Futures – Artist Research

The visit to the RHA in Dublin last November was a great opportunity to view some of the latest contemporary artists & their work. Our current project is to select 2 of these artists to research, produce a 300 word essay & a drawing for each one based on their work.


The artists I have chosen to work with are Vera Klute & Caoimhe Kilfeather

Vera Klute is the current winner of the Hennessy Portrait Prize & is exhibited in many galleries including the National Gallery of Ireland.

Klute has worked with many types of material including paper, clay & paint while also using digital aids to develop her ideas.

Her Hennessy award winning portrait of a family friend was inspired by a sculpture of her friends family. Klute wanted to single out the mother due to her intense gaze & very beautiful features so decided to use paint to create the work.

Speaking about the work Klute says: “I really wanted to have another look at her face and explore it as a painting. While this is obviously a portrait, what interests me most about depicting people is the texture of the skin with wrinkles, veins and tonal variations. Imperfections and signs of aging show the fragility of the body and its mortality, which for me makes the portrait of an individual universally relevant.”

Hennessy Winning Portrait
Hennessy Award Winning Portrait by Vera Klute

Klutes piece in the RHA called Stampede is a work of paper in geometric shapes. A work of  4 pairs of legs intertwined, based on footballer’s legs. Modeled through the computer program ‘Blender’ it was then flattened into 2D and had flaps added to glue pieces together.

Vera Klute 01

I am really intrigued by the depth in this work. There are so many ways & angles to view it from, each one giving a slightly or significantly different impression.

With the slightest change in direction of the light the work will change its character, each geometric shape at a different angle will have the shadows reacting in totally different ways.




Caoimhe Kilfeather is an artist who also works in a number of medium including Photography, Textile, Iron & concrete. However, her sculptural work is greatly influenced by architecture & the built environment and our relationships to the spatial, formal and psychological qualities of architecture. Whilst engaging intuitively with scale, materials and the processes of making, Kilfeather is also drawn to the idea of ‘legacy’: legacies of forms, materials, systems and methods of production and of how these things contribute to and shape our experiences of the world.

Her piece in the RHA that I have decided to work on is called “Facade”. It comprises many tiles of


Caoimhe Kilfeather 02the same pattern placed placed in a grid. The numerous wave forms & ridges catch the light at differing angles & create a unique pattern of its own which responds to the changing direction of light.

The repetitive nature of the work is interesting in that it takes a small design aspect & shows that Caoimhe Kilfeather Deployable Structure 01 Caoimhe Kilfeather Deployable Structure 02it can be used & extended into works of a completely new complexity. It can create a design that, while comprising an individual shape, can create a completely new work. Almost as DNA is to a more complex structure.

However, it is the resulting work of shadows, intended or not, that I really enjoy about the artists work. It is dynamic & individual and will change from day to day, angle to angle & viewer to viewer.

Below is my drawing of the work “Facade”. It’s by far, nowhere near my best work. While attempting to get the shading in the individual tiles right I don’t think it reached the image I saw in my mind.

Facade by Hugh Shelley.

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