Caroline Morgan

Visual artist whose timely focus on the 'feminist perspective' permeates her life and work

John Rainsford

Reporter:

John Rainsford

Caroline Morgan

Originally from Dublin, I moved to Nenagh when I was younger, putting me in close proximity to Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) which was always in my sights thereafter.

I was educated initially in Kilruane NS and later St Mary’s Secondary School in Nenagh. I then proceeded to apply for LSAD and thankfully got accepted, happily spending the next four years there. Growing-up I was always very creative and into art which stemmed from my dad, Patrick, (my mother is Colette). He is an excellent artist and helped to develop my skills and show me the joy within it. Art was always my strongest subject in school and I found a lot of confidence and pleasure through practicing it.

At the moment I specialise in computer-based vector artwork which I really enjoy.

When I first went to Art College I didn’t even own a laptop and was completely ignorant of the art that could be created on it. Growing-up I had always used a sketchbook, and then suddenly I was being taught how to create amazing new work that became the basis of a burgeoning portfolio. Today, I love creating variety in my pieces, from TV characters we all know, to replicating an old photograph and bringing a contemporary twist to it. Vector artwork is a particular style but I feel that I have managed to adapt it to whatever the project entails while still placing my own personal stamp on it.

Many people graduating from ‘Visual Communications’ enter graphic design as it is a stable career choice and the world will most likely always need advertising, logos, branding, and copy writing.

So in terms of being an artist in this sector, it is stable, secure, and frankly flourishing, as more and more people and companies realise just how important design is and want to purchase what we do. Other sectors of art can be more difficult as there is such huge competition out there and to get seen can be difficult. Social media is, of course, helping this and making more and more artists known to the world. My style has always been illustrative as I grew up nurturing this type of art. I have obviously learned how to combine illustrative work with minimalist elements to give it a contemporary feel. This mode of expression comes naturally to me so I feel that it is best to work and develop it further rather than try out a style that I feel uncomfortable with.

Ideas come from what I am interested and passionate about but also from what I feel my style of art will suit.

I have to have a sense of excitement otherwise I would lose interest and the resulting art work won’t be as good or effective. I also take into consideration what is topical at any time and try to always leave my stamp of style on it. Most people grow up with the ability to draw and express themselves through art which makes it an obvious choice for most. In the past being an artist was about possessing raw talent but nowadays anyone can be an artist, if they are passionate about it, and can find a unique way of expressing non-traditional ideas.

My current project called; ‘Dare To’, was inspired by those strong and influential women of the past who I still feel are of great importance today.

The Oxford Dictionary declared ‘feminism’ the word of the year for 2017 and so I felt that my project fitted accurately into the time period for which it was created and would give strength and a contemporary voice to such women. In fact, I chose eight women from different aspects of life and through vectors and typography created a profile for them to show their importance and relevance. It was both an editorial piece and a poster campaign.

Today, women are really finding their voice and making everyone sit-up and take notice.

However, while equality is there in certain aspects of society, thanks to the women who fought for it in the past, overall we are not fully there yet. In fact, a stereotypical idea of what it is to be female (or male for that matter!) still persists and in most cases females are still getting the short stick. Indeed, recent scandals have caused a shock-wave of female voices to be heard and this emerging strength might be best exemplified by those women in my ‘Dare To’ exhibition. It is not necessarily a case of women doing something to prevent bad treatment but more of encouraging an understanding of how to treat one another as human beings (and with respect for one another). Change is inevitable, and although it might not come straight away, the women who are speaking out have paved the way for the next generation. So, overall the future is looking brighter for women.

I would encourage anyone with a passion for art to follow that path rather than rushing into any old career because you feel you have to.

There is no time limit on finding your career. Take your time, think about everything, and give yourself the chance to truly know what you want to do. Art is a career choice that will forever keep you interested in learning as there is such a diverse range of work out there. If art is your passion, then work hard, learn, and stick with it. LSAD has produced some fantastic artists and designers over the years, and through its efforts, Limerick City has flourished in artistic circles. Indeed, our students have really helped to spread creativity and to successfully mix contemporary art with the ancient heritage permeating modern Limerick!

For more information about Caroline please see: www.carolinemorgan.me