KRF Notebook Project 2012

Kathy O’Leary writes about the KRF Notebook Project.

I arrived at the opening of KRF Notebook Project in Newbridge, Kildare after eventually escaping the challenge of the traffic from the merging N7/M7 out of Dublin following my MA course, Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD on Thomas Street.

Once I negotiated the ‘blue badge’ parking and the inclining ramp outside the Riverbank Arts Centre, which someone was kind enough to help me get up. I entered to receive a warm reception with a brightly coloured, cosy cafe, treating me to a great cappuccino. I sat amongst Brenda Brady, Arts Assistant, Kildare County County Council, Susan Boyle, curator of the exhibition, Nicola Dunne, Arts in Health Specialist and Lucina Russell, Kildare County Council Arts Officer, who cordially welcomed me while surrounded by many others who had made the effort of attending the night.

Ann Egan, a multi award-winning poet, who lives in Clane and has held many writing residencies, introduced us to a vivid live reading of her poetry before I took the lift to view the exhibition of over a 100 artists notebooks. I gasped with excitement, as I entered to see such creativity held within the notebooks laid out on several different tables in the space. How refreshing to be able to access an exhibition in such a way that you could open and touch the art works to discover the inner workings of an artists’ practice and the journey’s traveled while creating the notebook.

I subsequently came across my own notebook which has been informed by the body and the landscape, is a continual cohesive language in my practice and I develop this juxtaposition by utilising different disciplines. By examining trajectories of chaos theory and cosmology through the body, nature, the environment and technology create transformations with ephemeral and ethereal forms. I have created curiosities by speculating concepts and accumulating fragments of history and representation as a way of exploring correlations between ‘play’ and artistic practice to interpret this through a visual language. Patterns found in nature and the chaos theory are visible regularities of form. These patterns, notably trees, spirals, meanders, waves, foams, arrays, cracks and stripes recur in different contexts and can be modelled mathematically.1

To see the deliberate and equally delicate detail gone into each sketchbook was worth seeing and the show continues to be toured in 2013. As i said farewell to my sketchbook, becoming a part of the collection held by Kildare County Council, I continued the next journey to West Cork to collect my closing show ‘Open Book | Leathar Oscailte’ at the Working Artist Studio in Skibbereen which had been inspired by this artist notebook project.

Notes from
Now in its second year, the KRF Notebook Project continues to go from strength to strength. With more than 100 notebooks and artists from all over the world, this project has really taken on a global feel. Participating artists were invited to write, draw, paint, paste, construct/deconstruct a standard A5 Moleskine notebook in a creative way. Each notebook has been kindly donated by participating artists to Kildare County Council to become part of a permanent touring collection. An exhibition of the notebooks will be on display over the course of the Festival.

The exhibition will continue to Droichead Arts Centre in 2013

  1. Peter Stevens. Patterns in Nature, 1974. Page 3.

Kathy O’Leary is an artist and current participant on the MA Art In The Contemporary World.