Students immersed in North Mayo landscape for new module on art degree

Friday, October 05, 2018 Press Office
Press Release

New module on part-time Bachelor of Art in Contemporary Art Practices

A group of art students at GMIT Mayo have concluded a week-long painting, drawing and photography module taking in the stunning landscape of north Mayo as part of their studies on the innovative part-time Bachelor of Art in Contemporary Art Practices, the only part-time art degree course in the country.

This immersive engagement with the landscape is a stand-alone module called ‘Representing the West’, focusing on image-making directly in the landscape. It allows art students to explore the rich cultural and artistic terrain of this special part of the West of Ireland.

Hazel Walker, one of the lecturers on the module explains, “This year, the students’ exciting journey brought them from Ballina through Killala, Ballycastle and on to Ballycroy, taking in the Ceide Fields and Rossport along the way, with a final day in the Museum of Country Life in Turlough.”

Programme Chair John Mulloy says: “The West of Ireland, with its rugged coastline, majestic bays, bogs and mountains has been a profound influence on the work of generations of artists from all over the world. Their work has in turn hugely influenced how the west is seen, especially in the iconic work of a painter such as Paul Henry, whose images of the landscape defined Ireland for much of the 20th century.”

“A key element of this seemingly empty, often barren-looking landscape is the depth of its human history stretching back over five thousand years, a history of struggle and triumph, suffering and resilience. These are themes that will be explored and discussed in the seminars that accompany the practical work of the week”.

Una Morris, a previous student on the course, says, “The immersive nature of the 'Representing the West' week allowed me to engage with the idea of place, home, women's lives in rural Ireland, in a way I never would otherwise. I enjoyed it immensely, and I think it changed the way I work.”

This module takes place as part of the third year of the unique four-year, part-time BA in Contemporary Art Practices course in Castlebar, which is delivered over one day and one evening a week. The course includes painting and drawing, digital media, arts facilitation skills, art history and theory as well as preparing students to become professional artists through modules in marketing and professional art practice.

Places are still available through the Lifelong Learning Office at GMIT Mayo ( or by contacting the course co-ordinator, Dr John Mulloy


Regina Daly
GMIT Communications Officer
GMIT, Dublin Road, Galway
Tel. 091 742826 / 087-9618355 (m)