• Ablutions by Vauney Strahan
  • Creep by Vauney Strahan
  • Keyhole II by Vauney Strahan
  • Curtains by Vauney Strahan
  • Vertigo I by Vauney Strahan
  • Vertigo II by Vauney Strahan
Art By Vauney Strahan

Vauney Strahan graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in History of Art. In 2003 she was awarded a bursary by the City and Guilds of London Art School from where she graduated in 2006 with a degree in Fine Art. The following year she was selected for the RHA Annual Exhibition. Also in that year, Strahan participated in SKART, a worldwide exhibition of artwork.

Since then Strahan has exhibited widely in Ireland and has also participated in group shows in Spain, Germany, and the UK. In 2008 she moved to Andalucia, where she lived and worked for 2 years. Strahan recently moved back to Ireland to take up a fellowship awarded to her by the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Co. Mayo. She now works from her studio in Dublin


The focus of my current research hinges on human perception and the dialogue between logic and sensation – reason and intuition. I am specifically interested in how we navigate space and how the phenomenology of our physical surroundings stimulates our perceptual responses. My paintings are an interpretation of this relationship between the physical spaces we move through and our own inner world.

In the paintings I explore the “slippage” between perceived binaries such as solid-fluid, external-internal, dream-reality. I investigate the instability of the boundary that separates the two different realms we, as human beings, navigate simultaneously - the physical world we move through, and the perceptual architecture of the mind. I investigate the dialogue between these two worlds, a dialogue that is common to everyone, but at the same time unique and personal to each of us.

Thinking of these two worlds as an inner and outer landscape, what interests me is exploring the convergence between the two landscapes - a place where the realm of the mind, the spirit and the senses connects with the physical spaces we inhabit. In my paintings I try to reconcile components from both the observed, physical world with that of the sublime, inner world and I try to create my own language for this experience. There is a marked stillness and absence of life in these paintings, for it is in such places of solitude that we can become aware of the inner workings of the mind and experience the phenomenology of the material world.



  Perhaps we could begin with some background. When and where did you begin working as an artist?


  Like most kids, I started painting as soon as I could hold a brush. However, I guess I found it properly absorbing when I reached the age of around 7 or 8. I painted the whole way through school and then, during college (whilst studying History of Art at Trinity College Dublin) I got a part time job working for a decorative paint studio. I learnt all about making murals, trompe l’oeil, and how to create illusions through different paint effects.

  After I finished my degree (1998) I began to work for the studio full time. Then, once I had saved up enough money, I quit my job and went travelling for year in India and Nepal (2001). I spent this time concentrating on making my own easel paintings rather than decorative art. By the time I returned from this trip I had made the decision that I would like to go to art school and be formerly trained in fine art. This I did in City and Guilds School of Art in London. (2002-2006).

  Since then I have continued to work as a painter, in various different places in both Ireland and abroad.


  In your artist statement, you write that you are interested in a sense of dialogue "between logic and intuition," and the slippage between these two categories. Throughout the work found in Displacement and Substratum we are given a certain sense of isolation disrupted by abstract movement--stark rooms and spaces are impinged upon by indefinite color and form--did you begin with intent of creating a cohesive series? How did you develop this specific form and technique?


  The gallery on my website shows my work divided into sub-categories each with a title for a particular body of work. The work is constantly evolving, and although the basic concept remains the same, the themes continue to morph from each series into the next.

  I begin a new series of paintings with a subject that I am interested in researching. Invariably this will be connected in some way to human perception and the dialogue between our inner and outer world. I investigate this dialogue through an exploration of space. Until recently it was abandoned, or derelict buildings that held fascination for me. The new project (as yet untitled) is moving away from this into less specific evocations of space and more a merging of an interior and an exterior space. The concept is becoming more engaged with the phenomenology of space and its relationship to cognitive science.


   The work featured on our site dates back over many years--what are you working on now? What is coming in the future for you?


  I am currently showing some work in a number of group shows in Ireland, I am also half way through a Masters Degree in Art and Research Collaboration. Ultimately my goal for my current project will be to have a solo show where a cohesive and unified body of work will be exhibited in a gallery space.