Irish Artist Sharon Devlin began her career as a painter, working primarily in oils and acrylics and occasionally pastel. When she stepped into her role as a community arts practitioner working with Tallaght Community Arts some 12 years ago, her art began to evolve.
Designing and implementing arts projects with groups from the local community, she began to specialise in working with people from the disabled community and also vulnerable people and groups from marginalised communities.
It was through this work, exploring and experimenting with new ways in which to reach out and communicate with people who live on the margins of life and finding ways in which to enable these individuals to use art as a means of communication and self exploration, that led Sharon to begin to explore a deeper theme to her own work as an artist. She also began to express this new vein of her work through a wider choice of materials, driven to create more tactile, sculptural pieces which could be viewed through touch as well as sight.
Inspired by artists from the Dada movement in the early 1900`s, in particular Hannah Hoch whose use of photomontage and her use of this medium in which to create a dialogue around social issues, Sharon brought this method into her own work. How powerful to use photo image alongside the more conventional methods of creating art. Making art in a different way led to looking at life through a different perspective.
Constantly informed by her work in the community and bearing witness to people`s stories Sharon was driven to find a way of telling a story through her work. With a wish to make these stories tangible, through the senses and also emotionally.
In all things we encounter, be it music, books, poetry, smell, touch, taste and the stories of others, we as humans are brought right back into the centre of our own experience – to our own story. Our encounters just further embed our own experience. It is this emotion that Sharon is trying to reach or evoke through her work. She tells you one story through her work, and you, the viewer experience a very different and personal story as you witness it. This is as it should be.
If you'd like to find out more about Sharon, please do not hesitate to contact her. She'd be delighted to answer any questions you may have about any aspect of her work.