen & ink.


Kathleen Garrett is a native of County Tipperary and resides in Portlaoise for the past twenty-five years. She is a professional artist and qualified art teacher. She has a B.A in Arts Practice from Glamorgan University in Wales. She also holds a Certificate and Diploma in Humanities and a Diploma in Religious Education.Kathleen paints all subjects in various mediums and is best known for her romantic landscape paintings. She has exhibited widely in Ireland and the UK, and has a large number of paintings in private collections. She says! I love painting and it keeps my mind off the hustle and bustle of life. I feel my work is influenced by one the old masters of landscape painting – John Constable. She also writes short stories and poetry and has been published in three Laois Anthologies.


Joseph Kennedy – Ballybrophy based artist / illustrator and writer studied with the Open University where he gained a deeper insight into the arts. Along with being a self taught artist, he always had an all-round interest in his environment & heritage, and applied his knowledge to writing and poetry as well. In 2003 he launched his illustrated book ‘Monastic Heritage & Folklore of Co. Laois’. In 2004 his second illustrated book The Golden Age of Monasticism’, was published by An Gum. He is a well published short story/nonfiction writer, and has had two mixed art exhibitions so far. His skills also expand to sculpting in bog wood and his work has been greatly prized by community groups for presentations to well known dignitaries and members of government down through the years. His paintings and sculpture are held in private collections.


Conor Brennan is a B.A. graduate from LSAD and an M.F.A. graduate from NCAD. He won Oona O’Brien Kelly Memorial Award for Excellence in Figurative Art and the John Shinnors Purchase Award. His practice is concerned with painting and he currently lives and works in Portlaoise.


Gemma Lalor works under the name of Magically Overactive Imagination. I am a local Artist from Co. Laois. I work in a variety of styles ranging from paintings, pencil drawings, mixed media, charcoal drawings, ink drawings and sculptures. All my work is from my imagination and it is very fun and playful. Some pictures with a play on words and some humorous. My aim is to put my passion for the imagination out into the world and have Art that everybody can enjoy from young to old. My pieces are to show what dreams are made of and to spark curiosity and inspire imagination within the viewer.


Maria O’Brien was the recipient of a residency in Laois Arthouse for the month of August as first prize in the 2013 Open Submission Group Show at the Dunamaise Arts Centre selected by Noel Kelly, CEO of Visual Artists Ireland. As well as being practicing artist, Maria is an art teacher in the Midlands Prison, Portlaoise. She has an honours Masters in Fine Art NCAD, a Hdip from Limerick School of Art and Design and a first class honours degree in Fine Art from NCAD. She has exhibited widely in group exhibitions such as the Boyle arts festival, Eigse Carlow and ‘Still-life and Interiors’ curated by Bernadette Madden, in Gormley’s Fine, South Great Fredrick St. Dublin, 2013. She has had number of solo exhibitions, including a show in the Dunamaise Arts Centre in 2010 and the solo exhibition award from North Tipperary County council 2011.


Joseph O’Brien has studied in a number of colleges from AFEC , BCFE and AIT covering art & design, animation, illustration and graphic design. I reside in Abbeyleix, Co. Laois and I am currently under taking a Professional Masters in Art & Design Education at Crawford College of Art & Design. I am currently illustrating a children’s book for aiobheaans Pink Tie.


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