Shane O’Driscoll is a visual artist based in Cork who predominately works in screen printing. With a background in Visual Communication, Shane adapts his unique abstract style from the gallery to the street (or field!). Based out of Cork Printmakers, Shane has exhibited his work internationally and has work included in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.

Shane O’Driscoll

Where did you spend quarantine?

I spent it in West Cork with my wife’s family. We figured it would be best to get out of the city, as there would be more space down there and it would be good to have people with us for a more sociable lockdown.

Did you have access to a studio during this time? If not, how did you continue to create work?

No, the printmakers was closed, so I had no access to my usual means of creating artwork.

I decided to embrace the break from my normal workway, it’s always nice to change direction or explore other ways of creating artwork. I focused more on photography, which is something I’d wanted to do for a while. I found myself noticing interesting things in the landscape and grew a better appreciation of the countryside. We were by the coast and I documented rocks on the landscape, which had a similar aesthetic to my printwork of space and bold shapes. It was nice to have time to think about why I make the work I do and explore where it comes from. 

I also made 2 risoprints, which I wanted to do for a while, these turned out great and were printed in Dublin.

‘Sunrise (Always Comes Around)’, Risograph Print, A3, 2020

Did you experiment with any new materials or methodologies?

I have been painting on old farm machinery down there over the past few years and I decided to document it in a zine, as they get painted over when I finish them or the elements wear it away. All these interventions were recorded on my phone until now, so it was good to compile the images and make a booklet. Aesthetically the farm art is a lot more free form than my print work and doesn’t have a proposed outcome. I just keep painting until I feel it’s done, which is quite expressive. It doesn’t have to be perfect or for an exhibition which takes pressure off making it.

Given the limitations and restrictions of the last few months, did your art making process change at all? If so, do you think this will continue to change how you will make art going forward?

I certainly enjoyed the slower and loose pace during restrictions. All deadlines and upcoming exhibitions fell away and I enjoyed the time to think. I think allowing a more free form approach and risk taking will follow through from the time. Creative people adapt naturally to change and find a new way of producing work to feed the urge to make. I also did more collaborative work, of which I will be doing more for sure. Its nice to have a cross pollination of thoughts to steer you in a new way.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I have a solo show coming up and a nice collaboration with the Irish Design Shop. I will be in Waterford painting for Waterford Walls festival and a few other exciting projects in the mix. My work can be quite varied, I like to put it out there in random places as well as galleries. It’s always nice to see how people react to my work in different environments.

All photographs were provided by Shane O’Driscoll. To see more of Shane’s work visit his website and Instagram.