A Drift - Orla O'Byrne - CIT Registrar's Prize 2019 Exhibition

A Drift - Orla O'Byrne - CIT Registrar's Prize 2019 Exhibition

Date: 2nd Mar 2020 - 20th Mar 2020
Time: 10 - 5pm Mon-Fri
Venue: James Barry Exhibition Centre



A drift

The CIT Registrar’s Prize 2019 exhibition by
Orla O’Byrne
CIT CCAD BA Hons. Fine Art 2019

James Barry Exhibition Centre
CIT Bishopstown Campus

2-20 March 2020

Opening Reception 4 March, 1pm, with special guest Dr. Micheal Waldron

Presented by CIT Arts Office, supported by the CIT Registrar's Office



A drift is a collection of drawings and objects related to my drawing practice. I have brought together chalk and charcoal drawings, projections, photographic work and sculptural objects which are connected through themes of absence, disappearance and rediscovery. The story of the Canova Casts, a collection of plaster casts which arrived in Cork 200 years ago and which was the catalyst for the foundation of the Cork School of Art, is at the heart of this work.

In this exhibition large-scale chalk drawings, which have long since been erased, are shown in projected film sequences. Other drawings, made in The Crawford Art Gallery, have been left outside in the rain in a process reminiscent of a photograph being developed, albeit in reverse. There are also photographs of tinfoil impressions which interrogate indexicality, and works cast in plaster which pose questions about the meaning of words like ‘authentic’ and ‘original’ in art.

Orla O’Byrne



A limited edition of a printed exhibition guide will be available at the gallery and CIT campus locations. A digital verison of the guide is available to view below.




Orla O’Byrne graduated with a first class honours in Fine Art from CIT Crawford College of Art and Design in 2019. She has won many awards for her work, including the Lavit Gallery Student of the Year Award and the prestigious CIT Registrar’s Prize. She is the current resident graduate in the drawing department of CCAD. This year she is also looking forward to a desk residency at The Guesthouse Project, Cork and will be spending time at Cork Film Centre, Ballincollig, as the recipient of the Herman Marbe Memorial Award.
Her large-scale chalk drawings, projections and works in plaster deal with themes of impermanence, authenticity in art and the human compulsion to cling on to what we know. 

 ‘The materials I choose are of great importance to me. I particularly like to use chalk for its impermanence, and charcoal for the way it can be pushed around a surface. I work with analogue photographic techniques quite a lot. I am inspired by the stories within stories. For example, the complicated story of the Canova casts, which is explored in my recent work, contains other stories about the historical teaching of drawing and the people of Cork.’


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