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Deirdre McKenna is a native of Dingle town in West Kerry. She graduated from the Crawford College of Art and Design in 1999. She has exhibited in New York, Chicago, London, Belfast and various galleries in Kerry, Cork, Galway and Dublin. She was officially selected for Impressions Biennial 2015 , The Gathering 2013 and Oireachtais Exhibition 2008. Her work is in the collections of The Community Hospital, Dingle, Co. Kerry, The Skellig Hotel, Dingle, Co. Kerry and private collections in Ireland, UK, Switzerland and USA. Deirdre has taken part in residencies at Cill Rialaig, artists retreat in Ballinskelligs and at Cló Ceardlann na gCnoc in Donegal. She has been awarded the Madghie Hughie Eoin Scholarship in 2013, bursaries and commissions from Ealaín na Gaeltachta and Kerry County Council.

Living in a maritime community has had a profound influence on me. Much of my art practice deals with the culture and traditions I have grown up with. Many of these traditions and practices stretch back many generations and I am interested in their place in a contemporary sense.
Some of my work deals with maritime traditions, for example: the caulking of a wooden boat by a skilled craftsman or replacing/mending/ building boats (both tall and small).
Lá An Dreoilín or The Wrens Day falls on 26th December (St. Stephens Day) is the subject of other pieces. It is still a very strong tradition and an important part of Christmas, particularly in West Kerry. Traditional straw costumes and music are central to this christmas custom.



Sos ar an Dreoílín

Whipping the Bitter End

Dreoílín Oíche Fluich

Mending the Rigging

Straws and Pints

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