Erin Keogh is a young, talented artist working in the Project Ability studios. Erin loves abstract painting.
Her enthusiasm for painting is so visible and profound. Erin is an artist with complex support needs, and as such her movements take so much effort and concentration, that after about 30 minutes Erin will slow and even stop for a while. She very much enjoys being an artist, and expressing her creativity. Her mother Fiona, who is her studio assistant, notices that “she kind of speeds up a little sometimes in a lovely proud way”, when people come to see what she is working on. As the years have gone on, Fiona has noticed that “Erin’s marks on the canvas have become more varied, she starts to understand the consequence that certain movements have on the canvas”. Erin paints with her left hand and recently sometimes both.
Fiona explains in her own words the role she plays in Erin’s studio practice:
“My involvement is to consistently offer her choices and place the paint on the canvas so she can access it with her hand. The choices could be, colour choice, where she wants the paint to be placed, and sometimes, what shape and size of shapes she wants and where, and what colour of background to use on the canvas. Recently Erin has been using roller sponges for a different group of effects. Again, she is offered a choice about the colours she wants loaded onto the sponge before we roll, and she also decides where the roller line is to go. This is done by me gesturing the place and angle about the canvas with hands and arms. To make the colour choices, Erin is offered 4 colours and they are held in front of the canvas or just in front of her to choose from. “Say yes if you want …….” That’s how mother and daughter/artist and assistant, start the choice process off.”
As Erin’s artist assistant and parent, Fiona has told us she “feels a sense of great joy and pride at this young women’s achievements. Project Ability has made this possible. These experiences at Project Ability have enriched Erin’s life. She wants to be seen as someone with a creative identity and loves to be known as a good painter”.
Erin Keogh is without a doubt a creative identity and we have fallen in love with her abstract paintings over the last few years, which we can see developing and maturing with every new studio session. Her parents provide the vital role of supporting Erin and her art practice, and we feel lucky to have her in our studios. We are delighted she has been chosen to be one of three artists in our upcoming collaborative touring exhibition titled, Abundance, opening October 6th in the Project Ability gallery.
We recently commissioned Jerry Clark a film to be made about Erin and her working practice…. the funding for this film came from the collaborative exhibition Erin is part of titled Abundance. Read more about it here.