Surviving or Thriving? Panel Exchange 2: Visual Art

Panel Exchange 2: Visual Art

Thursday 18 March, 10.30am (online)

Chair: Dr Maureen Gaffney

Speakers: Artists Brian Kielt, Miriam O’Connor and Austin Ivers.

From Waterford Healing Arts Trust in partnership with the Arts Council.
Part of an online series of panel discussions, workshops and resources seeking to strengthen resilience, restore confidence and promote connectedness across the arts sector.

Click here for info about the entire Surviving or Thriving? programme.
Listen to a recording of this event here:


Our sincere appreciation to our associate organisation Visual Artists Ireland for their support and guidance in putting this Visual Art strand together.

About the speakers:

Brian Kielt is a visual artist based in Northern Ireland. A graduate of the Belfast School of Art (2010), Kielt uses drawing and painting techniques that manipulate personal and found imagery to create alternate narratives. In 2015, Kielt was a finalist in the NI Young Artist of the Year award, and in 2018 he was among 13 recipients of the iDA Grant from the University of Atypical in Belfast, which is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. In 2019 and 2020, Kielt was highly commended in the MOTH Art Prize. Kielt has been included in multiple publications including The Visual Artists Ireland News Sheet, Occupy Paper and Tales from the Forest. He has appeared in several group shows, held five solo exhibitions and has work in a number of private collections in the UK, Republic of Ireland and the US. He is currently developing his practice from his studio in the Mid Ulster countryside.

A graduate of Technological University, Dublin and the Institute of Art, Design & Technology, Dublin (IADT) (Research Masters, 2011), Cork artist Miriam O’Connor draws inspiration from the language, sights and sounds of the everyday. She is curious about the multifaceted roles photography occupies in culture and the manner in which this persuasive medium permeates the way we engage with the world around us. Following her relocation to the family farm in recent years, O’Connor now occupies a dual role of farmer and photographer, where she is interested in engaging with the elasticity of this medium throughout everyday agricultural life. In recent times O’Connor was awarded the Visual Artists Ireland Experiment! Award (2020) and her long-term body of work, Tomorrow is Sunday was published in conjunction with A Woman’s Work by the Gallery of Photography Ireland (2020). A solo show of this work will take place at The Royal Hibernian Academy this year. O’Connor also lectures part-time at Griffith College Dublin. Her work is part of FUTURES, a photography platform that pools the resources and talent programmes of leading photography institutions across Europe, and A Woman’s Work, a project using photography and digital media to challenge the dominant view of gender and industry in Europe.

Austin Ivers is an artist and educator. Currently lecturing in contemporary art at GMIT, Austin has also been a visiting lecturer at LSAD, Burren College of Art and the Huston School at NUIG. He has exhibited widely throughout Ireland, including at the RHA, 126, Live 8 and the Dock; in Europe in Graz, Kiev and Friedrichshafen; and in Philadelphia, USA. His writing has been published in the VAI Printed Project and Enclave Papers. Austin is currently working towards a new solo work in 2021. His work considers the relationship between technology and memory, currently via the prism of the Cold War and existential anxiety generated by fear of nuclear war.

Dr Maureen Gaffney – Bio
Psychologist, writer and broadcaster Dr Maureen Gaffney earned a BA in Psychology from UCC, an MA in Behavioural Sciences from the University of Chicago and a PhD at Trinity College Dublin. She has completed Executive Education Programmes on leadership and governance in the Harvard Kennedy School, the University of Chicago Business School and the Kellogg School of Management. She is a member of the Harvard Kennedy School Women’s Leadership Board and served on its Executive Committee.

Dr Gaffney brings the latest research and thinking on emotional intelligence, resilience, and transformational leadership to her work with companies.  She has worked with a wide range of organisations, including Intel (Ireland and the US), Boston Scientific, Amazon, Google, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, as well as major professional service companies and the educational sector in Australia.

She is a much sought-after speaker and has addressed businesses in Ireland, the UK, the US, Sweden, Germany and Spain.  Dr Gaffney is a highly experienced chairperson and moderator in both the public and private sector including Executive Chair of the National Economic and Social Forum, Chair of the National Monitoring Committee of the Programme for Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development and Chair of the Insurance Ombudsman of Ireland Council for three years. She was a Board member of the HSE and has extensive experience of the health sector. She has retained a long-term interest in the legal sector since her ten year tenure as Law Reform Commissioner.  She has worked in many other sectors of Irish life – as Director of the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology in Trinity College Dublin, Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Society in University College Dublin and she served on the board of the Council of the Economic and Social Research Institute.

A follow up workshop with artist Marie Brett entitled ‘Sustaining the Self’ for artists and others working in the visual art sector takes place on Fri 19 March at 10.30am. More details here.