Margaret Irwin West

Born in India of Irish parents, Margaret grew up in Co Wicklow.  After taking her primary degree in languages at Trinity College, Dublin, she chose to train as a painter at the studio of the  Cubist Teacher Andre Lhote in Paris. Encouraged to do this by Dublin painter, Jack Hanlon, she thus followed in the foosteps of many Irish painters of the twentieth century such as Mainie Jellet,  Evie Hone,  May Guinness and Barbara Warren.

In Dublin in the 1950s, she exhibited regularly in exhibtions such as:  Irish Exhibition of Living Art and Oireachtais. During this time, she“earned her crust” working as co-ordinator  of  “Signa, Design Consultants”  which had just been set up by Architect Michael Scott and Artist Louis LeBrocquy, with its office at 19 Merrion Square in the Scott, Tallon, Walker Premises,  through this occupation she met   a large cross-section of the Dublin artistic community of the day.   RTE was about to be launched.  The new Abbey theatre was being designed.  The Pike Theatre was closed down for staging the Rose Tatoo.  Brendan Behan was around, larger than life and poets were the flavour of the moment.  All at some time seemed to appear in Michael’s splendidly hospitable office on the first floor of number 19.

   In 1957, she married, so spending a period in Scotland and England, raising her family. Returning  to  Co Dublin in 1967, she became a regular visitor to Connemara with her husband, Rodney West,  and her family.  Since her retirement from  teaching in 1991, Margaret has been living and working in her chosen medium of Etching,  as well as Painting,  in her  Studio at Claddaghduff in North Connemara.  

Since 1991, Margaret has exhibited in many “Juried and Open Shows” both in England and Ireland.  She has received various “Awards” and “Residencies”.  Her work is held by a number of Public  Bodies as well as by private collectors.  In 2008 she received  a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Galway Co Council.  In April 2015 she held a Retrospective Solo Exhibition in the Leinster Gallery, South Frederick St. Dublin,  which proved a “sell-out”.

Margaret continues to  exhibit and holds periodic Printmaking Workshops in the Adult Education facility at Letterfrack Co Galway.

Her imagery is mostly figurative and drawn from observation.  Much of it refers to the Early Christian and Prehistoric  sites which abound in the area. She says:  “from my figurative images I seek to draw out greater resonances that suggest their cultural and social contexts.”

                      Margaret Irwin   email.  margaretirwinwest@gmail.com   
                            Web   margaretirwinwest.com (see YouTube link)

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