“I draw mainly from my rural surroundings and am interested in the life we share with other non human beings i.e. other animals, plants and the air and the atmosphere that surrounds us. My preferred way to draw is blind as I feel I can better convey an aspect of the animal/plant/landscape being depicted. Like many people, I am concerned about the current state of the natural world. I recently did an ecoliteracy course with Cathy Fitzgerald (see online The Hollywood Forest Story) which made me more acutely aware of my place in the world and how generally I ‘unregarded’ and thus unvalued/undervalued the myriad of non human life that I share that world with. I am trying to use materials in my work that will have the least harmful effect on the natural world and so have begun to make my own drawing inks with blackberry and beetroot juice and include more natural materials with which to draw like charred wood. I am currently working towards a solo exhibition of blind drawings at Blackwater Valley Makers, Fermoy and I hope the viewer will be able to feel my connection with my landscape.”
Gillian Cussen graduated from CIT Crawford College of Art and Design with a BA(Hons) in Fine Art in 2008 and a PGDE in 2009. She works as an artist and art facilitator in various nursing homes in County Cork and on the Lonradh programme at the Crawford Art Gallery. Currently, due to the pandemic she is making short videos online for Lonradh members on the Crawford Art Gallery’s website. In her final year at CCAD she received a number of awards from OPW and was joint winner of the UCC award. She exhibited at the RUA in 2010 and in various group shows at the Lavit Gallery and in Fermoy at the Blackwater Valley Makers. She has had solo shows in 2018 at Friarsgate Theatre, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick and in 2019 at Cork County Council Library Headquarters.