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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Interview with Stiofan O'Ceallaigh


q)Please tell us your name and where you practice.

a)Stiofan O’Ceallaigh based Salford (Manchester), UK.

q) Why do you make art?

a)I’ve been painting and exploring other means of expression since I was 7 years old. I make art because I have to; for cathartic means.

q) How do you work ?

a)Every day I try and create something new. A typical day is approximately 7-8 hours making works and/or research.

q) What´s your background?

a)Born in Ireland I re-located to Liverpool, England to study for a Bachelors degree in Fine Art & Drama and Theatre Studies. After achieving a First Class Honours I was given the opportunity to have solo and group shows in Liverpool. 1 year after my degree I moved to Manchester where for the past 14 years I have been promoting artists and working in the arts up to Executive level. In 2014 I decided to take a new road and started dedicating all of my time to making art and developing my own projects.

q) What role does the artist have in society?

a)To cause flux, a deeper understanding, push boundaries, present visions of the future and new realities.

q) What was a seminal experience for you ?

a)I have many and they usually involve travel. I have been very lucky to visit and live in places such as Ireland, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Iceland, Paris, Barcelona, New York....

q) Has your practice changed over time ?

a)It hasn’t no. I started painting when I was 7 years old. I’ve come back to painting. I suppose you could say that poetry is a new thing for me, but that’s just me writing down thoughts rather than trying to construct something.

q) What art do you most identify with ?

a)Video art.

q) What´s your strongest memory of your childhood ?

a)Strangford Lough. We lived just beside the Lough and most of my family is still there. The scenery back home is out of this world.

q) What themes do you pursue ?

a)Identity and aesthetics (relational and dynamic).

q) Describe a real life experience that inspired you.


q) What´s your most embarrassing moment ?


q) What jobs have you done other than being an artist ?

a)As I said earlier I have worked in the arts for fourteen years at management and executive level, this includes Front of House Management, Production, Fundraising, Finance and organisational deputy directorship. My main skills lie in strategy, income generation and rebranding.  I am also a Theatre Captioner which means that I provide access to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people to theatre performances.

q) What responses have you had to your work ?

a)It’s always the same, people love the works I don’t like. Which is cool. My main aim in my work is to make the viewer feel how I felt when I made the work. A kind of transference. How the viewer interprets the content is up to them.

q) What do you dislike about the artworld ?


q) What research do you do ?

a)I’m always observing 24/7. I work VERY fast and I’m a bit of a sponge. I soak things, ideas, shapes, words and colours up very quickly and save them in my head for when I need them.

q) What is your dream project?

a)I’m doing it: Balaclava.Q. But to be honest any project which promotes social change, understanding, compassion and relationships.

q) What´s the best piece of advice you have been given ?

a)“You don’t have to like every piece of art or performer that you promote or introduce. Let the viewer/audience make their own mind up.” Another good one is to “let the art speak for itself”.

q) What couldn’t you do without?


q) What makes you angry?

a)The system.

q) What is your worst quality?


q) Dogs or Cats ?


q) Making art is a lot like being on lsd. Know what I mean ?


q) What does “ copy” mean to you ?


q) What´s your favorite cuss word ?