Home : Visual Arts : 2013

Emerging Visual Artist Bursary 2012 - 'The Glass Garden' by Brian Cregan. McKenna Gallery, Riverbank Arts Centre, May 4- June 5

640 x 480

About the Artist

Brian Cregan is the Kildare County Council, Emerging Visual Artist Award 2012 recpient which has enabled him to create the exhibition The Glass Garden. He is a documentary/fine art photographer interested in recording events and exploring ideas relating to landscape, natural history and the  suburban garden. A recent graduate of the photography programme in the Dublin Institute of Technology, his work has  been selected for The Salon Art Prize in London in 2012 and the Propeller Award in association with Fire Studios and Source magazine. The work has also been featured in The Irish Arts Review, The Irish Times and verious other publications.


The Glass Garden

by Brian Cregan 

McKenna Gallery, Riverbank Arts Centre, May 4- June 5


Taking the cordyline tree; Cordyline australis as its central subject and inspiration the work employs ‘objective, scientific’ methods to explore our relationship and use of photography in the recording, classifying and archiving of botanical specimens. An everyday sight for many of us in the suburban garden, the tree is distinctive due to its long, evergreen, sword-like leaves and corky bark. It’s arrival here as a garden plant has a rich history, which can be traced back to the colonial expeditions of Captain Cook whose team first identified it, in 18th Century New Zealand. The tree for them represented footprints in the landscape, marking significant or sacred sites like trails, burial grounds and settlements.


During the harsh winters of 2010, many of the trees died or were damaged with their remains left standing, adding a monumental and memorial atmosphere in the garden. The work can be seen as an ‘open metaphor’ alluding to themes of colonisation, migration, environmental catastrophe and economic collapse.


Social Interaction/ Get Involved

The finding of the tree specimens has been carried out collaboratively through the use of social networks, e-mail and word of mouth. Participant ‘explorers’ have been uploading photographs of the trees and their locations. In this sense the trees function as ‘found objects’ create an on-line archive of images, stories and experiences relating to their social history. If you want to get involved in the exhibition, log onto Riverbank Arts Centre website and upload your images.



Own the exhibition

You can also ‘own’ the exhibition, bring along your own images and items of interest relating to the work & the themes of the exhibition. You can change the look of the exhibition to suit your community or your mind and place your pieces of interest in the exhibition space. All ages are welcome to participate in this exhibition.


If you would like to know more about the project or to get involved. Please check out:




During the run of the exhibition, a gallery tour and workshop will take place that explains some of the ideas around the project and allow participants to get involved through creating their own artworks. The goal of the workshop will be to encourage  students to examine their own relationship to photography, visual culture and the natural world and to enhance their visual literacy skills through image making.


640 x 480

640 x 480

Back to other News Items