Exploring the delicate work of Ciara Healy is a perfect way to celebrate this time of year. Just as spring tentatively reminds us of warmer times ahead, Ciara's work ponders on the fragility of the changing seasons set against the permanence and history of the country village where she lives and works.
Skillfully naive illustrations of Kent Oast houses, hunting dogs, flowers, village maps and wellington boots make for a heart warming, uplifting collection.
Born in Ireland, Healy grew up in Cork and Oxford and studied Fine Art and Illustration in Dublin. She has received numerous awards for public art commissions, residencies and travel grants and has had a number of artists books published by ignition.ie.
Her work is represented in public collections including the Tate Britain, Office of Public Works, Dublin and the National College of Art and Design as well as private collections in Ireland the UK and America.
Here we take a few moments out with Ciara:
How would you describe your work and shop?
My e-shop is a little haven for people who like handmade books, cards and prints with quirky illustrations inspired by nature, the good life and little white dogs!
Who/what are your biggest influences?
David Hockney, Maurice Sendak, Sara Midda and my collection of vintage ladybird books.
Where is your favourite spring/summer place to visit for inspiration?
Folly Wildlife Rescue, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the antique shops by the waterfront in Rye.
(Thanks to fantastic thewomensroom.typepad.com for this image of Rye)
What is your favourite item from your current collection?
My new book 'Life is good when you're a little white dog' was launched in March at the International Artists' Book Fair in Leeds.
Do you have any new items/collections about to be launched?
Two new books - 'My Ideal' and 'Life is good when you're a little white dog' two new illustrated handmade books about pigs falling in love and little white dogs living the good life.
What do you enjoy most about being one of the shops in The Secret Arcade?
A beautiful shop window, sharing a 'street' with such a wonderful group of exciting and talented artists and designers and having my work available to a new audience.
Visit Ciara at Shop No2 in the Books, Prints & Art Passage within The Secret Arcade, here...