Monthly Archives: April 2010

To glitter or not to glitter.

After the weekend the new wall still needed some work on, filling, sanding and painting and Franziska, who is on work experience and works upstairs in the arts office helped me out with this.

Thursday ended up being a very busy day full of visitors.

First of all the Kilkenny SOS group pictured above were on a day out in Kilkenny and called in and participated in both the collaborative chalk and pen drawing animation. Then there was a constant stream of visitors all contributing to the animations that afternoon.

Ooops caught on camera, well you can’t just let everyone else have all the fun, once you are on the blackboard its hard to get off! Took by Caroline Finn, Niamh’s sister, I’l make sure I get her back with a photo when she’s not expecting it!

During my fourth week I started to build up the second character in the front room. The materials I am using are what I used to use when building structures in parades, economic and quick to use, hydrodare (water pipe) and paper mache.

The stucture goes up quick enough, but its the painting that takes the time. This face took me nearly a week to paint, I find I can only really paint faces first thing in the morning, after about 9am the magic seems to go and it becomes a struggle.

I did decide to go for the glitter on her top in the end, I’m glad as it was the right descision.

I love the bread van in this photo above.



May 3, 2010 at 8.33am

Yes I love the glitter


    vanessa daws

    May 3, 2010 at 11.07pm

    Yehay for glitter!


Animation bug.

I discovered stop motion animation almost by accident. I had been trying to document my art work and was attempting to show how some parts of my work either has doors in them or parts that moved. In November 2008 I participated in a one day stop motion animation workshop with artist Aideen Barry at the Galway Film Centre. Aideen also gave me an extra tutorial on editing which was greatly appreciated.
Below is an example of what I had originaly intended on using the animation for:

…. but from that day I caught the animation bug.

Once you have the animation bug you find it hard to look a a regular drawing or image without concidering the potential to make it move. I am still learning animation and am teaching myself mainly through my many mistakes, it is important to have caught the ‘bug’ to enable you to spend so much time re-doing your work.

Since 2009 I invested in a laptop for the groups to use, cameras and tripods and am now delighted to be teaching basic stop motion animation to groups of all ages. It is such an enjoyable art form to teach and it combines so many different skills for groups to learn, the feedback is always so possotive, people just get blown away by the magic of making their work come to life.

At the same time as me discovering animation, artists Aideen Barry and Cathal Mc Carthy were working on “Words are My Prisoner” art project with Carrowbeg Theatre Company  in Westport, Co Mayo, I really liked the way the work combined all different art mediums in particular the input of animation.

I had seen on the W.A.M.P. website (the link above) an image of large projected animated  heads and I contacted them and asked if I could use the idea with the Tuesday animation group.

It also reminded me of the old Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” video, the song I never liked, but the animation always fascinated me, it looks a bit dated mow though, below is a small 20 second snippet of the video.

In order to plan the workshop out I made my own projected face animation and it was great fun to do. I did this just in a couple of hours just for an example.

The second workshop went really well and the group enjoyed taking the photos, projecting them on the wall and tracing them. I have asked them to concider what will be happening and animated around their heads and to bring in any objects and images from home for the third session next week.

The drawings looked stunning and we stuck some up on the window. James stuck a brown envelope over his mouth, the drawings have been attracting a crowd at the windows.

Appollogies – the W.A.M.P. link doesn’t work, I will find out how to add the link correctly, but for now you can google it and you will get to their website.

The last wall paper goes…..

No.76 John’s Street used to be an interior shop and Friday was the day arranged to take down the final wallpaper paneled wall.

For my June exhibition in Kilkenny Arts Office I will be exhibiting new work made in Kilkenny along side some work made from last year. The peice I had in mind for this particular wall needs an eight inch gap behind it to fit in a small box and a small screen. This was handy that this wall was being moved anyway as it wouldn’t be too much extra work to bring it forward.

Thanks to Steve and Andy for the help, they made a great wall, and Andy even cut off the top of his thumb for the cause, it was the new Velcorapter-laser-beam hand saw that did it. He will be ok and will be able to continue to make his own art! Phew.

I must find out/invent what plan ‘B’ is if the DVD player which is now inside the wall breaks down though… as the wall is completly solid!

This was Friday and I had planned to go back to Galway at the weekend to collect more work for the exhibition, it was very hard to drag myself away from Kilkenny, but while I was up in Co Galway I did take my new camera for a quick dip in my favourite swimming spot in Lough Mask, below is a short film of the lake.

Animation – a new group.

Week three seemed to blur into just a mass of workshops, making art, buying materials, talking and generally totally loving working in Kilkenny and my fantastic big studio.

On Tuesday evening I ran the first of six animation workshops with a group of teenagers from Kilkenny.

Some had done a bit of animation before, we started with simple line drawing animation as its a great introduction to see results fast, and if you have animated before its always very enjoyable. I would usually ask the group to draw 12 images this makes up a whole second of animated film which can be looped if needed. The group got very absorbed and drew away up to fifty drawings.

This is a film is the results from their first session, there are two of the girls animations missing as they took them home to work on. The music is evidence of my extremely dodgy taste in music, the group will decide their own music or sounds for their final piece. I just crudely edited this together just for the blog.

Youtube seems to cut the last bit out of films, so you miss the flowers falling over in this film. I will sort this out later on.


Cathy Fitzgerald

April 28, 2010 at 9.45am


What a great short – you’re creativity and how you are involving so many people is inspiring


Another Channel Swimmer.

For my next filming and swimming trip I was delighted to be able to contact Donal another swimmer from the Waterford Open Water Society, who is also training to swim the Channel in August, all on his own, in togs, he’s hoping to do it in around 14 hours. He showed me the most amazing cove just past Tramore where there is a group of regular year round swimmers.

I love the commradery of these swimming spots, everyone is always so friendly, a shared crazy passion for cold water. After all the banter of  “cheat” and ” thats not swimming” style rip-taking because I was wearing a wetsuit, they all calmed down when I said I’l go in in togs when I get back, but I had to film first and that’s slow cold work!

This film has a lot of different angles in, I love the upside down leg kicking shots and the bright light. The camera must have slipped up a bit as I was swimming as when I thought I was filming Donal swimming I was actualy filming the sky! All part of the learning curve and I still have lots of footage to go through, this is definately a continual work in progress.

Window Drawing

The on-going window drawing at night. Its hard to photograph the white lines in daylight.

‘Dude’ & his friends.

The following few days of workshops we experimented with shadows and projectors.

‘Dude’ was Elma’s shadow character and kept us all amused, below are photos of the shadow show and ‘Dude’ being attacked by Aisling’s shark,

‘Water’ was the theme that was running through the workshops. We all were excited by Mairead’s animated water colours and agreed that this would feature somehow in the final art work, maybe with another animation projected over the top of it.

As well as an animated film the group are also concidering how to exhibit the animation. It could just be a TV  on the wall or maybe build some sculpture around the film. Theresa’s drawing below may become the shape of the sculpture.

On friday we started off the collaborative chalk drawing animation that is now set up for all the people who call into the gallery to participate in if they choose.




Michelle Granaghan

April 27, 2010 at 10.26pm

The videos look great, I would love to go on one of these courses!

Stop Motion Animation Workshops.

Monday saw the first day of a series of stop motion animation workshops, starting with a week of morning workshops which will be followed up by weekly workshops with Aisling, Mairead, Elma, Teresa and Jack.

Some of the group had done animation before and some hadn’t, so I ran an introductory session that was great fun and we all got to know each other.

Below is the result of our first workshop.

The idea of these workshops is so that the group will get to learn basic animation skills and create a collaborative piece of work and exhibit it at the Arts Office along side my exhibition in June.

A Shoal of Pigeons

Where I am staying in Kilkenny my neighbor has pigeons and I came home Monday evening and was blown away by the beauty of the sun catching the white of the feathers them as they circled around the house.

I hope to ask if I can record the sound of them cooing (think that’s the right word) one day.

Credit to Maraid who pointed out the Shoal like apperrance.

Sunday swim

I had contacted the Waterford open water swimming society and arranged to meet Claire and her friends at Clonea Beach on Sunday morning for a swim. It is a beautiful beach in Waterford and I was looking forward to my second water trial out with the ‘Hero’ camera.

Even as I upload these stills from the film I am really excited by the images. I just hope that I will be able to do something worthwhile with them, they are really beautiful.

With this camera you can’t actually see what you are recording, so its not until you get back to a computer then you have to sift through hours of footage. I am new to using film as a medium and am learning fast, I reckon one of the secrets is, don’t shoot hours of footage….

We swam about 1km, but I was a fair bit  behind them, it was only after when we  were chatting they told me that they were training to swim The Channel in relay in August in togs, relay as in the race style, not as in really! That is very impressive.

After seeing the footage from my cameras 2nd trip out I know that I have to try to keep it in one position for longer, and also to stop ajusting it, as my hands were constanly in the shots.

The films I am making are research, it’s like film sketches. At this point I don’t know what the end product will be but I do know that I am very excited about this camera and the possibilities, once I get the hang of how to use it properly!


Cathy Fitzgerald

April 17, 2010 at 9.21am

Hi Ness

I just saw this below – might be of interest?

Swim time on the Barrow, July 11
A summer swim will take place in the river Barrow at Graiguenamangh, Co. Carlow on Sunday July 11. Registration from 11am-1pm. Swim to start at 2pm. For safety reasons the swim is limited to people who have completed a 1km swim in open water in the past year. For more email Niamh Fitzgibbon

Dog Party

On Saturday I walked with Jean, Bailey and her friends and her friends dogs along the river. We bumped into so many dogs at least 14 and at one point there was up to eight dogs all playing together!

Throughout the weekend I continued with the sculpture of the lady and started to plan out the front room and the workshops that start on Monday. Below is a very small animation experimenting with white charcoal.



Mairead Holohan

April 16, 2010 at 5.38pm

Loved the shot of the bridge. This is going to be the best residency ever!

Pink Archway.

The next three days I organised the workshops, painted the archway pink because there was just too much white!

I drew more on the window and I started to cut out a sculpture for the corner of the front room.

The piece is a lady holding a cake and a vulture like bird. I have used a cake holding lady in a previous painting, but I thought it was appropriate as we are right next to The Two Dames Coffee Shop. I used plywood, beer-piping, bubble wrap and paper mache for the body and built her face out of paper mache over a clay former.

I may put a door spy-hole in and the light up a box inside, or I may project an image onto her skirt or make a door in it. It was more important just to make something to get stuck in, the rest will follow. I will make a larger figure on the other side of the archway, the guardians of the Arts Office!

I love kinetic art, anything that moves fascinates me. I will talk more about that in another post. As I have no film upload for this blog I feel I must share with you the best music video ever, the band are Ok Go, I don’t really know their music. This machine the scientists built is fantastic, I love how clever and yet how destructive it is. I won’t be building such a sculpture in Kilkenny in 2010, but it would be great to collaborate in the future with artists who are technical and scientific minded. Enjoy the film.