Art by Ciaran Taylor

Biography and Exhibitions

Life model
      Ailbhe. Torso, Nude
Ailbhe Reclining, 25 July 2013. Conté pastel on paper 229mm × 152mm.
Larger version

I was born in Dublin and I trained as an artist at the National College of Art and Design, graduating in 1985. Despite some success at first I had to face the fact that I wasn't going to make a living as an artist. I had always loved science and mathematics and I studied Applied Science at DIT and eventually went on to do a Ph.D. in Mathematics at UCD. I now work as a Mathematics Lecturer at IT Tallaght and I love the whole process of communicating Mathematics to my students.

Training to be a mathematician meant that I made no art for about twelve years. I thought I had given it up altogether, but then in 2002 art came back and rapidly took very firm hold of me! I have attended various short courses since then, and some very inspiring teachers have shown me that Art College didn't teach me as much as might have! I think this humbling realisation that there were things I needed to learn, together with the discovery that there were artists who had something valuable to teach me, has helped my work to get better.


When I left NCAD I thought my art education was finished, but in 2002, having almost completely given up art-making for over ten years (while I studied Mathematics), I got started again with a bronze casting summer course at NCAD with Vivian Hansbury. Doing a taught course in bronze casting didn't bother me though: I'd never done bronze casting before, so I knew I had plenty to learn.

I had always loved life drawing while I was at art college and had done none since, so I was tempted to do a life painting summer course. In this case I felt I knew what I was doing already and I was hoping to be left alone to draw and paint the model. The tutor on that course was Ann Lynch and I discovered that actually she had quite a lot to teach me! I went on to do a lot of taught courses and started to wonder why I hadn't been taught any of what I was learning now when I was at art college. I'm still interested in courses and workshops, but while I was once interested in anything that allowed me to draw a life model I'm a lot choosier about tutors now.

June 2012 RHA/RCS Anatomy workshop with Alan McGowan
2011 Life painting in Oil: a workshop with Will Nathans
2002-2011 NCAD part-time courses (evening and summer) in Bronze Casting, Life Drawing, Life Painting and Sculpture Making
2005-2007 RHA Drawing Series, Drawing Marathon (Summer 2006)
2004-2005 DLIADT part-time courses (evening and summer) Life Drawing and Life Painting with Cecily Brennan: very practical and inspiring at the same time!
1980-1985 National College of Art and Design: Degree in Fine Art (Painting)



2013 132nd Annual Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition, Ulster Museum (one work)
2011 130th Annual Royal Ulster Academy Exhibition, Ulster Museum (two works)
1993 Collection of Vincent and Noeleen Ferguson, RHA Gallagher Gallery
1990 The Glass Pier Show, Dun Laoghaire Arts Week
National Portrait Competition
1989 National Portrait Competition
1988 Phoenix Art, Phoenix Park Racecourse
Dun Laoghaire Street Show, Dun Laoghaire Arts Week
Group Show, 5A Artworks, Dun Laoghaire
1987 Art Fair, Temple Bar Studios
Group Show, Solomon Gallery
A Place of Work: a travelling exhibition of work by artists from New Art Studios
1986 Studio '86, Temple Bar Studios
NCAD Decade Show, Guinness Hop Store
Group Show, Solomon Gallery
1985 Independent Artists
EVA 85
Collection of Vincent Ferguson, National Concert Hall





Visual Artists Ireland