Graphic Studio Dublin – Artists Beyond the Studio

Niamh McGuinne – Shelters in a changed world

Friday April 9th 2021 11 am

Worlds of Escape: From Books to Other Spaces. Each of the artists in this next part of the series interprets the world around them and presents us with an altered version, a lens through which to view the world. We are inviting you to join us over the next few weeks and come and view these otherworlds and their creators. Let’s peek behind the curtain!

Niamh McGuinne is an artist, paper conservator and printmaker. She has been a member of Graphic Studio Dublin since 2010, and is currently on the Board of Directors. Niamh returned to college and completed a Masters in Fine Art from NCAD in 2020, which saw her further expanding her already experimental printmaking practice. She works with sculpture, installation and film alongside her printmaking, which is in itself multi-disciplinary- incorporating screenprint, etching and transfer printing on materials including paper, textiles, perspex and metal. 

Niamh’s recent installation pieces – the Shell/ters, comprised three human-scale single occupancy shelters in which to shed anxiety, detach from divisive discourse, reboot energy levels and contemplate one’s own physicality. The structures are thought provoking and paradoxical, at the same time inviting retreat and shelter, but also invoking a sense of unease- treading a line between protection and containment, escape and  isolation.

Niamh will talk about this intriguing new work, these spaces she has created, how the work’s meaning has evolved over the past year, and how the global events of the last 12 months have impacted on it.

Spectacular Replica online exhibition tour

The National College of Art and Design and NCAD Gallery is delighted to host Spectacular Replica: An NCAD MFA Fine Art 2020 Graduates Exhibition, 21 – 28 January, 2021. The title of this exhibition, Spectacular Replica makes reference to the realities of mediating the work of our arts and cultural practitioners through a screen based lens, as we are currently unable to physically witness their work or our own experiential response in close proximity. 

For Spectacular Replica we have devised a number of ways to access the content of the exhibition online. On Thursday, 21 January, 2021, at 5pm we will launch the exhibition with a live art performance, Dance Alone by exhibiting artist Ciarán O’Keeffe broadcast live on Instagram @ncad_gallery and @mfancad_. We are also fortunate to take advantage of the architecture of the NCAD Gallery window that faces onto Thomas Street, Dublin 8, where part of the exhibition can be viewed,

Spectacular Replica

Spectacular Replica: An NCAD MFA Fine Art 2020 Graduates Exhibition

ONLINE exhibition of work from graduates of the NCAD Master of Fine Art class of 2020.

Thursday, 21st January – Thursday, 28th January 2021

Valerie Bresnihan, Sarah Edmondson, Andrej Getman, Barry Gibbons, Niamh McGuinne, Ciarán O’Keeffe, Gary Reilly, Lena Willryd

 EVENT: 21 – 28 January, 5PM, NCAD Gallery INSTAGRAM
Live art performance, Dance Alone by exhibiting artist Ciarán O’Keeffe broadcast live on Instagram @ncad_gallery and @mfancad_.
 EVENT: THURSDAY 28th Jan, 2021, 1PM  – LINK
Matt Packer, Director of Ireland’s Biennial, EVA International in conversation with Spectacular Replica: NCAD MFA Fine Art 2020 Graduates Exhibition artists, on the NCAD Dublin Youtube Channel, and below.


My practice can be defined as expanded print, I incorporate sculptural elements, film and installation. I use a combination of low-tech and analogue systems of production along with traditional and experimental methods of etching, screen and transfer printing on a variety of materials including film, paper, textile, perspex and metal. These prints are often combined in 3D configurations either as a method of display, to encourage interaction or in order to film and animate.

I live and work in Dublin and am a member of the Graphic Studio Dublin (GSD) since 2010. I graduated from NCAD MFA in Fine Art in 2020. I am also a practicing paper conservator and have an MA in Conservation of Fine Art from the University of Northumbria, UK. I have worked in a number of museums and galleries in the USA, UK and Ireland and am currently a paper conservator in the National Gallery of Ireland. This background has influenced my approach to ideas of permanence, timelessness and the notion of perfection.

The embodiment of psychological experience and the nature of somatic response in an underlying theme in my work. I am addressing issues concerning how the body absorbs, holds and disguises trauma. This may be referred to as body armouring, a way of absorbing a threat to counter its influence.

She slid on slowly by

She slid on slowly by, (2020), screen print on paper, 38 x 46cm, 2020; detail in raking light.

I have an interest in snails, in particular their self-healing abilities and hermaphroditic character.. Their secreted mucus protects their passage over rough terrain, forms their shell and is their footprint, I like that the collective noun is a walk or rout of snails. I am interested in how something soft and slimy can be changed into a tough, protective shell. In medieval manuscripts, snails were often depicted fighting and defeating armoured knights. Some scholars point to an association with a treasonous family, while others suggest the snail may represent the poor, the pest, the social climber or be seen as a symbol of female sexuality. This interpreted fear of femininity fits perfectly within my natural interests in distorted thinking, metamorphosis and body armouring.