Nov 2023: Contemporary Artist

Contemporary artist Aisling Drennan

As my creative journal is receiving more online attention I would like to introduce myself again and share some background on how I became a contemporary artist.

I am originally from Co.Clare on the west coast of Ireland but have been London, UK-based for over eleven years now. As I write, it’s a little surreal to acknowledge I have been in London for over a decade, the time has flown! The city is fast-paced, competitive, exciting and challenging and as I write this from my studio I’m reminiscing about how I got to where I am.

contemporary artist
Bolt from the Blue, 40x40cm

London Bound

As a fledgling contemporary artist, I moved to London after my undergraduate degree in fine art at The School of Design and Creative Arts in Co. Galway to expand my academic and practical training on the Masters in Fine Art programme at Central St Martins, University of the Arts London. 

I hadn’t originally thought I would stay in London. However, after I graduated from Central Saint Martin’s I thought why not stay a little longer? I spent two years studying here, understanding the city, learning about galleries and meeting people who work in the art world. I wanted to use this as a base and set about finding my first studio in London. 

First Art Studio

So I bounced out of art school feeling positive about my future art career. This feeling was short-lived as I realised the difficulty of finding an affordable, accessible and warm studio in London- not an easy task! 

I was determined though and luck came my way. A friend I studied with was a waitress and her boss had an empty kebab shop on Holloway Road that we could work from for free. It was cold, dusty and it stank of oil but it was a starting point! To support myself I worked every service job you can imagine from being a personal assistant for a BBC rugby correspondent to nannying with three different families, waitressing in an old pub where Liam Gallagher used to drink to dog walking a sweetheart Rothweiler called Charlie and just kept grafting and focused on how to keep developing as an artist.

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Green to be Seen, 40x40cm

Finding my Way

After a couple of years and a couple more dodgy studios, I finally secured a warm, well-maintained studio at Delta House Studios in south-west London with a host of inspiring artists and thinkers already based there. Along the way my work has been selected for annual exhibitions at the Royal Academies of Ulster and Wales, short-listed for the John Moores painting prize, featured in a global media campaign with Fujitsu, won awards and joined international art collections– it has been a blast seeing my painting practice grow and my studio progress. I have big plans for the future, let’s see what happens!

Aisling Drennan is an award-winning abstract artist with a London, UK-based art studio.

Please get in touch to book a studio visit.

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