GMIT art students' collaboration with Brown Thomas results in stunning window displays

Thursday, March 03, 2016 Press Office
Press Release

An artistic collaboration involving Brown Thomas and a group of talented young students from GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts and Media (CCAM), has recently been unveiled at Brown Thomas Galway.

The project, ‘The Gallery of Found Art’, is the work of Art & Design degree students led by their lecturers and practising artists Lynne O'Loughlin (Printmaking) and Ger Leslie (Sculpture). The students are: Alison Meehan (Textiles), Kilkerrin, Co Galway  who worked on the blinds; first year students on the BA in Contemporary Art, Jennifer Mc Hugh from Belclare, Co Galway, Niamh Jones from, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Seimhin Ni Dhonnghaile from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, Hugh Murphy from Doughiska, Galway, who worked on the rusty nails; Jason Beck (Sculpture), originally from South Africa and now living in Glencurran, Co Cavan, Seamus Scullion (Sculpture) from Ballinasloe, Co Galway , Edel Quinn (Sculpture) from Gaway city, who worked on the old video tape, and Jenny Newman (Printmaking) from Annaghdown, Co Galway, who transformed the old keys.

They took everyday objects and turned them into beautiful works of art, sculptures and installations, the brief being to use ‘found’ objects and rubbish to produce ‘The Gallery of found Art’.

Lecturers Lynne O'Loughlin and Ger Leslie explain how the students turned it around into a beautiful installation: “They cleverly incorporated an assortment of everyday materials - from recycled blinds and old keys to video tape and rusty nails. Essentially they have taken these things which have been abandoned and found something more in them than their intrinsic worthlessness.

“It was a very exciting project to be leading as the brief allowed for a large range of useless and abandoned materials to be used and re-cycled; Chadwicks builders on the Mervue Road in Galway were very kind in donating the old metal and rusty nails from their skip. The Galway Film Centre donated the old film reels and tape. An estate agent had a large box of old keys from properties that were repossessed and a blind and curtain shop donated their sample books that were obsolete and no longer stocked.”

“The students worked on this brief in a very short but intense space of time. They came up with the concepts, construction and layout of the pieces while Brown Thomas then selected garments that would complement their Art work. The finished windows are very sophisticated and I am very proud of the way the students from first to fourth year worked together. For most of them this was the first time they have ever exhibited not to mind collaborate to a specific brief. The standard of these individuals is really testament to the great work that goes on here in GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts & Media (CCAM) and shows such promise for the future of visual Art in the West.”

“This is a nationwide project that Brown Thomas will be pushing as a concept in the future. We look forward to the response from the public in this very prime location in the city and also to this becoming a regular partnership in the future. Comments can be emailed to ”

Dr Paddy Tobin, head of CCAM, says: “The Found Art project has been a wonderful collaboration involving people from Brown Thomas, GMIT students and lecturers and the outcome clearly demonstrates the value of creativity and artistic expression.”

John Redmond, Brown Thomas Creative Director, says: “"The old saying goes that one man's trash is another man's treasure and this is especially true when we view the world of discarded materials when seen through the eyes of these students. They have seen the possibilities in items we easily throw away. Instead of heading to the art store, they went to local business to use their rubbish to create beautiful installations. This is a very exciting project for the students who can boast their first exhibition was seen by thousands of people as they passed by".