My artistic Practise has changed and developed over many years. I started exhibiting in public juried shows when I first returned from Paris in the early "fifties".   My medium was almost entirely painting in oils on canvas with a fairly light impasto. I occasionally worked areas with pallette knife but mostly superimposed areas of opaque paint with transparent colour for particular effects and dryer paint "scumbling"  for texture.

My training at the Atelier André L'Hote led me to experiments in using solely warm and cold colour variations to create more contemporary versions of "Chiaroscuro" in which I had always been deeply interested.  I sometimes used pastel for greater instant expression.  Subjects always came from the directly observed and mostly used the figure.  L'Hote being a cubist teacher, I was  concerned with volume and weight.  With this focus, I also explored landscape, which I do to this day.

The visual language that I have developed through what I have described includes the values learned, translated to the medium of Intaglio. I studied etching at the Graphic Studio, Dublin under tutelage of John Kelly, and adopted it as my chief medium.  I now work from my private studio in Connemara where I have gradually built up equipment and where I have a rather large etching Press.

Though working almost entirely in print, my early influences are quite clearly detectable. Many of the same painterly concerns remain. While what I wish to communicate has never been just the observed image alone.  My work remains figurative though from these images I seek to draw out greater resonances that suggest their social and cultural contexts or reactive comment to current events.
In the large, I don't want people to feel entirely comfortable with what they see. I want them to look further and question, even the "flower"  can it refer to death?   Or is it about how all is re-born in Spring?  Perhaps it is simplistic but that is the discourse I carry on with myself.

This is a very ancient area of human habitation and within that I find much subject matter. But I look at more recent histories as well.

My "Plates" vary enormously in size depending on what I am exploring.  They go from 120 cms x 60 cms down to minis of 10 cms x 10 cms or less. I love the process of etching and searching for new ways of "mining" the plate for richness!

Recent Solo Exhibitions

2011 "AKIN, 20 Years on" The Kenny Gallery, Liosban Industrial Estate, Galway (Group)
2010/2011 Clifden Public Libraries, Clifden, Co Galway
2008 Glor, Music Centre, Ennis, Co Clare.
2007 Retrospective of work from 1991 to 2007 Featured Artist, Clifden Arts Week 30th Anniversary
2006 Invited Artist, Saabs Konstforening, Brunneby, Ost Gottland, Sweden
2006 Galerie Sander, Linkoping, Sweden
1999 Kenny’s Gallery, Spiddal, Co Galway

Juried Exhibitions

2010 "Impressions", Galway Arts Centre, Galway City
2010 "Generations" (invited with her daughter, Katharine West), The Kenny Gallery, Liosban Industrial Estate, Galway
2009 Royal Ulster Academy, Open, Belfast
2009 "Forty Years" United Arts Club Annivrsary, Artists Group ,(invited), United Arts Club, Dublin
2008 "Burst into Bloom" (invited), Glor, Ennis, Co Clare
2008 "Le Temps Des Sirènes", International Biennale of Women in Contemporary Art,(invited) Larmor Plage, Brittany
2007 "Milestones", Twentyfive Years of Black Church Print Studio, (invited), OPW Gallery, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin
2007 Inishlacken Project Retrospective, Galway Arts Centre, Galway
2007 (also 1998) Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
2005/2006 Limerick Printmakers Open
2005/2006 Lorg Printmakers Open
2004/2006 "Impressions" Galway Arts Centre, Galway City
1990 - 2004: Claremorris Open, Co Mayo; Printmakers Council at Whiteleys, London; The Making of Prints Open, Wakefield, England; Miniprint de Cadaques, Spain; Living Landscape, Skibbereen, West Cork; Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin.

Collections

Margaret’s work is held in number of both Public and Private collections in Ireland and abroad including:

Dept of Foreign Affairs, Dublin
Office of Public Works, Dublin
Galway County Council
Galway City Council
Mayo County Council