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 worked as an artist and art facilitator in various nursing homes in County Cork for ten years and has been an artist facilitator on the Lonradh programme at the Crawford Art Gallery since 2011. During the pandemic she made short videos online for Lonradh members on the Crawford Art Gallery’s website. In her final year at CCAD Gillian 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. Gillian has a solo exhibition in MTU, Cork School of Music in June 2023 which she is currently working on.
I draw and paint from my rural surroundings and am interested in the life and space we share with other animals, plants, 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 subject being depicted. 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 inks with plants sourced from our garden and the surrounding countryside e.g. blackberry, beetroot, elderberry, and I also use natural materials to draw like charred wood. I love to draw portraits of people, especially older adults, as I feel they contain beauty, wisdom and grace.
Membership: Backwater Artists Network