Sitemap

Jump to content

Subscribe to Newsletter



Yvonne sits on a wooden chair facing the camera. Behind Yvonne is a grey concrete wall with 7 paintings hung tightly in a horizontal line above her head.

Yvonne Condon


Yvonne Condon is a visual artist based in Cork. Yvonne received an Arts and Disability Connect New Work award in 2019.

Tell us about your art.
I am a visual artist and I work mainly in acrylic paint, on thick boards, canvas or paper. The colours I use are bright and vivid. My lines are strong and expressive. Sometimes I like to make quick drawings with only a marker and paper. My way of working is fast. Some people call me a ‘speed painter’. Once I paint the first piece, I can’t stop! I can easily say that since I have started to work, I have created thousands of pieces. My favourite things to paint are people and animals.

Where are you based?
I live in Midleton, County Cork.

What are you working on at the moment?
I am in the middle of creating my Arts and Disability Connect New Work award project from 2019. It is focused on rediscovering Cork, its landscape, heritage, city life and to capture it in a large-scale outdoor painting. The final work will be painted on a wall somewhere in Cork City. The Covid situation delayed the project more than I expected, but I am getting there.

Can you tell us a little bit about your career path as an artist? How did you get to where you are now?
I have been a resident in a busy day care centre run by Cope Foundation in Cork since 2006. One of the staff members, Hermann Marbe who was primarily hired as a nurse, created an art studio there in 2009. The studio was open to anyone. He gave participants space, time and lot of attention. He introduced us to many art techniques and helped us discover the ones that worked best for each of us. All of a sudden here I was, vigorously painting one piece after another. It was as if someone opened a secret door within me, a door leading to a great force of expression that could never be shut again.

Slowly Hermann found around 15 people who engaged the most with making art in the studio. He created a supported studio called GASP (Glasheen Art Studio Programme). He started to arrange exhibitions, local and national workshops, collaborations with artists working in music, dance, and film. For those few years we were not what people called ‘people with disabilities’ but we were ‘artists of Cork’.

Hermann sadly and suddenly passed away in the summer of 2018.

After this, Crawford Supported Studio at Crawford Art Gallery was created and this is where I am now. The studio was developed in partnership with Cork City Council, CIT Crawford College of Art, Crawford Art Gallery and Cope Foundation.

If you have been a recipient of an Arts and Disability Connect Award, how has this impacted your career path as an artist?
I was lucky to be awarded an Arts and Disability Connect New Work award in 2019. That gave me the opportunity to push my skills further and to work on large-scale paintings. It allowed me to experiment and combine forms of portraits, which I love, with landscapes. After months of travel restrictions because of Covid, it brought me great joy to be back to work in the middle of the city, to wander amongst people and buildings with my sketch pad and to feel like a local artist again.

Are there any standout moments in your career as an artist?
In 2016 I participated in Expanding Realities, a European Erasmus + partnership. I was part of a creative collaboration between groups of artists from Cork, Bristol and Madrid who visited each other’s studios, shared workshops and exchanged our experiences and inspirations. It was a great adventure!

My work was selected and presented at the 185th and 186th Annual Exhibitions at the RHA, Dublin. I was proud to bring my family and friends to this prestigious event to see my work.

In the summer of 2016, artist Derek Foott created a short film with hundreds of my paintings laid out on the floor of Cork City Council. In 2017 filmmaker Linda Curtin took shots of me in the Everyman Theatre in Cork among 650 pieces of my work placed on the seats, like an audience. My work looked really impactful when they were presented all together as one big piece. I was honoured that my work was captured beautifully by talented people. That was cool.

Who or what are the most important influences on your art?
I think my art is influenced by my life, by people who surround me, by the things I see. I do not speak, not in a traditional way anyway. I have limited hearing and I can see with one of my eyes. This is my window to the world. I like to grasp people’s energy. I like to capture their emotions, written in their body and their faces, in my work. People say that my portraits show ‘that something’, that piece of character hidden in their gesture and posture. I love painting animals too, as I love to be near them.

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
When you do not speak, cannot see or hear much, some decisions can be taken from you by someone else and that means opportunities that you wanted can pass you by. Sometimes I just do not have the patience to explain to people what I need!

Who is your favourite artist?
I love art, but I don’t lean towards any particular artist. I’m inspired by everything around me in everyday life.

What do you like to do for fun?
I love outdoor activities like swimming, walking with my dogs and gardening. I love meeting my family and travelling. When I am finally exhausted and that is not easy to achieve, I like to relax in front of a movie.

Thank you to my mother Margaret Condon and Karolina Clénet for supporting me to write this interview.

 

Biography
Yvonne Condon is an energetic individual and passionate visual artist from East Cork. The largest part of her work consists of acrylic portraits that she captures with a vibrant palette, great speed and expressive lines. She finds great pleasure in engaging with the public during workshops and ‘meet the artist’ events.

Her journey with art began in 2006 at the Cope Foundation day care centre in Cork, where she became a member of Glasheen Art Studio Programme (GASP). With the support of GASP, Yvonne’s work was shown as part of solo and group exhibitions in Colombia and Ireland, including Belfast, Dublin, and a variety of locations in Cork City and County. Her participation in Expanding Realities in 2015 and 2016 gave her the opportunity to exchange creative experiences with artists from Bristol and Madrid.

After receiving an Arts and Disability Connect New Work award in 2019, she challenged herself with new working methods, especially larger-scale paintings. Her new way of working led her to focus on urban and rural locations of Cork. Until the break caused by Covid-19, Yvonne was taking part in the Crawford Supported Studio.

yvonnecondonart.blogspot.com

Yvonne Condon drawing visitors during a Meet the Artist event in Crawford Art Gallery as part of Culture Night, 2017. Photo by Hermann Marbe.

Yvonne Condon drawing visitors during a Meet the Artist event in Crawford Art Gallery as part of Culture Night, 2017. Photo by Hermann Marbe.

I like to grasp people’s energy. I like to capture their emotions, written in their body and their faces, in my work. People say that my portraits show ‘that something’, that piece of character hidden in their gesture and posture.

Solo exhibition by Yvonne Condon at Ina McCarthy for Flowers as a part of Mid-May Arts Festival Midleton, 2015. Photo by Hermann Marbe.

Solo exhibition by Yvonne Condon at Ina McCarthy for Flowers as a part of Mid-May Arts Festival Midleton, 2015. Photo by Hermann Marbe.

A still featuring artwork by Yvonne Condon from the Magic of Cinema, a collaborative film with Linda Curtin, Everyman Theatre, Cork, 2017. Photo by Linda Curtin. Click here to watch the film.

A still featuring artwork by Yvonne Condon from The Magic of Cinema, a collaborative film with Linda Curtin, Everyman Theatre, Cork, 2017. Photo by Linda Curtin. Click here to watch the film.

Untitled by Yvonne Condon at the 185th Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin, 2016. Photo by Hermann Marbe.

Untitled by Yvonne Condon at the 185th Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, Dublin, 2016. Photo by Hermann Marbe.

An installation of Yvonne Condon’s work at Cork City Hall Atrium as a part of a short film called yvonnne by Derek Foott for Expanding Realities, a European Erasmus + partnership, 2016. Photo by Hermann Marbe. Click here to watch the film.

An installation of Yvonne Condon’s work at Cork City Hall Atrium as a part of a short film called yvonnne by Derek Foott for Expanding Realities, a European Erasmus + partnership, 2016. Photo by Hermann Marbe. Click here to watch the film.


Artist Biography

Yvonne Condon

Yvonne Condon is an energetic individual and passionate visual artist from East Cork. The largest part of her work consists of acrylic portraits that she captures with a vibrant palette, great speed and expressive lines. She finds great pleasure in engaging with the public during workshops and ‘meet the artist’ events.

Her journey with art began in 2006 at the Cope Foundation day care centre in Cork, where she became a member of Glasheen Art Studio Programme (GASP). With the support of GASP, Yvonne’s work was shown as part of solo and group exhibitions in Colombia and Ireland, including Belfast, Dublin, and a variety of locations in Cork City and County. Her participation in Expanding Realities in 2015 and 2016 gave her the opportunity to exchange creative experiences with artists from Bristol and Madrid.

After receiving an Arts and Disability Connect New Work award in 2019, she challenged herself with new working methods, especially larger-scale paintings. Her new way of working led her to focus on urban and rural locations of Cork. Until the break caused by Covid-19, Yvonne was taking part in the Crawford Supported Studio.

yvonnecondonart.blogspot.com

crawfordartgallery.ie/crawford-supported-studio

Return to top of page