Ciaran graduated from NCAD in 1985, since then he has attended courses at the RHA with various artists including David Kassan. He has exhibited in various group shows from EVA ’85 to the RHA Annual exhibition in 2016 and has exhibited in the RUA Annual exhibitions in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
He works in a representational mode, and is attracted to drawing more than painting. While his main subject is the nude figure, working directly from the life model, he also does portraits and still life.
Ciaran beieves that: Representational drawing is an act of war on the brain’s normal visual processing: we succeed to the extent that we can subvert the brain’s visual system. In normal everyday looking the brain, without our noticing it, takes the flat peculiar shapes projected on our retinas and transforms them into something three-dimensional and familiar. When we draw, we’re trying to recover those flat peculiar shapes, and it takes a lot of practice and a few clever tricks to achieve this feat! Funnily enough, it is precisely this subversion which is required to make a drawing look ‘real’.
The final result is a very traditional thing, a life drawing or a portrait. It is a record of a struggle to represent what is in front of the artist, a living, feeling, suffering human being, making herself or himself utterly open to , the artist drawing her or him, and the viewers of the picture. The picture bears the marks of the struggle: erasures, measuring marks and pentimenti. These marks are allowed to remain and are evident to anyone who looks for them, part of the life and energy of the drawing.