08 Aug 2022

IN PICTURES: Masterclass in beautiful Laois surrounds

The Laois Arthouse hosted artist Tom McLean who led a four-day Masterclass Art Programme entitled Construct/Deconstruct for adults, in beautiful surroundings of the Malthouse, Stradbally.  

The annual masterclasses are arranged by the Laois Arthouse, and this year’s programme focused on approaches to representational painting and imaginative compositions. 

The main focus referenced images through a preliminary stage of collage and drawing which they turned used as a unique reference for larger portrait and figurative paintings. The participants were very enthusiastic citing it as a most exciting and inspirational programme. 

A s part of Tom Mclean’s residency, he delivered an illustrated talk and slide show in the Laois Arthouse Gallery.  Tom brought the audience through his art journey, citing the formative experiences he had to bring him to the artist he is today. There was a great turn out for the talk with neighbours of Tom’s from Stradbally and art enthusiasts turning out to hear this promising and gifted artist.

“We were delighted to have had the opportunity to host Tom McLean as part of the annual Laois Arthouse, Adult Masterclass series. Tom is a world class artist and we will watch his art career with interest and pride,” said Muireann Ní Chonaill, Laois Arts Officer.

Participants said this Construct/Deconstruct was an excellent workshop and very informative. The were also pleased  with approach to painting which one said was totally different to anything done before.

Another person took part described Tom McLean as a gifted teacher who was very encouraging and most generous in sharing his personal practice. 

McLean is an award-winning visual artist and curator originally from Stradbally, Laois who is currently living and working in Galway City where he is a studio artist and former director of the 126 Artist Run Gallery. 

After graduating from CCAM, GMIT in 2016 specializing in painting, McLean completed an additional year of study in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. Tom has been short-listed and won multiple awards including the ESB Keating Award, The Whyte’s Award, and the Hennessy Craig Award.

His portrait entitled Note to Self was runner-up in the Zurich Portrait Prize, and it can be viewed in the Crawford Gallery, Cork until the 17th July.

Photographer Michael Scully took pictures during the Stradbally course. Scroll through them above.

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