Interview : Breda Marron, Artist and teacher

Artist and Art teacher, Breda Marron, talks to Déshabillé about her fabulous courses, favourite artists and using her work, as a painter and sculptor, to capture human emotions.

Q. How did you get interested in art as a means of expression?

Breda :  I loved drawing as a child and from a young age I had decided I wanted to be an artist. I went to NCAD and did a Hons Degree in Woven Textile Design. It was only really during the final year of my Degree, in 1997, that I began in earnest to use my art as a means of self-expression.

Before this point a lot of my artwork was created in response to design briefs, observational drawings and experimenting with new techniques to push boundaries.

I built on these skills and began to explore the concept of capturing human emotions such as vulnerability, self-preservation and protection. It was during this time that I first discovered the versatility of willow and I realised how much I loved working in 3D, expressing emotions through sculptures and creating interactive spaces, which people could move through, experience and become part of.

Much to my surprise the ‘Vulnerability’ sculpture from my Degree exhibition went on to win the prestigious ‘Taylor Art Award’. This was the turning point in my journey of creating art as a means of self-expression.

Angel Of Love by Breda Marron

Breda :  I am passionate about the power of art and creativity. I truly believe that every individual has creative potential, it’s a matter of each person finding how to tap into their unique creative energy.

I run creativity courses for adults, which explore the process of creative self-expression, the magic within supposed mistakes and the gift of allowing things to evolve through, mark making, journaling, vision boards and essentially learning to listen to and trust their intuition.
I often facilitate willow sculpture courses for schools, communities and individuals. 

The next willow sculpture course I am running takes place on the 3rd and 4th of March 2018 

It is amazing to witness how quickly people become relaxed with the process of creating with their bare hands and natural materials. It is a rhythmical and meditative process that calms the mind, releases tension and brings such a sense of satisfaction when a sculpture appears as the layers of willow come together, over a short space of time.
The more courses I run, the more convinced I am of the calming, nurturing benefits for children and adults alike, when they work with natural materials and their intuition.
For more information on upcoming workshops check out

Mother Earth (Breda Marron)

Q. Who are your favourite artists/creative people?

Breda :  I love Andy Goldsworthy’s work, he was the first artist who opened my mind to the endless potential of creating art with nature, in nature and back to nature. Patrick Dougherty and Laura Ellen Bacon are willow artists that inspire me and show me the potential of what can be done when funds are made available to create non-permanent art for outdoor public spaces, I hope that improves in Ireland.

I also admire the work of Henry Moore and Alberto Giacometti. J.M.W. Turner, Georgia O Keefe and Anne Madden are painters who have inspired me with their painting style and how they captures the energy and spirit of the internal and external landscape in their work.

Q. What is your own favourite means of expression? Painting or Sculpting?

Breda :  I enjoy both, they are very connected as they both come from the heart and are created to inspire and uplift those who see them, yet the creative process for both are quite different. The paintings are abstract internal landscapes, that capture emotional responses, energy and movement. The paintings are often commissioned by individuals as a connection to their personal journey and emotional triumphs. The work is created in a very relaxed state, allowing intuition and instinct to lead the way. As a form of artistic expression, it is very absorbing, as I am the only person involved from start to finish.

On the other hand, the sculptures I create are often created in collaboration with other people such as the foundry, stone masons, metal fabricators and advanced planning, detailed construction, safety and transport plans often come into play before the work even begins. It is a very different way of working but it starts from the same place with an emotion, rhythm and connection to the viewer, at the heart of each piece.

I like to create site specific sculptures, each piece is inspired by the surrounding landscape or interior space, I consider how the people will use the space and how they will interact with the sculpture.  The larger sculptures are sketched and worked out on paper first.

I love working with people, so when I’m creating willow and natural sculptures for schools and communities, I often involve the children and adults and help them develop the skills to maintain and develop the sculpture further in the future.

The balance between both art practices gives me such a rich experience as an artist – the flow and intuitive freedom of drawing and painting on my own, contrasts with the planning and the more practical approach required, when collaborating with others for the sculptures and workshops.

Free Flow Bronze (Breda Marron)

Q. What are your future plans?

Breda : I am working on a series of paintings and drawings inspired by the Irish writer, John O Donohue. It’s something I started a few years ago and then got side tracked with several public art commissions.  I have made a commitment to myself that this is the year I will develop the paintings further and see how it evolves. I’m a big believer in synchronicity and I trust that the best place to exhibit this work will become clear with time.
I have a sculpture commission in the pipeline but I can’t say any more at this stage.

A selection of my work is currently on exhibit at The Kildare Gallery at Carton House Hotel, Maynooth, Co Kildare.

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