Sunday, April 15, 2012

Inside artist Laura de Búrca's Dublin studio

Dublin artist Laura de Búrca's work is mesmerising and evocative. I love her use of colour, her attention to detail and the way she can capture a precious moment of shifting light. Three of her pieces hang on my walls.

We attended the same school and recently bumped into each other in our local park, the War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge. The NCAD graduate warmly welcomed me to her Thomas Street studio recently, which was a real visual treat.

Laura is currently working on a book about her father's family's orchard in the countryside near Tuam, Co. Galway. Poring over newspaper archives to find details of its prize-winning country fair entries and studying the people and the place in black and white photographs, she has been inspired to create a series of beautiful illustrations for the book, from the ivy-clad frontage of her grandparents' home to detailed studies of fruit and foliage.

Like sunlight breaking through the trees, she breathes vibrancy and light into the still-life studies of the apples and other fruit grown on the orchard. Her research has also shed light on Irish varieties that have since been replaced on shop shelves by imported fruit.

On Laura's desk (formerly owned by an architect and picked up for a song on a recycling website), my eye was instantly drawn by a series of tropical birds. The inspired choice of canvas? Paint sample tiles rescued from a skip outside the nearby Farrow & Ball showroom on Cornmarket. The English paint company is renowned for its range of high quality heritage colours, and I love how Laura has found a new use for her find. Red tags from a vintage label maker proudly describes the rather unusual breeds of bird, such as Candy Plumed Sundove (below), that she has brought to life.

Photos relating to Laura's painstaking research of the orchard also hang on the walls.

In every corner of the studio, creativity blooms. Laura, who has worked as an artist facilitator and workshop devisor with The Ark, a children's cultural centre in Temple Bar, made the leafy paper garland for a friend's wedding from old paper. She can also turn her hand to lifelike flowers, as pictured on top of a table she recently volunteered to upcycle for Oxfamhome on Francis Street, the subject of a blog post I wrote for the Oxfam Ireland website.

See Laura’s work on and She also blogs about colours on
The blog post about the table she upcycled for Oxfamhome is 

1 comment:

  1. great post - love Laura's work, have my eye on one of her birdies!